Prince William and Kate Middleton seeking $2.2 million over topless photos.

With AAP.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are reportedly seeking 1.5 million Euro (AUD$2.2 million) in compensation for the publication of topless pictures of Catherine more than four years ago.

France’s Closer magazine and regional newspaper La Provence were placed under investigation for invasion of privacy after the images of Catherine, 35, sunbathing while on a private holiday in Provence with the Duke of Cambridge were printed in September 2012.

The photos prompted a fierce reaction, with a statement issued by St James’s Palace stating they were “reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales”.

kate middleton topless photos
The Duke and Duchess are reportedly seeking "high damages". Image: Getty.

The royal couple launched their own legal proceedings after the photos were published in 2012 and a court in Paris banned Closer from printing any further images.

In statement read in court this week by the Royal couple's lawyer, the Duke of Cambridge said he and his wife had travelled to the "secluded villa" in the hope of enjoying some time out of the spotlight.

"We know France and the French and we know that they are, in principle, respectful of private life, including that of their guests," the statement read, according to The Telegraph.

"The clandestine way in which these photographs were taken was particularly shocking to us as it breached our privacy."

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Closer argued at the time that the photos, taken while the couple holidayed in southern France at a chateau owned by Viscount Linley, the Queen's nephew, were shot from a public road.

Laurence Piau, editor of the magazine, and Ernesto Mauri, chief executive of publishing group Mondadori which produces it, are currently facing charges of invasion of privacy.

Cyril Moreau and Dominique Jacovides, reported to be agency photographers, will also appear at the court in Nanterre, west Paris.

Valerie Suau, a photographer for La Provence which printed photographs of the Duchess that did not involve nudity, and Marc Auburtin, the paper's publishing director at the time, will also face trial.

William and Catherine are not expected to attend court.

A verdict is expected on July 4.