Tim Rooke / Rex USA 1 / 6
Tim Rooke / Rex USA 1 / 6

The photographer who shot candid photos of Duchess Kate while on vacation last year has been placed under formal criminal investigation along with the publisher of a French celebrity magazine and a regional daily publication, according to reports.

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The photos of a sunbathing Kate caused an international outcry when they were published in French magazine Closer. The female paparazzo is said to have used a long lens to shoot the intimate images from a public road about a half-mile from where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were staying at Chateau d'Autet in Provence, and although it initially appeared she had broken no laws, royal family lawyers argued that the pictures were a "grotesque breach of privacy."

Sources now tell Us Weekly magazine that the snapper was arrested by police earlier this month. And Reuters has reported that the photographer, the publisher of Closer and the regional daily La Provence have been placed under formal investigation for publishing various photos of the couple. Reuters added that an investigation does not necessarily lead to formal charges.

Prince William and his wife launched criminal proceedings last year against the unnamed photographer under France's strict privacy laws.

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