Prince Harry news – latest: ‘Row’ with William sowed ‘seeds of discord’ between brothers, court told

Prince Harry’s relationship with his brother, the Prince of Wales, suffered “mistrust” because of articles published by the Mirror publisher, a court has heard.

The Duke of Sussex is suing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) for damages, claiming journalists at its titles – which also include the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People – were linked to methods including phone hacking, so-called “blagging” or gaining information by deception, and use of private investigators for unlawful activities.

On Monday David Sherborne, acting for Harry, referred to a 2003 article which detailed an alleged row between the duke and Prince William, over their mother’s former butler Paul Burrell.

“Even at this very early formative stage... the seeds of discord between these two brothers are starting to be sown,” the barrister said.

“Brothers can sometimes disagree. But once it is made public in this way and their inside feelings revealed in the way that they are, trust begins to be eroded.”

Key Points

  • Alleged row with William sowed ‘seeds of discord’ between brothers, court hears

  • Prince Harry accused of wasting court time after no-show at court today

  • Duke to become first British royal in 130 years to give evidence in court

  • Prince Harry set for witness box showdown in phone hacking trial against tabloid

  • ‘Simply no evidence’ for many claims, trial told

Prince Harry arrives at High Court

09:39 , Tara Cobham

The Duke of Sussex has arrived at the High Court to give evidence in his claim against Mirror Group Newspapers.

Harry arrived outside the Rolls Building in central London at 9.36am in a black Range Rover, wearing a black suit.

He walked into the building without answering reporters’ questions before passing security checks inside.

Prince Harry arrives at High Court for battle with MGN over phone hacking (Reuters)
Prince Harry arrives at High Court for battle with MGN over phone hacking (Reuters)
Prince Harry has arrived at the High Court and is expected to take to the witness stand at around 10.30am (Getty)
Prince Harry has arrived at the High Court and is expected to take to the witness stand at around 10.30am (Getty)

Harry due to give evidence at High Court in landmark case

08:35 , Tara Cobham

Prince Harry is due to give evidence in a historic appearance at the High Court on Tuesday in his case against the Daily Mirror’s publisher over alleged unlawful information gathering after he skipped the first day of the trial on Monday.

The Duke of Sussex is suing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) for damages, claiming journalists at its titles – which also include the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People – were linked to methods including phone hacking, so-called “blagging” or gaining information by deception, and use of private investigators for unlawful activities.

The duke had been expected to arrive at court on Monday but will now testify on Tuesday, becoming the first prince to do so for 130 years.

David Sherborne, acting for Harry, said the duke’s relationship with his brother, the Prince of Wales, suffered “mistrust” because of articles published by the Mirror publisher, the court heard on Monday.

This comes as it has been revealed Harry is battling on another front as his US visa is set to be challenged in court after he admitted illegal drug use in his memoir Spare.

King Charles in Romania with ‘no wifi, TV or radio’ as son testifies

10:22 , Tara Cobham

King Charles III is currently in Romania with no wifi, TV or radio as his son prepares to step into the witness box, it is understood.

On Friday, the monarch arrived in the country for an annual trip to his holiday home, royal expert Jennie Bond told Good Morning Britain last week has no wifi, TV or radio.

His Majesty has a long history with the country, where he owns at least ten properties; his first was a Saxon house in the village of Viscri in 2006.

It is understood that the King will be visiting a stripped-back former farmhouse in Zalanpatak, while Queen Camilla will not be accompanying her husband.

Watch: King Charles welcomed in Romania as he arrives for trip to holiday home

Growing crowds seen gathered outside courthouse

09:55 , Tara Cobham

Growing crowds seen gathered outside courthouse (Getty)
Growing crowds seen gathered outside courthouse (Getty)
Police officers seen stood outside High Court for phone-hacking trial (AFP/Getty)
Police officers seen stood outside High Court for phone-hacking trial (AFP/Getty)

Watch: Prince Harry arrives at High Court to give landmark evidence in phone-hacking case

09:52 , Tara Cobham

Prince Harry arrived at the High Court in London on Tuesday 6 June, where he will become the first senior British royal to give evidence for 150 years when he testifies in his lawsuit against a newspaper group he accuses of extensive unlawful behaviour.

The Duke of Sussex is headed for a courtroom showdown with the publisher of the Daily Mirror - Mirror Group Newspapers - and walked into court in front of a media scrum.

Harry is expected to describe his anguish and anger over being hounded by the press throughout his life, and its impact on those around him.

Watch here:

Watch: Prince Harry arrives at High Court to give landmark evidence in phone-hacking case

Who is the ‘beast’ lawyer Andrew Green cross-examining Harry?

09:35 , Tara Cobham

As Prince Harry enters the witness box in a historic showdown on Tuesday, the Duke of Sussex will face Andrew Green KC, the renowned barrister acting on behalf of Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

Mr Green, who has fought various high-profile cases in his 35 years at the Bar, will be seeking to “tear his case to shreds”, a High Court barrister told Sky News on Monday – as a former adversary warned The Independent that the duke may not even realise if he slips up during cross-examination.

Having been awarded silk in 2010 – the honour bestowed upon only elite lawyers – Mr Green has previously been described as a “beast in court”, in remarks publicised on his profile at Blackstone Chambers.

Andy Gregory reports:

Who is Andrew Green? The ‘Beast’ lawyer ‘planning to tear Prince Harry’s case to shreds’ at High Court

Man appears with Harry and Meghan placard outside court

09:25 , Tara Cobham

A man has appeared outside the High Court with a placard of Harry and Meghan dressed up as Joseph and Mary.

No one is quite clear who this man is or why he is there with a painting of the Duke and Duke of Sussex in religious attire - but he sparked a flurry of interest as the crowds gathered to take photos of him and his sign.

The phone hacking trial has attracted interest from all around the world.

A man has appeared outside the High Court with a placard of Harry and Meghan dressed up as Mary and Joseph (The Independent)
A man has appeared outside the High Court with a placard of Harry and Meghan dressed up as Mary and Joseph (The Independent)

Victorian scandal behind last time royal was questioned in court

09:15 , Tara Cobham

A royal scandal in the Victorian era involving gambling, an illegal card game, and accusations of cheating set the scene for the last time a prince stepped into the witness box in a British court.

Royal fans have to look back 130 years to find accounts of an “extremely nervous” and pale-faced future King Edward VII giving evidence in a slander case after a spectacular falling out with his best friend in 1890.

