The Prince’s Lawyers Harry asked a judge Friday to rule that a tabloid newspaper slandered to the British royal with an article about his seeking police protection when he and his family visit the UK.
Harry sued publisher Associated Newspapers Ltd. From the newspaper Mail on Sunday for an article alleging that he tried to silence another legal suit over the British government’s refusal to allow him to pay for police security.
During a hearing in London’s High Court, Harry’s lead lawyer asked Judge Matthew Nickin to set aside the publisher’s defense or to issue a summary judgment, which would be a ruling in favor of the prince without going to trial.
Attorney Justin Rushbrooke said the facts did not support the defense argument that the article expressed an “honest opinion.”
He pointed out that the article was “fundamentally inaccurate”.
Harry was not in court for the hearing. The prince, also known as the Duke of Sussex, and his wife, Meghan, they lost their publicly funded police protection in Britain when they relinquished their royal duties and moved to North America in 2020.
Harry’s lawyers have said the prince refuses to take the couple’s children, Prince Archie, who is almost 4 years old, and Princess Lilibet, who is almost 2 years old, to your country because it is not safe.
The 38-year-old prince wants to personally pay for police security when he goes to Britain, pBut the government said that this is not possible. Last year, a judge authorized Harry to sue the government. That case has yet to come to trial.
Harry sued Associated Newspapers over an article in the Mail on Sunday February 2022 titled “Exclusive: How Prince Harry Treated of keeping his legal battle against the government secret by police bodyguards… then, just minutes after the story broke, his public relations machine tried to put a positive spin on the dispute.”
Harry claims the newspaper slandered him when it suggested the prince lied in his initial public statements about the lawsuit against the government.
In July, Nicklin ruled that the article was libelous, allowing the case to proceed. The judge has yet to consider issues such as whether the story was accurate or in the public interest.
The publisher’s lawyer, Andrew Caldecott, said the argument by the publisher’s lawyers Harry amounts to “straitjacketing the newspaper’s right to comment”.
He added that it was vital that the media tell the truth to power, and that “voicing an opinion to power is just as important, if not more”as long as the opinion is based on facts.
Harry, the youngest son of King Charles III, and the exactriz Meghan Markle married at Windsor Castle in 2018, but they stepped down from their royal duties in 2020, arguing what they described as unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes from the British media.
Harry’s fury with the UK press is captured in his memoir “Spare”, published in January. He blames an overly aggressive press for his mother’s deathPrincess Diana, in 1997, and accuses the media of similarly harassing Meghan.
The couple has not hesitated to resort to the British courts to respond to what they consider mistreatment by the media. In December 2021, Meghan won a case for invasion of privacy against Associated Newspapers for publication in the Mail on Sunday from a letter she wrote to her father, from whom she is estranged.
Harry is also among the celebrities who sued Associated Newspapers for wiretapping, and has filed a separate lawsuit for wiretapping against the editorial of another tabloid, The mirror.