Prince Harry accepts 'substantial damages' after being forced to move out of Cotswolds home

The photos showed the interior of the couple's home, including directly into the bedroom

Sarah Young
Thursday 16 May 2019 12:40 BST
Prince Harry and Meghan speak for first time since birth of baby Archie

The Duke of Sussex has accepted “substantial damages” and an apology from a news agency after photos were taken of his home from a helicopter.

Splash News and Picture Agency chartered a helicopter in January to take photos of the interior of the private home Prince Harry shared with his wife Meghan in Oxfordshire.

“The syndication and publication of the photographs very seriously undermined the safety and security of the Duke and the home to the extent that they are no longer able to live at the property,” the lawyer said in a court statement.

“The property had been chosen by the Duke for himself and his wife given the high level of privacy it afforded, given its position in a secluded area surrounded by private farmland away from any areas to which photographers have access.”

The court heard that the photos showed the living area, dining area and “directly into the bedroom”.

However, Gerrard Tyrrell, who read a statement in court on the duke's behalf, said the couple had subsequently felt unable to live there.

In a statement, Splash admitted it had made an “error of judgement” which would not be repeated.

It added: “We apologise to the duke and duchess for the distress we have caused.”

Tyrrell said the agency had promised to “cease and desist from selling, issuing, publishing or making available the photographs” and that it would “not repeat its conduct by using any aerial means to take photographs or film footage of the duke's private home which would infringe privacy or data rights or otherwise be unlawful activity“.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said Harry "acknowledges and welcomes the formal apology from Splash News and Picture Agency".

The couple moved into Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor, in April, shortly before Meghan gave birth to their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

The royal baby was born in the early hours of 6 May, weighing 7lbs. 3oz.

Speaking from St George's Hall at Windsor Castle two days later, the duchess said that her son “has the sweetest temperament” and is “really calm”.

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