Centred on the illicit card game of baccarat, the furore – dubbed “the royal baccarat scandal” or “the Tranby Croft affair” – proved an unedifying moment for all involved, and distinctly damaging for the crown.

After the Prince of Wales’s former close friend, Lieutenant Colonel Sir William Gordon-Cumming, 4th Baronet, of the Scots Guards, was accused of cheating in the game, Lt Col Gordon-Cumming took his accusers to court and the prince acted as a key witness for the defence.

The “poor showing” of the nervous Prince of Wales in particular proved “disastrous” for the royal family, according to royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams.

The Victorian scandal at the heart of last time royal was questioned in court

Harry battles on two fronts as US visa challenged over drug use

09:08 , Tara Cobham

The US government is set to be challenged in court over its decision not to disclose the reasoning behind admitting the Duke of Sussex into the country, despite his admissions of illegal drug use.

Prince Harry’s reference to taking cocaine, marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms in his memoir Spare prompted a conservative Washington DC think tank to question why he was allowed into the US in 2020.

The Heritage Foundation brought the lawsuit against the Department for Homeland Security (DHS) after a Freedom of Information Act request was rejected – claiming it was of “immense public interest”.

Josh Payne reports:

Harry’s US visa challenged in court after prince admits drug abuse in book

Why did Harry skip the first day of the trial

09:00 , Tara Cobham

The duke had been expected to arrive at court on Monday but will not appear until Tuesday.

The hearing in London heard Harry had flown to the UK from Los Angeles in the US on Sunday night, as he was celebrating his daughter Lilibet’s second birthday.

Mr Justice Fancourt, the judge hearing the case, said he was “a little surprised” to hear that the duke would not be attending court on Monday.

First time prince steps into witness box in 130 years

08:54 , Tara Cobham

Set to enter the witness box on Tuesday morning, Harry is due to face up to a day-and-a-half of cross-examination from MGN’s barrister.

The last time a prince testified in court was when the future King Edward VII appeared as a witness in June 1891 in the Tranby Croft Affair case to give evidence on a slander accusation arising from a card game.

William Gordon-Cumming, a lieutenant-colonel in the Scots Guards, was accused of cheating at the game baccarat at a house party at Tranby Croft in East Yorkshire where Bertie was a guest.

Harry’s appearance is thought to be the first time a senior member of the royal family has personally appeared in court proceedings since 2002, when the Princess Royal pleaded guilty to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act after her pet bit two children in Windsor Great Park.

The last time a prince testified in court was when the future King Edward VII appeared as a witness in June 1891 in the Tranby Croft Affair case (Getty Images)
The last time a prince testified in court was when the future King Edward VII appeared as a witness in June 1891 in the Tranby Croft Affair case (Getty Images)

What did the Daily Mirror’s publisher argue back on Monday

08:50 , Tara Cobham

Andrew Green KC, for MGN, said Harry’s claim had “become rather fantastical”.

The barrister said: “The defendant’s position is that there is simply no evidence capable of supporting the finding that the Duke of Sussex was hacked, let alone on a habitual basis.”

He said that payment records used in the duke’s claim “simply do not demonstrate unlawful conduct or knowledge thereof”.

He also said that there was a lack of call data in Harry’s case, telling the court: “There is no call data whatsoever for the Duke of Sussex and scant call data for his associates.”

Mr Green later said the duke faced “a very difficult starting point for the claimant proving he was habitually hacked”.

The barrister also said a suggestion that its journalists had hacked the phone of the late Diana, Princess of Wales was “total speculation”.

He told the court: “Mr Sherborne’s suggestion that MGN’s journalists hacked her phone is total speculation without any evidential basis whatsoever.”

“The letters you were shown, to Michael Barrymore, are not evidence of voicemail interception,” Mr Green said, adding that “plainly no such finding could be made”.

Harry’s claim is being heard alongside three other “representative” claims during a trial which began last month and is due to last six to seven weeks.

The three other representative claimants are Coronation Street actor Michael Turner, known professionally as Michael Le Vell, who is best known for playing Kevin Webster in the long-running soap, former Coronation Street actress Nikki Sanderson, and comedian Paul Whitehouse’s ex-wife Fiona Wightman.

Mr Green said voicemail interception was denied in all four cases and that there was “no evidence or no sufficient evidence”.

The barrister continued: “There is some evidence of the instruction of third parties to engage in other types of unlawful information gathering in respect of each of the claimants, save for Mr Turner whose claim is entirely denied, and MGN has made pleaded admissions in respect thereof.

“MGN unreservedly apologises for all such instances of unlawful information gathering, and assures the claimants that such conduct will never be repeated.”

What did Harry’s barrister argue on Monday

08:42 , Tara Cobham

Harry’s individual case against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) got underway on Monday.

Barrister David Sherborne claimed the duke was subjected to unlawful information-gathering activity “right from when he was a young boy at school” into adulthood, adding: “Nothing was sacrosanct or out of bounds.”

He continued: “Every part of the prince’s life during these years was invaded by these three papers using these unlawful methods.”

The barrister said, contrary to some criticism of Harry, it was “the use of these methods by a national media group that has brought him here, not some vendetta against the press generally”.

Mr Sherborne has previously claimed that unlawful information gathering was “habitual and widespread” at MGN’s titles over almost two decades.

The barrister told the court on Monday that Harry was “the biggest target”, adding that it was “implausible” there were no admissions from MGN except one.

He claimed that Harry’s phone “would have been hacked on multiple occasions”, adding that his details appeared in the PalmPilot of a journalist who was one of the “most prolific” phone hackers.

Mr Sherborne later said: “What he has been able to do as a result by bringing this claim, he has been able to focus the attention that comes with his position on these activities and the fact that they have been carried out not just by journalists, but they have been concealed, even though they were known about by the senior members of the board of this PLC, as well as the legal department.

“It is the focus on these activities and bringing the defendant to account which is why he is bringing this action.”

Mr Sherborne told the High Court in London that “no aspect of the young prince’s life was safe” from press intrusion and that details of his relationship with ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy “were all revealed and picked apart by the three Mirror Group titles”.

The court was later told that a 2003 article detailed an alleged row between the duke and his brother William, now the Prince of Wales, over their mother’s former butler, Paul Burrell.

“Brothers can sometimes disagree,” Mr Sherborne continued, adding: “But once it is made public in this way and their inside feelings revealed in the way that they are, trust begins to be eroded.”

