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Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton won their first legal battle today when a French court ordered Closer magazine to turn over all of the original sunbathing photos to the couple within 24 hours.

St. James Palace issued a brief statement, “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcome the judge’s ruling.”

The magazine was the first to print the private photos of the couple. The Irish Daily Star and Italian publication Chi followed suit.

The ruling applies only in France and it seems likely further action will be taken against the photographer who captured the images from a vantage point a half mile away from the compound where the couple vacationed before embarking on their nine-day Asian tour.

The publishers of the Irish Daily Star released a statement of their own, “Independent Star Limited has suspended editor Michael O’Kane with immediate effect, pending an investigation into the circumstances that led to the Irish Daily Star re-publishing pages from the French magazine Closer, which contained images of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.”

The Royal couple left the Solomon Islands early Tuesday for the next leg of their journey and are now in Tuvalu, a Polynesian island nation located midway between Hawaii and Australia.

Photo: WENN