Andrew Parker Bowles is suing the Evening Standard for alleged breach of privacy over a story involving his former wife Camilla.
He claims that a story in the Evening Standard suggesting he was going on holiday to Antigua with his ex wife, now the Duchess of Cornwall, was a misuse of private information.
Now Parker Bowles – the former Silver Stick in Waiting to the Queen – is seeking damages of up to £100,000 from Standard owner Associated Newspapers, or an account of profits, over the story.
The central thrust of the story, headed: ‘Camilla goes on Antigua holiday with ex-husband”, was entirely false, he says.
Parker Bowles also complains that the story breached the Press Complaints Commission Code, and that the Standard failed to respect his private life, and published information about him without his permission.
He has never sought publicity for his private life, and he has always been keen to avoid giving information or details about his life to the press, he says.
Publication of the information amounted to an unjustified infringement of his right to privacy, a misuse of private information, and was not capable of contributing to a debate in a democratic society relating to matters of public interest, he says.
The Standard published the story in a most sensational manner, for the sole purpose of titillating the public, encouraging speculation about his private life, and in particular the nature of his personal relationship with the Duchess of Cornwall, it is alleged. The headline suggested that he and the Duchess of Cornwall were holidaying alone together, and showed that the Standard’s main interest was to maximise profit and attract new readers, he claims.
Parker Bowles, who remarried in 1996, says there was no justification for the story. He also plans to rely on teaser billboard displays, which read: ‘Camilla holidays with ex-husband”.
Parker Bowles accuses the Standard of contravening the Data Protection Act 1998, and says this has left him distressed. Information about him was not processed fairly or lawfully, and was inaccurate, he claims.
He says that his family and friends asked him about the story, and he suffered much embarrassment as a result. If the Standard had asked him about the story, or tried to check its facts with him, it would have discovered that the information was false, and would probably not have published the story, according to a High Court writ.
Parker Bowles says the Standard has failed to publish any form of correction or apology, and that the story was repeated in other newspapers and magazines, exacerbating his distress.
Now he is seeking damages, including aggravated damages, or an account of profits, and an injunction banning repetition of the allegations at the centre of his claim.
He also wants an order for erasure or destruction of all copies of the article and information. The writ was issued by Harbottle and Lewis.