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Duke of Sussex attends awards ceremony after dropping libel claim

Harry appeared at the 21st annual Living Legends of Aviation ceremony in Beverly Hills.

Ellie Muir
Saturday 20 January 2024 08:25 GMT
Prince Harry Drops Libel Lawsuit Against Mail On Sunday

The Duke of Sussex attended an awards ceremony in Los Angeles, hours after withdrawing his High Court libel claim against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday.

Harry attended a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, where he was inducted into the “Living Legends of Aviation” for his work as a British Army veteran and pilot.

It comes after he dropped a libel claim against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over a February 2022 Mail on Sunday article about his challenge against the Home Office, following a decision to change his publicly-funded security arrangements when visiting the UK.

His lawyers filed a notice of discontinuance at the High Court in London on Friday, while a spokesperson said the duke’s focus remains “on the safety of his family” and on his legal action against the Home Office.

Hours after the announcement, Harry appeared at the 21st annual Living Legends of Aviation ceremony honouring those who make significant contributions to aviation and aerospace – hosted by US actor and aviation ambassador John Travolta.

The Duchess of Sussex, who had been expected to attend the event, was not present as one of their children became unwell, the PA news agency understands.

Duke of Sussex has attended an award ceremony after dropping a libel claim (Jordan Pettitt/PA) (PA Wire)

The duke, 39, completed two tours of Afghanistan as a forward air controller and an Apache helicopter pilot, having flown countless training missions in the UK, US and Australia.

He served for 10 years in the military, rising to the rank of Captain, and later founded the Invictus Games – a sporting event for wounded military personnel and veterans.

Harry takes his place alongside other aviation and aerospace “legends” including Buzz Aldrin, Jeff Bezos, Tom Cruise, Neil Armstrong, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman and Elon Musk.

The event’s website also praised the duke for his work with charities and organisations including Travalyst, Sentebale, African Parks and WellChild.

A statement on it’s website said: “Prince Harry is a humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate and environmentalist.

“He has dedicated his life to advancing causes that he is passionate about and that bring about permanent change for people and places.”

Harry, who was sporting a black velvet tuxedo, was inducted alongside US navy pilot Fred George and former world speed record holder Steve Hinton, as well as Lauren Sanchez – who is engaged to Amazon founder Bezos.

She received the Elling Halvorson Vertical Flight Hall of Fame Award for her skills as a helicopter pilot and aviation businesswoman, having founded aerial filming company Black Ops Aviation in 2016.

The duke’s appearance comes as his father, the King, prepared to undergo treatment for an enlarged prostate next week, while his sister-in-law the Princess of Wales recovers from abdominal surgery in the London Clinic.

Among those congratulating Harry on the award was Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe of Germany, who appeared on the Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills.

On Instagram, he said: “Congratulations To HRH Prince Harry for his very much deserved Living Legends of Aviation Award…Well Done.”

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