Prince Harry launches libel case against Mail on Sunday publisher ‘over Royal Marines story’

Lawsuit is Sussexes’ sixth legal battle with press in just over a year

Andy Gregory
Monday 07 December 2020 19:36
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Prince Harry has reportedly filed a libel claim against Associated Newspapers Ltd
Prince Harry has reportedly filed a libel claim against Associated Newspapers Ltd

Prince Harry has launched a libel case against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday, reportedly over an article claiming he had lost touch with the Royal Marines.

The Duke of Sussex’s legal firm Schillings filed the action against Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL) at the High Court in late November, The Telegraph and later various other outlets reported.

It marks the Sussexes’ sixth legal battle with the press in just over a year and their second bout with ANL, with Meghan Markle currently suing the company after extracts from a letter she sent to her father, Thomas Markle, were reproduced by the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline.

The duchess is seeking damages for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act – which ANL denies – but the full trial was postponed until next autumn for a confidential reason after a private hearing.

Prince Harry’s fresh claim is believed to relate to a story published in October, which is said to have alleged that he had not been in touch with the Marines since quitting as a working royal in March.

Papers setting out the case are expected to be made public in the coming weeks.

After stepping away from formal royal duties earlier this year for a new life in the US, Harry gave up his honorary military titles.

His ceremonial roles as Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, and Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands' Small Ships and Diving, were all put on hold.

The duke spent a decade in the forces and carried out two frontline tours to Afghanistan.

Earlier this month he spoke publicly of how he was “born into a life of duty” but that, during his time in the military, he “committed to a life of service”.

In addition to the fresh claim, the duke also has an ongoing legal action against the publishers of The Sun and The Mirror, relating to alleged historical phone hacking dating.

The couple are also suing paparazzi and picture agencies in California and Vancouver, for taking and selling pictures of their young son, Archie. 

The Daily Mail Group has been contacted for comment.

Additional reporting by PA

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