Mr Sherborne also said the late Diana, Princess of Wales was a “huge target” for MGN’s newspapers, adding that certain alleged unlawful activities in relation to her would have also affected Harry.

He read out two letters from Diana to entertainer Michael Barrymore, which referred to private meetings between the pair, and in one of the letters Diana referred to being “devastated” to learn that the “Daily Mirror” had contacted her office about him and their meetings.

Watch live as Harry due to give evidence at High Court

07:54 , Tara Cobham

The Duke of Sussex is due to give evidence at the High Court on Tuesday in his case against the Daily Mirror’s publisher over alleged unlawful information gathering.

Set to enter the witness box on Tuesday morning, Harry is due to face up to a day-and-a-half of cross-examination from MGN’s barrister.

Watch live:

Live: Prince Harry arrives at High Court for MGN battle over phone hacking battle

Claims include more than 100 stories about royals

01:02 , Sam Rkaina

Harry alleges about 140 articles published between 1996 and 2010 contained information gathered using unlawful methods, and 33 of these have been selected to be considered at the trial.

One of the articles put before the trial is a December 2003 report from The People, headlined: “Wills… Seeing Burrell is only way to stop him selling more Diana secrets. Harry no… Burrell’s a…”.

Mr Sherborne referred to the article which detailed an alleged row between the duke and his brother over Mr Burrell.

The barrister said: “Even at this very early formative stage, the seeds of discord between these two brothers are starting to be sown.”

“Brothers can sometimes disagree,” Mr Sherborne said, adding: “But once it is made public in this way and their inside feelings revealed in the way that they are, trust begins to be eroded.”

The barrister added: “One can see how the mistrust can set in from an early age, exactly because of this type of activity.”

The brothers are now estranged, with the breakdown in their relationship laid bare in the duke’s controversial autobiography Spare, which claims William physically attacked Harry and teased him about his panic attacks.

Harry’s claim is being heard alongside three other “representative” claims during a trial which began last month and is due to last six to seven weeks.

 (Getty)
(Getty)

Relationship ‘had little chance due to constant stream of stories'

Tuesday 6 June 2023 00:02 , Sam Rkaina

Mr Sherborne said that in his witness statement, yet to be made public, the duke described the “constant stream of stories” about his relationship with Ms Davy.

The barrister told the High Court the duke referred to “how little chance this relationship was given because of this” and described how it affected his relationships going forward.

Zimbabwean-born Chelsy dated Harry for about seven years. They coped with a long-distance relationship while the duke was training in the Army and overseas and Chelsy was at university in South Africa.

They split in early 2009 and, after both reportedly had flings, rekindled their relationship, and in May 2010 Ms Davy made a rare public appearance to watch Harry receive his wings after completing his Army Air Corps helicopter pilot course.

The reunion was not permanent and the couple broke up again. They remained friends and she attended his wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018.

Mr Sherborne said: “As he explains, it was as if they never felt they were on their own, which placed a huge amount of strain on their relationship and ultimately led Ms Davy to decide a royal life was not for her.”

Mr Sherborne added: “It also caused their circle of friends to become smaller and smaller, meaning that relationships were lost entirely unnecessarily.”

Harry’s relationship with ex ‘damaged by phone hacking’ court hears

Monday 5 June 2023 23:10 , Sam Rkaina

The Duke of Sussex’s relationship with his former girlfriend Chelsy Davy and his bond with his brother were damaged by newspaper articles produced by alleged unlawful information gathering, the High Court was told.

Harry believes Ms Davy decided a “royal life was not for her” due to a string of stories about the couple, the trial heard.

Harry is suing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) for damages, claiming journalists at its titles, which also include the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, were linked to methods including phone hacking, so-called “blagging” or gaining information by deception and use of private investigators for unlawful activities.

When the duke clashed with his brother over the best way to handle Paul Burrell, their mother’s former butler, their alleged disagreement was the subject of a 2003 story in The People that contributed to the “seeds of discord” being sown between the siblings.

The press intrusion left Harry, who in 2020 stepped down as a working royal and moved to California with his wife Meghan, “suffering bouts of depression as a result”, his barrister David Sherborne told the court.

Harry with former girlfriend Chelsy Davy (PA Archive)
Harry with former girlfriend Chelsy Davy (PA Archive)

Recap: Prince Harry no-shows start of his own phone hacking trial leaving judge ‘surprised’

Monday 5 June 2023 22:15 , Sam Rkaina

Prince Harry’s decision not to attend the opening day of his court case into alleged illegal information gathering by tabloid newspapers was met with “surprise” by the judge.

Mr Justice Fancourt questioned why the Duke of Sussex did not attend Monday’s hearing - despite him being the first of four witnesses due to give evidence in the civil trial at London’s High Court.

All four are suing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) for damages, claiming journalists at its titles – which also include the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People – were linked to methods including phone hacking, gaining information by deception, and the use of private investigators for unlawful activities.

David Sherborne, representing the duke and the other claimants, blamed Harry’s non-attendance on him flying to the UK from Los Angeles in the US on Sunday night so he could celebrate his daughter Lilibet’s second birthday earlier that day.

Click here for the full story on Monday’s hearing.

The Duke of Sussex (PA Wire)
The Duke of Sussex (PA Wire)

All we know about ‘Beast’ lawyer ‘planning to tear Prince Harry’s case to shreds’

Monday 5 June 2023 21:10 , Sam Rkaina

Prince Harry is set to be the first royal in 130 years to undergo cross-examination in a British court this week, in a blockbuster legal battle with the Mirror publisher over alleged phone hacking.

As he enters the witness box in a historic showdown on Tuesday, the Duke of Sussex will face Andrew Green KC, the renowned barrister acting on behalf of Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

Mr Green, who has fought various high-profile cases in his 35 years at the Bar, will be seeking to “tear his case to shreds”, a High Court barrister told Sky News on Monday – as a former adversary warned The Independent that the duke may not even realise if he slips up during cross-examination.

Click here for the full story.

Andrew Green KC is ‘old enough to be experienced but young enough still to be hungry’, a barrister told The Independent (Shutterstock)
Andrew Green KC is ‘old enough to be experienced but young enough still to be hungry’, a barrister told The Independent (Shutterstock)

Opinion | Prince Harry is ‘squadron leader’ in Sussex vs Others

Monday 5 June 2023 20:14 , Andy Gregory

In his latest piece discussing Prince Harry’s absence at the High Court today, our sketch writer Tom Peck argues:

He will, most certainly, be around on Tuesday, when his cross-examination will begin, and that will be an intriguing encounter. The sons of kings tend not to acquaint themselves with the insides of witness boxes in the courts of law.

