Paris - A French magazine has handed photographs of Kate Middleton sunbathing topless to the duchess of Cambridge and her husband Prince William, AFP news agency cited unnamed sources as saying on Wednesday.

A French court on Tuesday blocked Closer magazine, which published the pictures in its September issue, from further publication and distribution of the photographs and ordered that the pictures be returned to the royal couple within 24 hours.

The couple took legal action against the magazine after it last week published the paparazzi pictures of the duchess sunbathing topless at a private villa in southern France.

The court in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre did not order Closer to withdraw copies of its September issue from newspaper kiosks and did not ban the magazine from reprinting the edition. - Sapa-dpa