Mr Justice Nicklin has ruled that the case must go to trial

Prince Harry’s legal blow as High Court libel claim thrown out by a judge

The Duke of Sussex has failed in his attempt to have a judge dismiss The Mail on Sunday publisher’s defense of his High Court libel action.

Harry, 39, is suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) for a February 2022 article that described his security arrangements in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Justice Nicklin decided on Friday that a trial is required in this case.

 

Prince Harry pictured arriving at court in London in June
Photo: Getty Images

 

The publisher’s “real prospect” of proving, in a trial, that prior press statements made by Harry gave a “misleading” account of his case against the Home Office was determined by the judge.

On Tuesday, a hearing regarding the ramifications of Mr. Justice Nicklin’s ruling is scheduled.

The 2022 article, which stated that Harry “tried to keep details of his legal battle to reinstate his police protection secret from the public,” was described by the Duke’s attorneys as “an attack on his honesty and integrity” that would jeopardize his charitable endeavors and efforts to combat false information on the internet.

ANL disputes the assertion, claiming the piece only offered a “honest opinion” and did not inflict “serious harm” on his reputation.

The ruling follows the High Court’s Tuesday hearing, wherein Harry expressed his belief that his two children, Princess Lilibet, age two, and Prince Archie, age four, cannot “feel at home” in the UK if it is “not possible to keep them safe.”

 

Photo: Getty Images

 

Shaheed Fatima KC, Harry’s attorney, read aloud a passage from an impassioned written statement she had prepared for his legal defense.

The father of two gave an explanation for why, after resigning as senior royals in 2020, he and his wife, Meghan Markle, of Montecito, California, felt compelled to relocate to the US.

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Harry stated: “My wife and I felt compelled to resign from this position and leave the nation in 2020, which was with great sadness for both of us.

“My home is in the United Kingdom. My children’s heritage is heavily rooted in the UK, and I want them to feel as at home there as they do in the US, where they currently reside. If it is not feasible to keep them safe while they are on UK territory, then that cannot occur.”

He went on to say: “I cannot put my wife in danger like that and, given my experiences in life, I am reluctant to unnecessarily put myself in harm’s way too.”

 

The Sussexes live in California with their two children Archie and Lili

 

Harry was informed that he would not receive the “same degree” of publicly funded security while in the UK, so he filed a lawsuit against the Home Office over the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) decision from February 2020.

The government maintains that Ravec’s findings should be disregarded, stating that the Duke’s protection should be “bespoke” and evaluated “case-by-case” and that this is within the purview of the Home Office.

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