But that, it hardly needs to be restated, is the whole point here. Sussex is the squadron leader in Sussex vs Others. The number of people – and not just celebrities, but victims of crimes, or the relatives of victims of crimes – have ultimately chosen, over the last twelve years, to take the media’s money and not go to court is because they simply can’t afford to bet their house and lose, even if the odds were so firmly in their favour.

He is the one who’s meant to be prepared to go on to the end, whatever the cost may be; the hard, sharp tip of the battering ram that will break down the door and let the light of the truth come flooding in.

The people who’ve been fighting the fight on phone hacking for a dozen years or more – a lot of them the lowly reporters who carried the can for the big guys – are doing it because they just want to show that there isn’t one set of rules for normal people and another for the powerful.

So it doesn’t help, it really doesn’t, that their princely champion should make it so easy for people to think that’s precisely what he believes. That his belief in his “life’s mission” lacks enough passion to overcome an unfortunate diary clash with his daughter’s birthday.

Harry’s relationship with Chelsy Davy ‘damaged’ by newspaper articles

Monday 5 June 2023 19:31 , Andy Gregory

The Duke of Sussex's relationship with his former girlfriend Chelsy Davy was damaged by newspaper articles produced by alleged unlawful information gathering, the High Court was told.

His barrister David Sherborne told the court that in his witness statement, yet to be made public, the duke described the "constant stream of stories" about his relationship with Ms Davy, and believes she decided a “royal life was not for her” due to a string of stories about the couple.

The barrister said the duke referred to “how little chance this relationship was given because of this” and how it felt “as if they never felt they were on their own”, and described how it affected his relationships going forward.

Mr Sherborne added: “It also caused their circle of friends to become smaller and smaller, meaning that relationships were lost entirely unnecessarily.”

Zimbabwean-born Chelsy dated Harry for about seven years. They coped with a long-distance relationship while the duke was training in the Army and overseas and Chelsy was at university in South Africa.

They split in early 2009 and, after both reportedly had flings, rekindled their relationship, and in May 2010 Ms Davy made a rare public appearance to watch Harry receive his wings after completing his Army Air Corps helicopter pilot course.

The reunion was not permanent and the couple broke up again. They remained friends and she attended his wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018.

Sketch | Party pooper Harry spoils big day for hacks with his balloon-bursting no-show in court

Monday 5 June 2023 18:43 , Andy Gregory

In his latest column, our sketch writer Tom Peck suggests of the Duke of Sussex’s court absence today that “if Harry’s new self-described “life’s mission” is to dish out a bit of payback to the out-of-control tabloids then this very surprising tactic kind of worked, in its own unlikely way”. He writes:

“Nothing is going to stop Prince Harry from having his day in court. Apart from, it turns out, Harry himself.

“It’s fair to say that what none of us quite saw coming was that he simply wouldn’t turn up because he had to be at his two-year-old daughter’s birthday party.

“There must have been a hundred snappers and almost as many TV camera crews set up outside the revolving door of the Rolls Building in the City of London. Not one of them went home with the picture they wanted. There was to be no brush with that famous auburn stubble.”

Party pooper Harry spoils big day for hacks with court no-show | Tom Peck

Former Mirror journalist denies knowledge of ‘flight blagging’

Monday 5 June 2023 18:08 , Andy Gregory

Former Mirror journalist Anthony Harwood, the sole witness in today’s proceedings, has denied knowing anything about a former reporter using an illegal technique called “flight blagging”.

The paper’s former head of news was asked about a story revealing the identity of Prince Harry’s former girlfriend Chelsy Davy, previously described as a “mystery blonde”, according to Sky News.

The duke’s lawyer David Sherborne claimed the Mirror had tasked a freelancer with making enquiries about the story in South Africa and asked Mr Harwood whether he was aware the freelancer was “very well-known for blagging flight details”, the broadcaster reported.

Mr Harwood reportedly told the court that he was not aware, and said the freelancer did “nothing of the sort” on the story about Ms Davy, headlined “Harry Is A Chelsy Fan”.

Princess Diana phone hacking claims are ‘total speculation’, says Mirror lawyer

Monday 5 June 2023 17:35 , Andy Gregory

The claim that Mirror journalists had hacked the phone of Diana, the late Princess of Wales, is “total speculation”, the publisher’s lawyer has said.

Andrew Green KC told the court that Prince Harry’s lawyer’s “suggestion that MGN’s journalists hacked her phone is total speculation without any evidential basis whatsoever”.

“The letters you were shown, to Michael Barrymore, are not evidence of voicemail interception,” Mr Green said, adding that “plainly no such finding could be made”.

Mr Green also told the court there was “simply nothing suspicious” about data on calls to the duke’s associates.

You can read more about the claims here:

Diana’s letter to Michael Barrymore over ‘secret meeting’ revealed at Harry trial

Harry heard nothing of phone hacking from police despite being ‘at centre of probe’, says lawyer

Monday 5 June 2023 17:08 , Andy Gregory

Prince Harry was not told by police that he was the victim of phone hacking from MGN, despite many other high-profile people being contacted during their investigations, the publisher’s lawyer has said.

“The Metropolitan Police have never suggested to the Duke of Sussex that he has been the victim of phone hacking by anyone at MGN,” said Andrew Green KC.

The barrister said Scotland Yard had investigated the hacking of royal households, adding: “The Duke of Sussex was actually at the centre of the Metropolitan Police Service’s investigation into phone hacking ... Despite that, no one at MGN was interviewed, let alone arrested and charged.”

‘Simply no evidence’ to support phone hacking claims, says MGN barrister

Monday 5 June 2023 17:03 , Andy Gregory

At the start of his opening, Andrew Green KC, acting for Mirror Group Newspapers, said the publisher’s position is “that there is simply no evidence capable of supporting the finding that the Duke of Sussex was hacked, let alone on a habitual basis”.

The barrister said that payment records used in the duke’s claim “simply do not demonstrate unlawful conduct or knowledge thereof”.

He also said that there was a lack of call data in Harry’s case, telling the court: “There is no call data whatsoever for the Duke of Sussex and scant call data for his associates.”

Mr Green later said the duke faced “a very difficult starting point for the claimant proving he was habitually hacked”.

