Parts of an article in The Mail on Sunday about Prince Harry’s legal claim against the British government’s Home Office was defamatory, a High Court judge in London has ruled.
The Duke of Sussex had filed a claim against the newspaper’s publisher Associated Newspapers Limited in February after an article that, his team claimed, caused “serious damage to his reputation and substantial hurt, embarrassment and distress, which is continuing.” A judge on Friday ruled that parts of the article were indeed defamatory.
According to ITV, the judge said: “It may be possible to ‘spin’ facts in a way that does not mislead, but the allegation being made in the article was very much that the object was to mislead the public.” Concluded the judge: “That supplies the necessary element to make the meanings defamatory at common law.”
In his case against the government, Prince Harry is seeking a judicial review to force the government to provide official security for him and his family, including his two children with wife Meghan Markle. The couple has signaled it would pay for the security, but wants it to be provided via the Home Office. His lawyers argue that he and his family are “unable to return to his home” country because it is too dangerous.
Markle previously successfully sued Associated Newspapers over the publication of her handwritten letter to her father Thomas Markle over the breakdown of their relationship around the time of the royal wedding. For that, she was awarded a nominal £1 in damages, while also getting an undisclosed sum that she donated to charity.