Prince Harry makes surprise visit to high court hearing against Daily Mail publisher

Prince Harry on Monday made a surprise visit to London's high court as a privacy case against Britain's Associated Newspapers began. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
Prince Harry on Monday made a surprise visit to London's high court as a privacy case against Britain's Associated Newspapers began. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

March 27 (UPI) -- Prince Harry made a surprise appearance at London's High Court on Monday at the start of a privacy case against Britain's Associated Newspapers group being brought by the duke and a number of celebrities.

The seven plaintiffs, including Sir Elton John and actresses Sadie Frost and Liz Hurley, allege phone tapping and other privacy breaches by the publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday newspapers to gather information unlawfully.


The Duke of Sussex sat near the rear of the court taking notes in a small black notebook as barrister Catrin Evans KC made opening arguments for ANL.

Their lawyers say they have "compelling and highly distressing evidence" their clients have been the victims of "abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy" including using private investigators to plant bugs inside cars and homes.

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The bugs were used to listen in on and record private phone calls.

The lawyers also allege the PIs paid police for sensitive inside information and impersonated people in order to obtain medical records from private hospitals and clinics and illegally accessed bank accounts, credit histories and financial transactions.


Associated Newspapers, which mounted a successful legal challenge to the publication of the full extent of the plaintiffs' charges, denies the allegations, calling them "preposterous smears'' and a "fishing expedition."

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The former royal has brought a number of high-profile legal cases against British newspapers.

Harry, whose royal close-protection security was removed in January 2020 when he and his American wife Meghan Markle stepped down as royals and relocated to California, is also taking legal action against the Home Office over security arrangements when he visits Britain.

He is challenging a decision that prohibits him from paying for police protection while he and his family are in Britain.

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In February last year, he sued ANL for allegedly libeling him in a story that reported purported details about the issues surrounding his security arrangements. In July, a judge ruled that the article in the Mail on Sunday was defamatory. ANL lawyers are currently presenting their defense in court.

The suit does not stipulate exactly which story or article contained the alleged libel. He has three other suits in play against tabloid news groups including Mirror Group Newspapers and News Group Newspapers which publishes the Sun.


Harry's suit comes after Markle was awarded a token $1.22 in damages in January 2022 -- and an undisclosed amount for copyright infringement -- after she sued the Daily Mail for publishing a letter to her father a few years ago. The court ruled she had a reasonable expectation of privacy for the contents of the letter.

The publisher was, however, ordered to pay Markle's legal costs thought to run to as much as $1.35 million.

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