Three people have been placed under formal investigation after the Kate Middleton topless photo scandal broke out, where the Duchess was photographed topless on vacation with Prince William and published in magazines such as French Closer.

The head publisher of Closer, Ernesto Mauri and the photographer who took the photos have been under investigation for invasion of privacy. The photos were taken in France last summer when the couple were sunbathing while on holiday in France.

A third person, photographer Valérie Suau, has also been put under a formal investigation after she took photos of Middleton in a bikini and they were published in a regional paper, La Provence, reported The Guardian.

At the time, A statement from St. James' Palace in London read:

"Their Royal Highnesses 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."

A French court ruled in September that  Closer had to  surrender digital copies of the photogaphs.

Closer had 24 hours to turn over the photos or they would face a fine of about $10,400.  The Irish Daily Star which also ran the photos was suspended. The Justice Minister Alan Shatter said according to E! at the time "Some sections of the print media are either unable or unwilling in their reportage to distinguish between 'prurient interest' and 'the public interest'."

Other magazines such as Italian magazine Chi and Danish magazine Se og Hør republished the photos.

"Royal photographer Harry Page told Sky News at the time that the photos were taken on a 640-acre estate in the south of France," reported The Guardian.

An investigation does not necessarily lead to formal charges. French Closer and Chi are woned by Mondadori which is a publishing company owned by Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's former president.

Mondadori said in a statement in September that they believe the, "content is clearly newsworthy, without in any way being damaging to the subjects."