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Legal representatives for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge came out strongly in a French court on Monday to prevent further pictures of a toples Kate Middleton from being published.

The intimate images that were shown to the world by French magazine Closer have caused much embarrassment to the young couple who are livid at the intrusion.

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"She's a young woman, not an object," barrister Aurelien Hammelle said of the future Queen of England adding that the pictures were a "grotesque breach of privacy."

Today's hearing was to try and get an injunction to prevent further copies of the magazine being published and the removal of current copies from stores containing the "highly intimate" images.

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The editors of the publication and the photographer who took the pictures while William and Kate were having a relaxed vacation in a chalet in the Provence countryside, face heavy fines under the strict French privacy laws and could even be sent to prison for a year.

Italian magazine Chi also published additional pictures of Kate in a 26-page special supplement today but are unrepentant about their actions.

Hammell also touched on the point that the breach of privacy came within days of the 15th anniversary of the death of William's mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in a Parisian tunnel while being chased by the paparazzi and who had been hounded for years by photogs.

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Hammell called it the "useless, cynical and morbid hunt which led to the death of William's mother."

A decision on whether the magazine will have to take the offending edition off the shelves will be made by a French judge Tuesday morning.

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Meanwhile, the photographer who took the pictures, Valerie Suau, has apparently gone "into hiding" but denies that she produced anything "explicit."

A criminal complaint has now been lodged and a civil case seeking damages and an injunction has been filed. William and Kate want the "stiffest punishment possible" against Closer including a fine, apology and to stop further distribution of the topless pictures.

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