Prince Harry wins legal battle against British newspaper with court ruling article was defamatory
Harry is suing for libel over an article in February that alleged he had tried to keep secret details of his legal fight to reinstate his police protection.
LONDON — A judge at the High Court in London ruled on Friday a newspaper article about Prince Harry’s legal battle with the British government over his security arrangements was defamatory, paving the way for him to take his libel claim to trial.
Harry, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, is suing Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Mail on Sunday, for libel over an article in February which alleged he had tried to keep secret details of his legal fight to reinstate his police protection, and that his aides had then tried to put a positive spin on it.
Associated Newspapers had denied the article was libelous, and a preliminary hearing was held last month to determine what a reader would conclude was the “natural and ordinary” meaning of the Mail story.
“I am satisfied that these meanings are defamatory at common law,” the judge, Matthew Nicklin, ruled.
He said the report implied Harry had sought “far-reaching and unjustifiably wide” confidentiality restrictions and was responsible for statements put out on his behalf, rather than his public relations team as the paper had argued.
A reader would also conclude the prince “was responsible for attempting to mislead and confuse the public as to the true position,” Nicklin said.