Harry’s court action not because of ‘some vendetta against the press’, lawyer says

Monday 5 June 2023 16:29 , Andy Gregory

Prince Harry’s lawyer David Sherborne said the duke was bringing his claim against MGN to focus attention on the alleged unlawful information gathering and not because he has “some vendetta against the press in general”.

Concluding his opening arguments in the duke’s case, the barrister said: “As the examination of the 33 articles demonstrates, every part of the prince’s life during these years was invaded by these three papers using these unlawful methods.”

Contrary to some criticism of Harry, it was “the use of these methods by a national media group that has brought him here, not some vendetta against the press generally”,” the lawyer said, adding: “Although he regards himself just like any other victim, whether high profile or not, he is not treated in that way because it drives sales.”

This made Harry “the biggest target”, he said, adding that it was “implausible” there were no admissions from MGN except one.

The barrister added: “What he has been able to do as a result by bringing this claim, he has been able to focus the attention that comes with his position on these activities and the fact that they have been carried out not just by journalists, but they have been concealed, even though they were known about by the senior members of the board of this PLC, as well as the legal department”.

“It is the focus on these activities and bringing the defendant to account which is why he is bringing this action.”

Harry’s relationship with Chelsy Davy given ‘little chance’ because of press intrusion, court hears

Monday 5 June 2023 16:20 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

David Sherborne, for Harry, said that in his witness statement, yet to be made public, the duke describes the “constant stream of stories” about his relationship with Ms Davy.

The barrister said the duke refers to “how little chance this relationship was given because of this” and describes how it affected his relationships going forward.

Referring to articles from the time of Harry’s relationship with Ms Davy, Mr Sherborne said to Mr Justice Fancourt that he would notice “how young Prince Harry looks”.

“He is little more than a child, as was Ms Davy at the time,” the barrister continued. “As he explains, it was as if they never felt they were on their own, which placed a huge amount of strain on their relationship and... ultimately led Ms Davy to decide a royal life was not for her.”

He added: “It also caused their circle of friends to become smaller and smaller, meaning that relationships were lost entirely unnecessarily.”

Mr Sherborne said that is something common to many alleged victims of unlawful information gathering.

He also said press intrusion led to Harry “suffering bouts of depression as a result”, which Mr Sherborne said was “hardly surprising” and also something that other alleged victims of unlawful information gathering had described.

The barrister added: “Who could forgive him for being protective as he grew up for future relationships, seeing... what those around him would be subjected to.”

‘No aspect of Harry’s life was safe’ from press intrusion, court hears

Monday 5 June 2023 16:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

David Sherborne, for the duke, said that “no aspect of the young prince’s life was safe” from press intrusion, including school, family and friends, and an aspect that was “too tempting and sold too many newspapers, and that is the personal relationships that he made”.

The barrister said Harry was just 20 when he met his “first serious girlfriend, Chelsy Davy”.

“The ups and downs and ins and outs of their relationship, the beginning, the break-ups and finally the split between them were all revealed and picked apart by the three Mirror Group titles,” Mr Sherborne continued, saying this was “clearly driven by unlawful activity”.

He told the court an article was published about their meeting in Argentina and another appeared around the time the duke met Ms Davy’s father.

Revealed: Princess Diana’s letter to Michael Barrymore over ‘secret meeting’

Monday 5 June 2023 15:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Letters between the late Princess Diana and Michael Barrymore in which she discusses a “secret” meeting between the pair have been revealed in her son Prince Harry’s High Court trial against the Daily Mirror publisher.

The Duke of Sussex is one of four “test” cases among scores of complaints against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) being heard in London, alleging illegal information-gathering techniques such as phone hacking, which the publisher denies.

With Harry flying in from the US late on Sunday after celebrating his daughter Lilibet’s birthday, his lawyer David Sherborne presented his mother’s letters to the court on Monday as he sought to claim the duke had been impacted by unlawful press tactics since childhood.

Diana’s letter to Michael Barrymore over ‘secret meeting’ revealed at Harry trial

‘Discord’ between Prince Harry and Prince William referenced in court

Monday 5 June 2023 15:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

David Sherborne, for Harry, referred to a 2003 article which detailed an alleged row between the duke and his brother, now the Prince of Wales, over their mother’s former butler Paul Burrell.

The barrister said: “Even at this very early formative stage... the seeds of discord between these two brothers are starting to be sown.”

“Brothers can sometimes disagree,” Mr Sherborne said, adding: “But once it is made public in this way and their inside feelings revealed in the way that they are, trust begins to be eroded.

The barrister added: “One can see... how the mistrust can set in from an early age, exactly because of this type of activity.”

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Unlawful information gathering ‘acted like a web’ around Prince Harry, court hears

Monday 5 June 2023 15:15 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Unlawful information gathering activities “acted like a web” around the Duke of Sussex and was carried out “beneath the radar” at MGN newspapers, Harry’s barrister told the High Court.

Resuming his opening of the duke’s case after a lunch break, David Sherborne continued to give examples of articles he said were linked to unlawful activities.

This included coverage of how Harry spent his 18th birthday, when he was made a godfather and when he contracted glandular fever.

Giving examples of payments to private investigators, Mr Sherborne said such activity included the alleged targeting of “one of the closest confidantes” of the duke, Guy Pelly.

“These methods acted like a web around the prince in the hope it would catch the valuable information that they sought through these unlawful means, some of which made it in stories,” Mr Sherborne said.

“Beneath the radar we see yet more unlawful information gathering methods being used.”

Judge expresses ‘surprise’ at Prince Harry’s failure to appear in court today

Monday 5 June 2023 14:57 , Andy Gregory

A judge has expressed his “surprise” over the Duke of Sussex’s absence from the High Court as his individual case against the publisher of the Daily Mirror over alleged unlawful information gathering got under way.

He was expected to arrive at court on Monday but his lawyers told the court he will not appear until Tuesday, when he is due to face cross-examination from MGN’s barrister.

David Sherborne, representing the duke and the other claimants, said as the hearing began on Monday that Harry had flown to the UK from Los Angeles in the US on last night, as he was celebrating his daughter Lilibet’s second birthday on Sunday.

Mr Justice Fancourt, the judge hearing the case, said he was “a little surprised” to hear the duke would not be attending court on Monday.

The judge said he gave a direction earlier in the trial that witnesses should be available the day before their evidence was due to be heard in case the legal teams’ opening speeches ran short.

