Prince Harry's libel case back in court as newspaper's publisher to set out defence

8 months ago 5

Prince Harry's libel battle against the publishers of the Mail on Sunday returns to the High Court later.

The Duke of Sussex won the first part of his legal challenge last year, when a judge ruled an article published about him was defamatory.

The story, published in February 2022, wrote about Harry's security arrangements in the UK.

The headline read: "How Prince Harry tried to keep his legal fight with the government over police bodyguards a secret … then - just minutes after the story broke - his PR machine tried to put a positive spin on the dispute."

At last year's hearing, the judge considered the meaning of the words in the article.

He concluded parts were defamatory and gave readers the impression Prince Harry was intentionally attempting to mislead and confuse.

But he rejected a claim by Harry's lawyers the article had accused him of lying.

Today, the Mail on Sunday's publishers, Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), will give their defence to the case.

Even though sections of the article were defamatory, they could argue they were justified.

Since leaving his role as a working member of the Royal Family, the Duke of Sussex has waged war against the British tabloid press.

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He wrote in his memoir 'Spare' about the death of his mother, how he blames the paparazzi and his frustration at the "injustice" of no one being sent to jail.

In recent interviews he said, changing the "media landscape" would be his "life's work".

Now, in Court 13 of the Royal Courts of Justice, we are starting to see what this means.

Today's hearing is just one story involving just one paper, but Prince Harry has the tabloid press in his sights.

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He has three other cases, against Mirror Group Newspapers, publisher of the Mirror, News Group Newspapers, who publish the Sun and now-defunct News of the World, and another case with Associated Newspapers.

Even if this libel case doesn't make it to trial, there are plenty more opportunities for Harry's battle with the media to play out in court.

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