Prince Harry's Libel Action Against A British Tabloid Is Gaining Major Momentum

Prince Harry's legal team is in the midst of a defamation battle in court with the publisher of the British publications Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail. His representation alleges the paper published a libelous claim that the Duke of Sussex had spun public opinion around a dispute about police protection in the U.K. — specifically, whether he, Megan Markle, and their kids are "entitled to police protection in his birth country," according to Tatler

Court filings from February (posted to Twitter) show the start of Harry's legal fight with Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail's publisher. But the duke's legal team picked up steam with the latest developments after a preliminary hearing. According to the BBC, the team argued that ANL reported false claims that Harry had "lied in his initial public statements" and "cynically" attempted to change how the public interpreted his dispute about his security protection. 

Meanwhile, ANL maintains that the story — initially headlined: "Revealed: How Harry tried to keep his legal fight over bodyguards secret" — had "no hint of impropriety," per the BBC.

The paper claimed Prince Harry's 'PR machine tried to put a positive spin on the dispute''

The alleged dispute and resulting coverage came earlier this year when it was announced Prince Harry allegedly would be asking for security in the U.K., a move that a former royal protection officer said was a mistake. A representative of Harry claimed, "While his role within the institution has changed, his profile as a member of the royal family has not. Nor has the threat to him and his family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex personally fund a private security team for their family, yet that security cannot replicate the necessary police protection needed whilst in the U.K." (per the Royal Observer).

In February, Mail on Sunday and its online platform the Daily Mail published an article alleging that "Prince Harry tried to keep details of his legal battle to reinstate his police protection secret from the public." Harry's representation says that the story negatively and falsely mischaracterized him, claiming he'd "improperly and cynically tried to manipulate and confuse public opinion by authori[z]ing his 'spin doctors' to put out false and misleading statements about his willingness to pay for police protection immediately after the Mail on Sunday had revealed he was suing the government" (per the BBC). 

ANL is disputing the claim, but it is now in the hands of Judge Justice Nicklin to interpret the article's language as defamatory and "a statement of fact or opinion."