Prince William and Kate Middleton are suing six men they say are connected to a 2012 scandal involving topless photos taken of Middleton in secret. The photos were taken while the couple was on vacation in Provence. French magazine Closer published the photos of Middleton topless, while regional publication La Provence used illicit bikini shots of the Duchess. The royal couple seeks $1.9 million in damages.
Outrage was immediate and widespread at the time. A St. James Palace spokesman blasted the incident as "grotesque."
"The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to The Duke and Duchess for being so,” they said in a statement.
It was big enough that then-citizen Donald Trump criticized Kate Middleton, saying that the scandal was her fault. Good to know that our literal president was on the right side of history on that one.
Prince William read a statement during the French trial of the six men he and Middleton allege are responsibly.
"My wife and I thought that we could go to France for a few days in a secluded villa owned by a member of my family, and thus enjoy our privacy," he said. "We know France and the French, and we know that they are, in principle, respectful of private life, including that of their guests... The clandestine way in which these photographs were taken was particularly shocking to us as it breached our privacy."
Prince William echoed the comparison to the paparazzi hounding Princess Diana to her death, calling the pictures "all the more painful" given those circumstances.