French police have raided the offices of Closer magazine in order to find information which might reveal the identity of the photographer who took the nude photos of the Duchess of Cambridge last week.
The move was immediately attacked by media lawyers and press defenders, who said it was an example of heavy-handed tactics designed to placate the royal family.
Some have even claimed the raid may be illegal under laws designed to protect confidentiality of sources.
The news comes after a successful legal challenge from the royal couple to have the photos banned from publication in France and for Closer to hand over all their copies of the snaps
Closer face fines of £8,000 a day for everyday they withhold the pictures from police.
Laurence Pieau, the magazines editor, has defended the publication of the royal pair.
"She's a real 21st century princess. It’s a young woman who is topless, the same as you can see on any beach in France or around the world," she said.
"They were not being careless but they were not making any special effort to conceal themselves."
The British press has continued to oppose the publication with no major titles planning to print them.