French lawyers say the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did not deserve a £92,000 ($175,500) payout for topless photos of Kate - because Meghan Markle posed for sexy shots.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were awarded the large payout after long-lens images of Kate sunbathing on a terrace were published by France's Closer magazine in September 2012.

But barristers will argue the sum was excessive because privacy complaint payouts are typically in the range of £100 ($190), the Daily Mail reports.

Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, left, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex attend the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony in London. Photo / AP
Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, left, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex attend the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony in London. Photo / AP

In addition, they will point to images of the Duchess of Sussex – including a video in which Meghan removes her clothes while grilling meat – as proving modern titled women have used steamy body shots to promote themselves in the past.

Advertisement

The Grilling Never Looked So Hot With Meghan Markle video, shot for Men's Health magazine in 2013, sees the then-actress removing her shirt for the camera before seductively posing in shorts while grilling hamburgers.

The appeal against the £92,000 ($175,500) payout is set to start in the Versailles Appeal Court tomorrow.

Evidence may also include images allegedly depicting the Duchess of Sussex exposing her breasts for the camera on a beach, taken before joining the royal family.

Kensington Palace sources insist the photos were tampered with – and quite possibly stolen – but they are widely available online.

The legal team will allegedly also use other provocative images of Meghan, such as lingerie photo shoots and love scenes from her acting career.

Closer's lawyer Paul-Albert Iweins says the fines were "exaggerated for a simple privacy matter".

Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, left, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex chat as they attend the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony in London. Photo / AP
Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, left, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex chat as they attend the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony in London. Photo / AP

Counsel for those convicted also point to younger royals increasingly acting like celebrities, and so inviting the kind of media scrutiny experienced by actors and sports stars.

"They are happy with sexy photos of themselves when they are in control, but then claim huge amounts of money when they're unauthorised," said one legal source involved in the case.

"There's ridiculous hypocrisy involved, and the outrageous compensation figure reflects this."

In regards to the images of a topless Duchess of Cambridge, six defendants appeared in the dock of Nanterre court, in the Paris suburbs, last September after five years of legal proceedings.

Kate Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte leave after the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London. Photo / AP
Kate Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte leave after the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London. Photo / AP

Judges ordered Closer magazine to pay most of the damages in relation to the pictures of Kate and William relaxing at a Provence chateau owned by the Earl of Snowdon, the late Princess Margaret's son, in September 2012.

Long-lens cameras caught Kate solely wearing a pair of skimpy bikini bottoms, and William at one stage rubbing sun cream into his wife's skin.

The editor of Closer magazine, Laurence Piea, 51, and Ernest Mauria, the 71-year-old director of the Mondadori group which publishes it, were fined £42,000 ($80,100) each.

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle leave after their wedding ceremony, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England. Photo / AP
Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle leave after their wedding ceremony, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England. Photo / AP

Photographers, who still deny taking the photos, were also fined the equivalent of up to £8500 ($16,210) each, after William presented statements attacking the paparazzi.

He and Kate wanted £1.4 million ($2.7m) in compensation, but after the Nanterre payout, a Kensington Palace spokesman said they considered the case closed.

Want the best of today's news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for Herald newsletters here.