Prince Harry is launching a phone-hacking case against British tabloids, alleging ‘illegal interception of voicemail messages’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Chris Jackson/Getty Images
  • Prince Harry has issued legal proceedings against the owners of British media outlets, the Sun and the Daily Mirror.
  • The case says the tabloids have engaged in illegal phone hacking. The Duke of Sussex alleged the outlets unlawfully intercepted voicemail messages.
  • The case emerged after the royal issued a strongly-worded letter condemning the British media’s treatment of his wife,Meghan Markle.
  • On Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex filed a separate claim against Associated Newspapers – the parent company of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.
  • Markle sued the company for alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement, and a breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
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Prince Harry has expanded his war against UK tabloids.

The Duke of Sussex issued legal proceedings on Friday against the owners of the Sun and the Daily Mirror over alleged phone hacking, according to The Guardian.

“We can confirm that Claims have been filed on behalf of The Duke of Sussex at the High Court regarding the illegal interception of voicemail messages. Given the Particulars of the Claims are not yet public, we can offer no further comment at this time,” a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace told Insider in a statement.

A spokesperson for News Group Newspapers – the publisher of the Sun – confirmed to Reuters that Harry had issued a claim.

Meghan Harry
Meghan Markle filed a different claim against British tabloids days before Prince Harry issued legal proceedings against News Group Newspapers. AP/Star Max

The Guardian reported the claims were filed by Clintons, a law firm that has won substantial payouts for clients in cases regarding phone-hacking claims.

Legal sources suggested to the newspaper that Harry’s case was likely related to historic incidents of phone hacking in the 2000s.

The decision to file legal proceedings against the British tabloids came just three days after Harry condemned the UK media’s treatment of his wife in recent months.

“As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting,” he wrote in a statement issued Tuesday. “Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences.”

He related the press coverage of Markle back to the media treatment of his mother, the late Princess Diana, who was killed in a traffic collision in 1997.

“I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person,” he wrote, adding, “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”

Diana was killed in a traffic collision in 1997. At the time, her car had been swarmed by an aggressive group of paparazzi on motorcycles. However, an official investigation later found the paparazzi did not cause the crash.

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Harry’s letter informed the public that Markle had filed a claim against Associated Newspapers, the parent company of the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.

Her claim was filed over the misuse of private information, copyright infringement, and a breach of the Data Protection Act 2018, according to media information accompanying Harry’s statement.

A legal spokesperson from Schillings, the lawfirm representing Markle, said the “contents of a private letter” were “published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner.”

The statement also noted the couple are funding the lawsuit themselves, and they will donate any damages they win in court to an anti-bullying charity.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a response from Buckingham Palace.

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