Lightening the mood? Prince Harry reportedly cracked a joke about sharing evidence from his lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers with his children.
After taking the stand to testify against the media company on Tuesday, June 6, Harry, 38, was instructed not to share confidential evidence from the trial when he returns home to California where he lives with wife Meghan Markle, 41, and their children: son Archie, 4, and daughter Lilibet, 2.
The Duke of Sussex responded by cheekily asking if the restriction on sharing evidence applied to his children, as he might be connecting with them on a FaceTime call, per Newsweek.
The prince’s joke came after he testified against the publisher of the Daily Mirror for allegedly hacking phones to obtain information about him. At one point, Harry told the court that he was “not sure” whose phone was allegedly hacked before a story about him injuring his thumb appeared in the press.
The admission prompted Andrew Green, a lawyer for Mirror Group newspapers, to ask: “Are we not, Prince Harry, in the realms of total speculation?” The Archewell cofounder replied that he was “not the one who wrote the article.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Harry’s witness statement was released. In the document, he claimed that alleged press intrusion led to the demise of his relationship with ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy, whom he dated on and off from 2004 to 2010. “These factors led her to make the decision that a Royal life was not for her, which was incredibly upsetting for me at the time,” he wrote.
Elsewhere in the 55-page statement, Harry called out a 2002 article titled “Plot to rob the DNA of Harry,” which fueled already widespread speculation that King Charles III was not his biological father. The story came as Harry was still grieving his mother Princess Diana’s death. (Diana died in August 1997 following a car crash after she was pursued by paparazzi. She was 36 years old.)
“At the time, when I was 18 years old and had lost my mother just six years earlier, stories such as this felt very damaging and very real to me,” he wrote. “They were hurtful, mean and cruel.”
The BetterUp CIO — who relocated to the United States with Meghan in 2020 after stepping down from their roles as senior royals — has filed three lawsuits against several British tabloid publishers. His case against the Mirror Group became the first to go to trial on Monday, June 5. Harry’s Tuesday testimony marks the first by a senior member of the royal family since the 19th century.
Before he even took the stand, the prince made headlines by not attending the trial’s opening statements on Monday. His lawyer David Sherborne explained that Harry wasn’t available as he was flying to the U.K. after celebrating Lilibet’s 2nd birthday in California on Sunday, June 4.
The Mirror Groups’ legal team subsequently accused the Spare author of “wasting” the court’s time, calling his absence “absolutely extraordinary.” Sherborne defended his client, noting that Harry is “in a different category from the three other claimants due to his travel and security arrangements.”
Judge Timothy Fancourt, for his part, told the attorney that he was “a little surprised” by the duke’s absence.