Details of Princess Diana’s letters to Michael Barrymore read out in court

Monday 5 June 2023 14:41 , Andy Gregory

The court has heard excerpts from letters between the late Princess Diana and entertainer Michael Barrymore, in which they discuss “secret” meetings at a time when he was “struggling”, which Prince Harry’s lawyer claims “plainly” points to phone hacking.

In one of the letters, Diana, the late princess of Wales, wrote: “What a joy it was to finally meet you tonight and it was a privilege to share so much with you.

“I did want to emphasise that I’m here for you whenever, it’s very easy to pop round and see you or please telephone now you have my number anytime. You’re doing just fine and believe me, I know. So take great care and lots of love from Diana.”

Princess Diana’s letters to Michael Barrymore over ‘secret’ meetings read out in court

Monday 5 June 2023 14:19 , Andy Gregory

David Sherborne, Prince Harry’s lawyer, said his late mother Princess Diana was a “huge target” for MGN’s newspapers, adding that certain unlawful activities in relation to her would have also affected Harry.

“It is part of our case that the interception of her messages would necessarily have involved obtaining information about the young prince,” he said.

Mr Sherborne then read out letters exchanged between Diana and former television personality Michael Barrymore, which referred to “secret and highly sensitive” meetings between the pair at a time when the entertainer was in the process of an “acrimonious divorce” and undergoing treatment for addiction, after it was made public that he was gay.

In one of the two letters, Diana referred to being “devastated” to learn the “Daily Mirror” had called her office about him and their meetings, which she wrote that she had not told anyone about.

Mr Sherborne said that “plainly” the Daily Mirror had been “listening to the voicemail messages and that is how they knew of the secret and highly sensitive meetings between Princess Diana and poor Mr Barrymore”.

What we know about Prince Harry’s latest legal battle

Monday 5 June 2023 14:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The eyes of the media are turned to the High Court in London this week as the Duke of Sussex is set to give evidence in his legal action against the publisher of the Mirror.

Harry will enter the witness box tomorrow amid an ongoing trial over contested allegations of unlawful information gathering by Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

Here we look at why the duke is coming to court and what the case is all about:

What we know about Prince Harry’s legal battle with Mirror Group Newspapers

Barrister gives timeline of when alleged actions began

Monday 5 June 2023 13:40 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

David Sherborne, for the duke, said: “In January 1996 Prince Harry was just 11 years old, that is when his relevant period starts, and it was already a time of high interest for the defendant’s papers in what the royal family were doing.”

The barrister said Charles and Diana, the then-princess of Wales, had separated in 1996 and divorced the following year.

He added: “The first activity we say was directed towards (Harry) is the instruction to the notorious Media Investigations, one of (private investigator) Jonathan Rees’s aliases.”

Mr Sherborne said there was evidence showing a payment to Media Investigations on January 3 1996, in relation to “Tiggy” - a reference which he said was to Harry’s former nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke.

The barrister said an article was published in the Sunday People in January 1996 which was headlined “Charles in bust up over Tiggy”.

He then referred to another article published the same year with the headline “Harry rushed to hospital” and said it referred to Ms Legge-Bourke being by the duke’s side, having driven him to hospital, and was “comforting him” while his mother was away.

Unlawful information gathering began when Harry was ‘young boy at school,’ barrister claims

Monday 5 June 2023 13:20 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

David Sherborne, for the duke, said Harry was “subjected to” unlawful information gathering activity “right from when he was a young boy at school”.

This carried on through “the tragic death of his mother”, his time during military training at Sandhurst and into adulthood.

The barrister said there was “no time in his life when he was safe from this activity”, adding: “Nothing was sacrosanct or out of bounds and there was no protection from this unlawful information gathering.”

Mr Sherborne told the court that some unlawful activity did not always result in an article and said the journalists who wrote the articles being considered during the trial were “frequent users of unlawful means”.

“It is likely that they would have used those same means in relation to the Duke of Sussex,” Mr Sherborne said.

 (PA Archive)
(PA Archive)

Sherborne claims phone hacking is not ‘historical’ activity, court hears

Monday 5 June 2023 13:05 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

David Sherborne told the judge that he could draw “adverse inferences” from MGN journalists not attending the trial to give evidence and “vouching” for how they obtained information.

Harry’s barrister told the court that some journalists not being called to give evidence “are still employees of the defendant”, adding: “This activity is not historical, the suggestion that it all took place years ago is misplaced”.

Mr Sherborne said these journalists were “not only still employed by they have reached positions of seniority”.

“The result of that is that there are, we say, a very large number of gaps,” Mr Sherborne said.

“Which leads the court to draw the adverse inferences that we ask.”

Harry’s phone ‘hacked on multiple occasions,’ Sherborne claims

Monday 5 June 2023 12:52 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Prince Harry’s barrister David Sherborne claimed that the Duke of Sussex’s phone “would have been hacked on multiple occasions”, telling the court that his details appeared in the palm pilot of a journalist who was one of the “most prolific” phone hackers.

The barrister said Harry was “one of the most written about individuals” in MGN newspapers, with more than 1,000 articles disclosed to him for the 2007 to 2011 period covered by the Gulati case.

MGM made admissions of unlawful gathering in previous trial, Harry’s barrister tells court

Monday 5 June 2023 12:34 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

David Sherborne, for Harry, said there were admissions by MGN of unlawful gathering in the previous High Court trial involving former Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati and others.

He said those included admissions relating to articles written by a number of journalists who wrote articles about the duke during the same-time period.

The barrister added: “We say it is an overwhelming inference ... that these journalists will have used the same unlawful methods to investigate, verify and write stories about Prince Harry, as they did about whichever of the claimants the did in the Gulati trial.”

Mr Sherborne said there was also people around Harry, including his then “confidant” Guy Pelly and his father the King’s then press secretary, whose details appeared in the palm pilots of MGN journalists.

He said 20 of the 33 articles the judge is considering in relation to Harry were written during that period.

Stories about Prince Harry’s private lives ‘drove sales,’ court hears

Monday 5 June 2023 12:20 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

David Sherborne continued in his case opening: “It’s clear that stories about Prince Harry’s private life drove sales, it’s obvious.

“After all, articles were the ends,” the duke’s barrister said, adding: “These are the ends that justify the means for the defendant.”

“The unlawful means which is what this claim is about.”

The trial has previously heard that Mirror Group Newspapers “unreservedly apologises” to the duke for one instance of unlawful information gathering.

