Kate topless photos: Royals return from tour overshadowed by row

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Media captionDuke and Duchess of Cambridge dance in Tuvalu

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have returned to the UK at the end of an overseas tour overshadowed by the row about topless photos of Catherine.

They left Tuvalu on Wednesday, ending a nine-day Diamond Jubilee tour of south-east Asia and the South Pacific.

On Tuesday, a Paris court banned French magazine Closer from re-publishing the pictures of Catherine and ordered it to hand over the originals.

The sunbathing pictures ran in Closer last Friday before appearing elsewhere.

No British newspaper has printed the pictures.

Before boarding their flight home on Wednesday morning, Prince William and Catherine heard a singing display by residents of the island of Niutao.

The royals were presented with a number of gifts on behalf of the tiny island state of Tuvalu, including woven mats, fans and models of a traditional house village and canoe.

They were transported to their plane in a carriage carried by about 20 islanders, concluding the short tour that has also taken in Singapore, Malaysia and the Solomon Islands.

Criminal investigation

Thousands of miles away, at a court in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre, a lawyer for the duke and duchess had sought a privacy injunction against the publishers of Closer magazine - Mondadori - to prevent the photographs of Catherine being re-published or distributed in France.

The photographs that appeared in Closer were taken while the duchess was sunbathing on a private holiday with her husband at the French chateau of the Queen's nephew, Lord Linley, in Provence, earlier this month.

On Tuesday, three magistrates ruled the publishers must hand over the original photographs within 24 hours or face a daily fine of 10,000 euros (£8,000).

In its ruling, the court described the pictures as a "brutal display" of the couple's private lives, adding: "These snapshots which showed the intimacy of a couple, partially naked on the terrace of a private home, surrounded by a park several hundred metres from a public road, and being able to legitimately assume that they are protected from passers-by, are by nature particularly intrusive."

The magistrates ruled that every photograph published in France by Mondadori in future would carry a fine, also of 10,000 euros per breach.

Royal officials said the decision was welcomed by the duke and duchess, who had "always believed the law had been broken" and they were entitled to their privacy.

However, the ruling refers only to those pictures that have already been published - Closer's editor has previously hinted that she has other, more intimate, pictures.

The injunction also does not cover publications outside France.

Following the ruling in the civil case, prosecutors are considering whether there are grounds for criminal charges.

The decision to start a preliminary criminal investigation follows a formal complaint by the prince and Catherine, with aides saying they were looking for proceedings against the magazine and the photographer who took the pictures.

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