Prince Harry has followed in the footsteps of his wife Meghan Markle and won his legal claim against British tabloid Mail on Sunday.
The prince, who is also known by his title Duke of Sussex, filed a lawsuit against the newspaper over a series of articles he claimed have “seriously damaged his reputation and caused significant injury, embarrassment and despair which last for”.
A judge ruled today that the Mail on Sunday articles about Harry were in fact defamatory.
Harry launched the lawsuit in February this year after the Mail on Sunday reported on another legal claim he is pursuing against the UK government.
In his case against the UK Home Office, Harry is seeking a judicial review to force the government to provide police protection for himself and his family, including Archie and Lilibet, his two young children with Markle. The family lost their full protection after Harry and Meghan “resigned” from official duties in 2020 and moved first to Canada and then to California.
The Sussexes have indicated they will pay for security themselves but would rather have official police protection through the Home Office than private security. However, there are fears this could lead to a situation where the UK government will become responsible for providing police protection for any visiting celebrities.
Harry claims that when the Mail on Sunday reported on his case against the Home Office, they implied that his offer to pay for security himself was not true.
The story ran in print and online with the headline: “Exclusive: How Prince Harry Tried to Keep His Bodyguard Litigation Secret… Minutes after MoS published the story, its PR machine attempted to turn the dispute positive.”
The articles “manipulate[d] and confuse[d] Public Opinion” against Harry, asserts his lawsuit, particularly in relation to “Spin Doctors” (a British slang term for publicists, particularly in the political sphere). The articles suggested Harry had authorized the “Spin Doctors” to “make false and misleading statements about his willingness to pay for police protection,” he said in his lawsuit.
The suggestions in the articles are “obviously exceedingly serious and damaging,” the lawsuit said, and constitute “an affront to his honesty and integrity and undermine his ability to engage in charitable and philanthropic work in general, as well as in endeavors.” Misinformation online, particularly (about the Archewell Foundation).”
He has sought increased damages for defamation, an injunction barring the Mail on Sunday from republishing the allegations and an order to force the Mail on Sunday to publish its verdict.
It’s been a busy week for Harry and his solicitors as his case against the Home Office also made progress this week. A hearing was held yesterday (July 7) at which Harry’s legal team told the court that the decision to withdraw police protection from the prince was “unsound” because it was “procedurally unfair”, according to the BBC.
This is the committee that made the decision, which included members of the royal household – with whom there were “significant tensions” after Harry and Meghan decided to step down from official duties and move abroad.
The prince’s lawyer reportedly told the court that Harry’s offer to provide police protection himself had “not been transmitted” to the committee. The case continues.
Last December, Harry’s wife Meghan won her own case – alleging privacy and copyright infringement – against the Mail on Sunday after the newspaper published a newspaper she wrote to her father Thomas Markle.
https://variety.com/2022/politics/news/prince-harry-daily-mail-security-1235311667/ Prince Harry wins against The Mail on Sunday for ‘defamatory’ story