Andrew Green KC, for the publisher, previously said it was admitted that a private investigator was instructed, by an MGN journalist at The People, to unlawfully gather information about Harry’s activities at the Chinawhite nightclub one night in February 2004.

But Mr Sherborne said on Monday: “The suggestion that there was just one instance of unlawful information gathering at just one of these newspapers we say is plainly implausible.

Details of duke’s life ‘too good not to publish,’ court hears

Monday 5 June 2023 11:57 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Details of the Duke of Sussex’s life were “a story too good not to publish”, his barrister told the High Court.

Continuing his opening of Harry’s individual case, David Sherborne gave examples of articles published by Mirror Group Newspaper titles over his lifetime.

This included a “front-page exclusive” when was “still a schoolboy” about the duke being diagnosed with glandular fever, Mr Sherborne told the court.

Another example the barrister gave was a “private argument between him and his brother Prince William” which featured in a double-page spread in The People title. Mr Sherborne also cited a Daily Mirror story entitled “Harry’s girl to dump him” about his relationship with former girlfriend Chelsy Davy.

“Every facet of his life even... the ups and downs of his first serious relationships with Ms Davy is still splashed across the paper as an exclusive,” Mr Sherborne said.

“A story too good not to publish,” Mr Sherborne said, adding that the relationship was covered “in full technicolour glory”.

An ex-girlfriend of the Duke of Sussex decided “a royal life was not for her” as a result of alleged unlawful information gathering by journalists at the Mirror’s publisher, the High Court was told (PA Archive)
An ex-girlfriend of the Duke of Sussex decided “a royal life was not for her” as a result of alleged unlawful information gathering by journalists at the Mirror’s publisher, the High Court was told (PA Archive)

Princess Lilibet turns two: Harry and Meghan’s daughter celebrates very different birthday in US

Monday 5 June 2023 11:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Princess Lilibet Diana turned two years old on Sunday (4 June).

The young royal, who is the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, celebrated her first birthday in the UK last year, but this time she was in Montecito, California, where the Sussexes now live after they stepped back from royal duties in 2020.

This marks a very different birthday for the family, who celebrated at Frogmore Cottage last year with British relatives in an intimate garden picnic. They were joined by Mike Tindall and Zara’s children Mia, nine, Lena, four, and Lucas, two.

Other guests included photographer and Chair of the Southbank Centre Misan Harriman and his wife and children, who took Lilibet’s portrait that day.

Harry and Meghan’s daughter Lilibet celebrates very different birthday in US

Prince Harry’s barrister says duke’s claim against MGN is ‘very significant'

Monday 5 June 2023 11:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Barrister for the claimants David Sherborne, opening Harry’s individual case on Monday, told the court the duke’s claim against MGN is a “very significant one” because it covered a long period between 1996 and 2011 and involved the “broadest range of unlawful activity”.

Mr Sherborne said there were “at least 30 different PIs (private investigators) used by MGN’s three titles - the Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People.

He added: “There is a reason why this was carried out on such a widespread scale ... and that is because the ends justified the means for the defendant.”

The barrister said there are 33 sample articles, out of 147 complained of by Harry, which are being considered by the judge for the trial.

Mr Sherborne said the 147 were a “fraction” of all the articles written about the duke’s private life during that time, adding that MGN disclosed “almost 2,500” articles published about him throughout that period.

He said the MGN newspapers had a “huge interest” in the royal family, the duke in particular, and “every aspect of his private life”.

Judge ‘surprised’ Harry is a no-show today

Monday 5 June 2023 11:08 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Duke of Sussex was expected to arrive at court on Monday but his lawyers told the court he will not appear until Tuesday, when he is due to face cross-examination from MGN’s barrister.

David Sherborne, representing the duke and the other claimants, said as the hearing began on Monday that Harry had flown to the UK from Los Angeles in the US last night, as he was celebrating his daughter Lilibet’s second birthday on Sunday.

Mr Justice Fancourt, the judge hearing the case, said he was “a little surprised” to hear the duke would not be attending court on Monday.

The judge said he gave a direction earlier in the trial that witnesses should be available the day before their evidence was due to be heard in case the legal teams’ opening speeches ran short.

Andrew Green KC, for MGN, said he wished to have at least a day and a half to cross examine the duke and was “deeply troubled” he would not be attending before Tuesday, which may lead to “wasted time” on Monday afternoon.

Prince Harry no longer arriving at High Court today

Monday 5 June 2023 11:02 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Duke of Sussex will no longer appear at the High Court today, but instead is expected to arrive at the High Court in London tomorrow.

Prince Harry will be giving evidence in person for his case against Mirror Group Newspapers over alleged unlawful information gathering at its titles.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Monday 5 June 2023 10:27 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Prince Harry is due to arrive imminently at the High Court in London for his ongoing phone hacking trial. Stay tuned as we keep you updated with the latest.

‘I’ve not been called to give evidence’: What Piers Morgan has said about phone hacking accusations

Monday 5 June 2023 09:42 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Piers Morgan has strenuously denied knowing “anything about” phone hacking at the Mirror and said he “couldn’t give a monkey’s cuss” about the High Court case brought by Prince Harry.

The Duke of Sussex and other celebrities including Coronation Street actors Nikki Sanderson and Michael Le Vell have accused Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) of unlawful information gathering, including phone hacking and the use of private investigators.

What Piers Morgan has said about phone hacking accusations

Live: Prince Harry arrives at UK court for hearing in his case against Mirror group newspapers

Monday 5 June 2023 09:05 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Live: Prince Harry arrives at UK court for hearing in his case against Mirror group newspapers

Prince Harry set for witness box showdown in phone hacking trial against tabloid

Monday 5 June 2023 08:00 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Duke of Sussex is due to appear in the witness box this week for a court showdown in his ongoing phone hacking battle against some members of the British press.

Prince Harry is suing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) for damages, claiming journalists at its titles committed phone hacking and other illegal methods of obtaining personal information.

He has accused MGN’s papers, which include the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, of so-called “blagging” or gaining information by deception and the use of private investigators for unlawful activities.

The duke has been asked to attend court on Monday in case the opening speeches finish before the end of the day, so there is a possibility he may enter the witness box on Monday afternoon. Otherwise he is expected to begin his evidence on Tuesday, when he will face cross-examination from MGN’s lawyers.

