Prince Harry versus Mail on Sunday: New High Court libel battle

Prince Harry versus Mail on Sunday: Duke heads for fresh High Court showdown

Prince Harry is heading to the High Court again, this time for a libel action versus the Mail on Sunday.

The case is set for a preliminary issues trial some time in June over an article from Sunday 20 February which related to issues on his family’s security, under the headline “Revealed: How Harry tried to keep his legal fight over bodyguards secret”.

If he wins the case it would be his third damages payout from the Mail on Sunday this year.

According to The Telegraph, Prince Harry’s lawyers said in a submission to court: “The allegations against the claimant are self-evidently exceptionally serious and damaging: they constitute an attack on his honesty and integrity and undermine his fitness to be involved both in charitable and philanthropic work in general, and in efforts to tackle online misinformation in particular (through the Archewell Foundation).

“They are plainly calculated to incite, as they did incite, public opprobrium.”

The Mail on Sunday is fighting the case, meaning the issue looks set to be decided at court.

The duke is currently also bringing privacy claims against News Group Newspapers, which publishes The Sun, and Mirror Group Newspapers, now Reach, which publishes the Mirror, over alleged phone hacking and unlawful information gathering.

Harry, 37, is also involved in litigation against the Home Office over his security arrangements when he is in the UK.

He is bringing a High Court challenge against a Home Office decision not to allow him to personally pay for police protection for himself and his family while in the UK.

Harry wants to bring his son Archie and baby daughter Lilibet to visit from the US, but his lawyers say he and his family are “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous.

It follows an incident in London in the summer of 2021 when his security was compromised after his car was chased by paparazzi photographers as he left a charity event.

The duke accepted an apology and substantial damages from the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online on 1 February 2022 over “baseless, false and defamatory” allegations he snubbed the Royal Marines after stepping down as a senior royal.

The Mail on Sunday lost its privacy case versus Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, agreeing to pay her £1 in damages for breach of privacy plus an undisclosed sum for breach of copyright after publishing a letter she wrote to her father. The paper was also left with a seven-figure costs bill.

ANL was also ordered to issue a front-page apology and pay the duchess’s legal costs.

Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via Reuters

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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette