Prince Harry is about to embark on a new legal battle just days after returning to his home in Montecito.
Last week, Harry flew to London to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, arriving on Wednesday and departing with his family on Sunday morning.
Following a new update in his libel claim, his focus will now shift back to the United Kingdom.
After the Duke of Sussex filed a libel suit against a newspaper publisher over an article about his legal case against the Home Office, a High Court judge has begun overseeing a preliminary hearing.
After a hearing in Harry’s separate High Court claim over his security arrangements while in the UK, Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), publisher of the Mail on Sunday, published a story following a hearing in Harry’s separate High Court claim.
The article in question was titled ‘Exclusive: How Prince Harry tried to keep his legal battle with the government over police bodyguards a secret…’ and was published in February. Then, just minutes after the story broke, his public relations machine tried to spin the situation in a positive light.’
Harry claimed in his written claim to the court that the piece had caused him “substantial hurt, embarrassment, and distress that is continuing.”
Mr Justice Nicklin will be asked to determine the “natural and ordinary” meaning of parts of the article addressed in the claim at a preliminary hearing in London on Thursday. He’ll also consider whether they’re facts or opinions, as well as whether they’re defamatory.
His decision will be made public in writing at a later date.
Harry’s legal team is led by barrister Justin Rushbrooke QC, who told the judge in a written case outline that Harry filed the claim after reading an article on a website and an article in the Mail on Sunday in February.
He claimed that both articles were “defamatory,” implying that Harry had “lied,” tried to manipulate public opinion “inappropriately and cynically,” and “tried to keep his legal battle with the government hidden from the public.”
Mr Rushbrooke stated that Associated Newspapers did not believe the words complained about were defamatory to Harry.
Despite offering to pay for it himself, Harry is bringing a separate claim against the Home Office after being told he would no longer be given the “same degree” of personal protective security when visiting from the US.
The Home Office’s Robert Palmer QC previously testified in court that the Duke’s offer of private funding was “irrelevant” and that “personal protective security by the police is not available on a privately financed basis.”