Six people are set to appear in a French court over the publication of topless pictures taken of the Duchess of Cambridge. The photos of Kate Middleton were taken with a zoom lens which showed her topless on the balcony of Chateau D'Autet during a holiday with Prince William in the South of France. The trial will begin in 2017.

The pictures first appeared on the front page of a regional French daily newspaper and then were republished a week later in Closer in September 2012. Closer magazine's then chief editor, Laurence Pieau, and Ernesto Mauri, the head of the Mondadori press group which owns the French title, are among those who will appear in court over publishing the topless pictures.

The holiday chateau is owned by the Queen's nephew, Viscount Linley. According to MailOnline, he had said that the royal couple would have peace and quiet away from the intense scrutiny of the public before their Asia tour.

A lawyer for Closer, Delphine Pando, claimed the royal couple were over-reacting and that topless photographs were no longer considered shocking,

The pictures of the Duchess also were printed elsewhere such as in Chi magazine, owned by Silvio Berlusconi's media group, as well as in Ireland, Denmark and Sweden.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attempted to block the publication of the images. A civil injunction was obtained by their lawyer as well as a motion to bring criminal charges in Paris stopping further use of the photographs.

Prince William was said to have been furious at the photos, according to the BBC's royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell, who said the prince had a "look of absolute thunder".

At the time, a spokesman for Clarence House said the couple "have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner.

"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. Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them.

"Officials acting on behalf of their Royal Highnesses are consulting with lawyers to consider what options may be available to the duke and duchess."