Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, is taking legal action against the publisher of The Sun tabloid in London. He claims that the newspaper used unlawful methods to gather information about him, including phone hacking and deception, dating back to events that occurred over the past twenty years. The case revolves around the alleged invasion of Prince Harry’s privacy, which has been a longstanding concern for him and his family.
The publisher in question is News Group Newspapers, which is owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. They attempted to have the lawsuit thrown out, arguing that the claims were brought after the expiration of the six-year limitation period. However, the London High Court judge, Justice Timothy Fancourt, ruled in favor of the newspapers’ argument that Prince Harry was aware of the phone hacking scandal and should have brought his case sooner. Despite this ruling, the judge allowed the lawsuit to proceed on the grounds of other unlawful intrusions, such as the use of private investigators to gather information about the Duke of Sussex.
This case is just one of three phone hacking lawsuits filed by Prince Harry against British tabloid publishers, as he continues his battle with the press over the invasion of his privacy. The Duke of Sussex has been vocal about the negative impact that media intrusion has had on his life, as well as on the lives of other members of the royal family.
In court, Prince Harry’s lawyer stated that he couldn’t bring the case earlier because of a “secret agreement” between the royal family and the newspapers. This alleged agreement called for a settlement and an apology, which would have avoided any future litigation from the royals. Prince Harry claimed that the late Queen Elizabeth II had authorized this agreement. However, the publisher denied the existence of any secret agreement, and the judge found that Prince Harry failed to produce any evidence to support his claim.
The Duke of Sussex had suggested that the rationale behind the secret agreement was to spare members of the royal family from having to testify in court and recount embarrassing voicemails that had been intercepted by reporters. This aspect of the case highlights the delicate balance between the right to privacy and the public’s interest in the affairs of the royal family.
The decision by the London High Court judge to allow Prince Harry’s lawsuit to proceed to trial comes just a few months after he testified in another lawsuit against the publishers of the Daily Mirror. In that case, Prince Harry became the first senior member of the royal family to testify in a court proceeding in over a century.
Overall, the legal action taken by Prince Harry against the tabloid publishers represents a significant effort on his part to protect his privacy and challenge the practices of certain segments of the media. The outcome of these lawsuits may have far-reaching implications for the future relationship between the British royal family and the press.