Prince Harry’s Legal Battles Are Losing Steam

Prince Harry’s legal battles are gradually coming to a halt, with the possibility of an end to the “era of the lawsuit” for the royal. This revelation was made in the latest episode of Newsweek’s The Royal Report podcast.

Since 2019, Harry has taken legal action against media conglomerates, picture agencies, and the U.K. government through a series of high-powered lawsuits, achieving different levels of success.

In 2019 and 2020, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry resolved multiple lawsuits with photo agencies over the unauthorized capturing of their private moments at home and their son, Prince Archie.

In 2023, Harry achieved a significant victory when he received damages and a settlement from Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), the publishers of the British tabloid, Daily Mirror. The settlement was in response to historic allegations of unlawful information gathering. This success marks a major milestone for the royal, who is currently pursuing similar legal actions against two other tabloid publishers.

Despite the victory in the MGN lawsuit and the positive outcomes in his other tabloid legal battles, he has faced setbacks in the courtroom.

In January 2024, Harry decided to drop his libel lawsuit against the publishers of The Mail on Sunday newspaper. Not long after, a judge ruled that the U.K. government committee had legally withdrawn his full-time state-funded police protection. Harry’s legal team has expressed their intention to appeal this ruling.

It has been more than a year since the prince filed his last significant lawsuit. According to Jack Royston, the chief royal correspondent for Newsweek, there are indications that Harry might be toning down his inclination towards litigation. Royston shared this insight with listeners of the Royal Report.

According to Royston, it appears that Harry has not filed a new lawsuit in quite some time, leading him to believe that Harry may have grown tired of the legal battles, especially considering that some of them did not turn out in his favor.

Royston added that there was a time when he had an almost flawless record and he must have felt like he was unstoppable, with everything going his way. However, that is no longer the situation.

Royston observed that the prince’s appeal of the judge’s ruling in the security lawsuit indicates that he is still determined to continue the fight.

Royston expressed surprise at the appeal’s impact, saying, “It definitely caused a stir. I didn’t anticipate him… Additionally, he has a significant lawsuit pending against The Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail, regarding phone-hacking and wiretapping. If he emerges victorious, he may regain his optimism and feel that all his efforts were justified.”

Representatives of Prince Harry were contacted by Newsweek for comment via email.

Prince Harry’s Current Lawsuits

Harry is currently dealing with two lawsuits that are still pending, along with a proposed appeal.

Associated Newspapers Limited

Harry has filed a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), the publisher of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday. The allegations made by Harry revolve around historic unlawful information gathering. However, ANL has firmly denied these claims.

In 2023, a judge made a ruling that Harry, along with several other notable public figures, could proceed with their case to trial, even though it was filed after the limitation period. Although no specific date has been set for the trial, there are reports indicating that hearings may potentially occur in 2024.

News Group Newspapers

Home Office Appeal

Prince Harry has taken legal action against the U.K. government on two occasions after the Home Office’s RAVEC committee (Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures) decided in 2020 to withdraw his full-time, state-funded police protection following his decision to step down as a working royal.

Harry initially sought a judicial review regarding the decision to prohibit him from privately funding his own Metropolitan Police protection. However, in May 2023, a judge determined that there would be no such review and that it was not permissible for private individuals to finance police security.

In the second instance, the prince filed for a judicial review of the decision made by the RAVEC committee to remove his full-time police protection. The prince’s legal team argued that the committee’s actions were unlawful because they did not give him the opportunity to present his case or inform him about the committee members, one of whom was a senior aide to Queen Elizabeth II. However, in February 2024, a judge determined that the committee had acted within the boundaries of the law and dismissed the prince’s request.

Harry’s lawyers have stated their intention to appeal this decision.

James Crawford-Smith, a royal reporter for Newsweek, is based in London. He can be found on X (formerly Twitter) at @jrcrawfordsmith and his stories can be read on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook page.

If you have any inquiries regarding King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family, our team of knowledgeable royal correspondents would be delighted to provide you with answers. Feel free to email us at [email protected]. We eagerly anticipate hearing from you.

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