Prince Harry set for witness box showdown in phone hacking trial against tabloid

Harry to become first British royal in 130 years to give evidence in court

Monday 5 June 2023 07:42 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Prince Harry will become the first senior British royal to give evidence in court for 130 years when he testifies this week in his lawsuit against a newspaper group he accuses of unlawful behaviour.

Harry, King Charles’ younger son, will appear in the witness box at London’s High Court as part of the case he and more than 100 other celebrities and high-profile figures have brought against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People.

It will be the first time a senior royal has given evidence since Edward VII testified as a witness in part of a divorce case in 1870 and 20 years later in a slander trial over a card game, both before he became king.

 (Getty)
(Getty)

A timeline of Prince Harry’s legal battles – from phone-hacking to the Home Office

Monday 5 June 2023 07:30 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The Duke of Sussex is due to be cross-examined in the High Court this week as hearings get under way in his case against the publisher of the Daily Mirror over the alleged unlawful gathering of information.

Prince Harry is suing Mirror Group Newspapers for damages, claiming journalists carried out or authorised phone-hacking, “blagging” or gaining information by deception and the use of private investigators for unlawful activities.

Even though he and his wife Meghan moved to California more than three years ago, he remains mired in several legal battles making their way through the British courts.

Most of the cases relate to alleged intrusion and illegality by the media – behaviour that Harry recently said he now views as his “life’s work” to curtail.

Phone-hacking and Home Office: What legal claims has Prince Harry been involved in?

What we know about Harry’s latest legal battle

Monday 5 June 2023 07:00 , Jane Dalton

Why the duke is going to court and what the case is all about. Report by Tom Pilgrim of PA:

What we know about Prince Harry’s legal battle with Mirror Group Newspapers

King away on holiday as Harry visits London

Monday 5 June 2023 05:00 , Jane Dalton

The King will miss his son’s visit to London as he is due to be in holiday in Romania for five days:

King Charles to miss Prince Harry’s London visit as he holidays in Romania

When Princess Anne appeared in court

Monday 5 June 2023 03:00 , Jane Dalton

It is thought to be the first time a senior member of the royal family has personally appeared in court proceedings since 2002, when the Princess Royal pleaded guilty to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act after her pet bit two children in Windsor Great Park. Here’s our coverage of the case at the time:

Regina v The Princess. Defendant 2595640 is ordered to pay £500

Harry ‘hoped for apology from family'

Monday 5 June 2023 01:00 , Jane Dalton

A month ago, Prince Harry attended the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla – but his wife Meghan Markle stayed at home in California with their two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

The prince arrived at Westminster Abbey alone, and was assigned to sit two rows behind his brother, and then he left alone.

The Duke of Sussex has been seeking an apology from his family, according to his television interviews in January.

Harry in the third row (Getty Images)
Harry in the third row (Getty Images)

Girlfriend article ‘obtained legitimately'

Monday 5 June 2023 00:01 , Jane Dalton

A 2004 Daily Mirror article about the Duke of Sussex’s then-girlfriend Chelsy Davy was “obtained legitimately”, a former journalist and news editor has told the High Court:

Former Mirror journalist says story on Harry’s ex Chelsy Davy ‘obtained legally’

The 33 articles at the heart of the case

Sunday 4 June 2023 23:00 , Jane Dalton

Some 33 articles, dated between 1996 and 2009, have been selected for examination during the trial of Harry’s contested claim against MGN.

The company has told the trial in London that it denies that 28 out of the 33 articles involved unlawful information gathering and that it was not admitted for the remaining five articles.

The publisher claims the stories came from a range of sources, including information disclosed by royal households or other royals, freelance journalists and news agencies as well as confidential sources with “extensive” royal contacts.

These are the 33 articles:

The newspaper articles the Duke of Sussex claims involved unlawful activity

Duke’s other battles

Sunday 4 June 2023 21:00 , Jane Dalton

The duke is no stranger to fighting legal cases. Here are his other battles:

What to know as Prince Harry prepares to take on a British tabloid publisher in court

Three other test cases to be considered

Sunday 4 June 2023 19:10 , Jane Dalton

Harry’s case, alongside those of former Coronation Street actress Nikki Sanderson, actor Michael Turner - known professionally as Michael Le Vell - and comedian Paul Whitehouse’s ex-wife Fiona Wightman are being considered as “test cases”.

MGN is contesting the claims over allegations its journalists were linked to voicemail interception, securing information through deception and hiring private investigators for unlawful activities.

The publisher says board members have denied knowledge of such activities and claims there is “no evidence, or no sufficient evidence, of voicemail interception” in any of the four claims chosen as “representative” cases.

Harry is due to enter the witness box this week as the trial focuses on his individual case.

Nikki Sanderson (Getty Images)
Nikki Sanderson (Getty Images)

Prince’s other legal battles

Sunday 4 June 2023 18:30 , Jane Dalton

Prince Harry’s other civil litigation claims include challenges to the government over his security, libel accusations against The Mail on Sunday and allegations of unlawful information gathering against Associated Newspapers Limited:

What is happening with Harry’s six High Court claims?

‘Simply no evidence’ for many claims, trial told

Sunday 4 June 2023 17:30 , Jane Dalton

A lawyer for Mirror Group Newspapers argued as the case opened last month that a “very substantial proportion” of the articles involved in the case were at “a breathtaking level of triviality”, saying there was “simply no evidence” for many of the claims of phone hacking:

‘Simply no evidence’ for many Mirror phone hacking claims, Prince Harry trial told

Private investigator gathered information on prince at nightclub

Sunday 4 June 2023 16:35 , Jane Dalton

On the first day of the trial last month, a lawyers for MGN, Andrew Green KC, said it was admitted that a private investigator was instructed, by an MGN journalist at The People, to unlawfully gather information about Harry’s activities at the Chinawhite nightclub one night in February 2004.

“Otherwise, the specified allegations are denied, or in a few cases not admitted,” he added.

Mr Green said there was a reference to a payment record for £75 in February 2004.

He continued: “It is admitted that this represented an instruction to engage in unlawful information gathering, and MGN unreservedly apologises and accepts that the Duke of Sussex is entitled to appropriate compensation for it.

“MGN does not know what information this related to, although it clearly had some connection with his conduct at the nightclub.”

The barrister said that there was a People article published in February 2004 “giving the recollection of a woman Harry spent time with” at the club.

Mr Green added: “The Duke of Sussex notably does not claim in relation to this article, so it is not alleged that this instruction led to the publication of his private information.

“The fee paid, £75, suggests little work was involved.”