Taking legal action. Prince Harry went to court on Monday, March 27, for his lawsuit against the publishing company Associated Newspapers Limited.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, is one of several high-profile stars suing the publisher behind sites such as Daily Mail, Mail Online and the Mail on Sunday over the alleged unlawful gathering of information, including invasion of privacy and phone-tapping. Believed to be his first time back in London since Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September 2022, Harry arrived at the Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand in London sporting a black coat and black suit with a gray tie.
Among the cases’ other plaintiffs are Elton John and his husband, David Furnish. The music superstar, 76, showed up to court in style, wearing a gray suit and patterned tie. Other plaintiffs include actresses Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, as well as Baroness Doreen Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence, whose 1993 murder was heavily covered by the British press.
According to BBC News, Harry — who shares son Archie, 3, and daughter Lilibet, 21 months, with his wife, Meghan Markle — took notes while sitting toward the back of the courtroom during the first day of the trial’s four-day High Court preliminary hearing.
In a statement released by the U.K. law firm Hamlins in October 2022, the group explained they decided to take legal action against Associated Newspapers Limited after learning of “compelling and highly distressing evidence that they have been the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy.”
This isn’t the first time Harry has gone up against the publishing company. He and Markle, 41, sued the Mail on Sunday in 2019 following repeated negative press, including the publishing of a personal letter the Duchess of Sussex wrote to her father, Thomas Markle.
“It’s an accumulation, and Harry refuses to sit and do nothing as the British press scrutinizes Meghan and invades her privacy,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly in October 2019. “Meghan comes across as a strong woman, but she’s been deeply affected by the negative stories about her.”
Earlier that month, Harry compared the level of bullying his wife faced throughout their relationship to that of his mother, Princess Diana. “My deepest fear is history repeating itself,” he wrote in a statement at the time. “I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.” Diana died in 1997 at the age of 37 following a car crash in Paris, one year after her divorce from King Charles III was finalized.
Harry opened up more about how Markle’s lawsuit affected her well-being in an episode of their Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, in December 2022. “I believe my wife suffered a miscarriage because of what the Mail did. I watched the whole thing,” he confessed.
He continued: “Now, do we absolutely know that the miscarriage was created [or] caused by that? Course we don’t, but bearing in mind the stress that that caused, the lack of sleep and the timing of the pregnancy [and] how many weeks in she was, I can say, from what I saw, that miscarriage was created by what they were trying to do to her.”
The Suits alum revealed in an op-ed for The New York Times in November 2020 that she had suffered a miscarriage with her and Harry’s second child, one year before welcoming Lilibet in June 2021.
Meghan won her case in December 2021 and received a symbolic £1 (the equivalent of $1.36) the following month. “This is not a victory just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right,” the former actress wrote in a statement. “While this win is the precedent setting, what matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel, and profits from the lies and pain that they create.”
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Scroll below to see Harry and John’s arrival at court: