Prince William and Kate Middleton returning home after topless pictures storm

08:37 19 September 2012

William and Kate visit a village in Tuvalu, where the Prince opens a coconut with a machete. Picture: Arthur Edwards

William and Kate visit a village in Tuvalu, where the Prince opens a coconut with a machete. Picture: Arthur Edwards

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on their way home following their tour of the Far East and South Pacific for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with children from Nauti Primary School during a visit to Tuvalu. Picture: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA WireThe Duchess of Cambridge speaks with children from Nauti Primary School during a visit to Tuvalu. Picture: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire

The trip has been seen as a great success but was overshadowed by the publication of topless photos taken of Kate during a holiday at a private estate owned by the Queen’s nephew Lord Linley in Provence, France.

Prince William and Kate were greeted by around 200 people at Brisbane airport in Australia, where they stopped on the way back to Britain.

The couple created a stir when, after entering the international terminal building, they walked through a public area of the departure lounge on their way to a VIP suite to await their connection to London.

The royal pair had arrived in a chartered plane from the tiny nation of Tuvalu at the end of their nine-day tour of South-East Asia and the South Pacific on behalf of the Queen. During their time in Tuvalu the couple met university students and school pupils.

The Duke of Cambridge speaks with students from the University of the South Pacific during a visit to Tuvalu. Picture: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA WireThe Duke of Cambridge speaks with students from the University of the South Pacific during a visit to Tuvalu. Picture: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire

Five television crews and around a dozen photographers were at Brisbane airport to capture the small moment of history.

The Duchess looked relaxed in a light, floral-patterned, summer dress by Erdem and beige patent heels when she first set foot on the tarmac and a tanned Prince William was equally casual in a jacket and white shirt which was unbuttoned at the neck.

Yesterday Prince William and Kate succeeded in getting an injunction from a French court which has stopped France’s Closer magazine from printing further intimate images of the Duchess or selling them.

The royals are also awaiting a decision from France’s criminal prosecutors about whether they will bring criminal charges against the photographer who took the pictures.

A source summed up how the issue had affected the couple, saying: “From their point of view they were angry when they heard about the photos but once they took the decision to pursue a civil and then criminal action, they were able to put the matter behind them. Since they set the ball rolling it’s now down to the law to take its course.”

The source added: “They had one objective to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee it’s not for us to judge whether that was a success or not, from their point of view they felt able to do her life, and the diversity of the nations she represents, justice.”

The Tribunal de Grande Instance in Nanterre, Paris, ordered France’s Closer magazine to hand over all copies of the images it published last week and banned their resale.

The ruling only affects the French magazine and does not to extend to publications in Ireland and Italy which have also used the pictures.

It also prevents French Closer, which is run by a different company to the British version, from using the photos on its website and tablet application.

After coming up an escalator into the airport’s departure area the couple waved to travellers and looked up to wave at members of the public standing behind glass on a viewing platform on the next floor up.

Among those taking pictures of the Duchess was Australian Shelley Jelonek, 35, who was also on her way to London.

She said: “She looked amazing, she is so graceful. It’s really impressive that they came up through the normal terminal. I have even more respect for them now.”

Members of her family had come to the airport to see her off, including her nephew Cameron Young, 11, who had taken the day off school, though Shelley said it was “mainly because of the Duke and Duchess” he had taken the day off. He thought the Duke was “really cool”, she said.

“The kids were really excited to see real royalty in real life,” she added.

“The Royal family is going through a real resurgence in popularity here and it’s mainly because of those two.”

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