Image copyright Getty Images

The Duke of Cambridge has said the publication of topless photos of his wife in a French publication was “all the more painful” made his mother’s know with the paparazzi.

A statement from the duke was read at the French test of six people accused of invasion of privacy and complicity.

The portraits were taken as the imperial couple holidayed in Provence in 2012.

They appeared in Closer magazine in France, while regional newspaper La Provence reproduced swimwear pictures.

Paris-based agency photographers Cyril Moreau and Dominique Jacovides are accused of taking long-lens kills of the imperials, includes the topless pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge, from a public road.

The others accused in the case, heard something at Nanterre, near Paris, are Closer’s editor Laurence Pieau, Ernesto Mauri, chief executive of the Mondadori group which owns the publication, La Provence photographer Valerie Suau, and Marc Auburtin, the paper’s publishing director at the time.

A prosecutor pushed the court to impose “very significant fines” while a advocate for Prince William and Catherine called for “very large damages”.

Paul-Albert Iweins, representing Closer magazine, said the duke and duchess were hoping to claim 1.5 million euros( 1.3 m) in compensation.

He argued that the couple had been the subject of much media attention – including the broadcast of their wed – and that the photos did not constitute a breach of privacy and casting them in a positive light.

‘Enjoy our privacy’

The imperial couple had been staying at a chateau in Provence owned by Viscount David Linley, the nephew of the Queen.

Prince William’s written declaration was read out by the couple’s advocate Jean Veil.

He remarked: “My wife and I thought that we could go to France for a few daytimes in a secluded villa owned by the states members of their own families, and thus experience our privacy.

“We know France and the French, and we know that “they il be”, in principle, respectful of private life, including that of their guests.”

He included: “The clandestine way in which these photographs were taken was specially scandalizing to us as it transgressed our privacy.”

He said the portraits were “all the more painful” given the experience of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a gondola disintegrate in Paris in 1997 as she was being pursued by photographers.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Jean Veil, Prince William’s advocate, read his statement to the court

The court sounded mobile phone data had targeted Mr Moreau, 32, and Mr Jacovides, 59, in the following areas between 4 and 6 September 2012, when the topless images are believed to have been taken.

Both humankinds disclaim they were responsible for the pictures used by Closer.

Photographs of the duchess in her swimwear used in La Provence are said to have been taken by Ms Suau, 53, but she told the court there had been no intention to breach the imperial couple’s privacy.

The duke and duchess are not due to attend the court, which is expected to announce its finding on 4 July.

In 2012 they launched legal proceedings and national courts in Paris banned Closer, which is a separate publication from the UK’s Closer magazine, from engraving any further portraits.

St James’s Palace questioned the following statement at the time describing the accident as being “reminiscent of the most difficult extravagances of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales”.

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