The snapper who shot candid photos of a topless Duchess of Cambridge on vacation last year (12) has been placed under formal criminal investigation, according to reports.

The snaps of the sunbathing royal caused an international outcry when they were published in French magazine Closer, and now the person who took the pictures appears to be in a whole lot of trouble.

The paparazzo is said to have used a long lens to shoot the intimate images from a public road about a half-mile from where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were staying at Chateau d' Autet in Provence, and although it initially appeared she had broken no laws, royal family lawyers argued that the pictures were a "grotesque breach of privacy".

Sources now tell Us Weekly magazine that the snapper was arrested by police earlier this month (Apr13).

Prince William and his wife launched criminal proceedings against the unnamed photographer under France's strict privacy laws last year (12).