Prince Harry requests a summary judgment in his libel case against the Mail

Long story short, the Daily Mail/ANL lies a lot about Prince Harry, in general, and specifically about his offer to pay for royal protection when he is in the UK. The Mail’s lies were so egregious that Harry sued them and and won – the High Court already made one ruling, last June/July, that the Mail’s reporting was defamatory. Since June, Harry’s lawyers and ANL’s lawyers have been trying to negotiate a settlement. They haven’t been able to come to an agreement, so now Harry is asking the High Court to give him a summary judgment.

The Duke of Sussex is to ask a High Court judge to rule in his favour without a trial in his libel case against the Mail on Sunday, as he aims to echo his wife’s legal success against the same newspaper. Prince Harry will apply for a strike out or summary judgment at a hearing due to be scheduled in the next two months after both sides failed to reach a settlement.

He sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over an article published last February that said he had tried to keep “secret” parts of his legal fight with the Home Office over his security and had attempted to “spin” the dispute in his favour by claiming he had offered to pay for police protection. The piece suggested that when news of the Duke’s legal battle with the Government was first revealed, his PR team released a statement saying that he had offered to “pay personally for UK police protection”, but that it was refused. The Duke argued that the story suggested he had lied and had “improperly and cynically tried to manipulate and confuse public opinion”.

Legal proceedings were temporarily paused last month to allow both sides to negotiate, but they failed to reach a settlement before the deadline, last Friday.

In July, Mr Justice Nicklin ruled in the Duke’s favour in the first stage of the claim, concluding that the royal was defamed by parts of the story because it suggested that his actions were “discreditable” and that he had intended to “mislead the public”.

The amount recoverable by Harry in the event that he wins the claim has been set at £341,739 – almost half the £631,035 sought by the Duke.

Prince Harry is bringing two separate legal proceedings 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.

[From The Telegraph]

Incidentally, while Harry hasn’t addressed this in his interviews and I’ve seen zero reporting about it, I genuinely believe that QEII arranged for her security to look after the Sussexes when they visited last April and again when the whole Sussex family came to the Jubbly on the Queen’s invitation. I think that was the only reason why Harry agreed to bring his children to the UK – because he got a guarantee from his grandmother that his family’s security would be taken care of. I genuinely wonder what the situation was last September though, with QEII dying and Harry and Meghan stuck in the UK for more than ten days (they were practically being held hostage). Speaking of, Harry has spelled out his terms for reconciliation with the Windsors and what he would need to come to the coronation, but I would bet that Charles hasn’t guaranteed security for the Sussexes either, not like QEII did.

As for Harry wanting a summary judgment… it sounds like a standard legal issue and I hope the judge grants it. I can’t believe that there’s a cap on libel damages – that’s so foreign to me as an American. British Lawyer Community: does the cap on damages include legal fees? As in, can ANL be ordered to pay Harry’s legal fees PLUS the maxed-out cap on damages?

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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16 Responses to “Prince Harry requests a summary judgment in his libel case against the Mail”

  1. Well Wisher says:

    I hope that they rule in Harry’s favour. A person’s personal security is sacrosanct.

    There were concerns about Harry’s safety based on him having served in Afghanistan.

    That properly explained why he shouldn’t appear on the balcony.

  2. NotTheOne says:

    Those photos of Harry in uniform – dang. He looks like a military man and he remembers the proper form. It’s not just standing up straight.

  3. acha says:

    You never fail to pick the perfect images for your stories, Kaiser!
    Especially Princess Jazz Hands. Endless hilarity tbh.

  4. Amy Bee says:

    It’s interesting that the British press hasn’t been all over this case like they were Meghan’s.

    • Well Wisher says:

      The daily fail tried minimizing the actual threat to Harry, which was do to him serving his country honourably.

      It was done by insinuation and slander, who will want to touch that??

  5. QuiteContrary says:

    Go Harry!

  6. Cass says:

    This man has strength his family can’t understand. He has gone through so much and I hope he learns how to heal from his toxic family

  7. kd says:

    Kaiser – your theory about the Queen providing security during the Jubbly visit explains the absolute fear on Meghan’s face during that first walkabout after her passing. I thought there had been a physical attack from W (or his security or Tindall) on H. So to think they were completely unprotected is frightening.

    • Yvette says:

      @kd … I thought Kate said something nasty, because both Harry and Meghan looked over at her, and the snide look on Kate’s face, just as they started walking down the drive to greet the well-wishers. But what I noticed most is how much space there was between William and Kate, and how angry they both appeared while in the various ‘lines’ paying respect the the Queen’s coffin.

  8. Iz_Q says:

    Interesting. So, if Summary Judgment means the same in UK as it does here in US, that means Harry (via his counsel) is asking the court to rule in his favor because there are no triable issues of fact in this case. Again, if the process is similar to in the US he will also file a Statement of Uncontested Facts laying out each material fact that he is alleging is uncontested and then provide the documentary evidence to substantiate that point/fact. The other side can always file an opposition stating that there are contested facts.

    As for attorney’s fees…that all depends on the applicable rules or judge’s discretion, whether fees are allowed in the particular case, if the non-prevailing party failed to mitigate in good faith, etc. Like many things re legal issues the answer is usually “it depends.”

  9. SED29 says:

    The US also caps damages. The jury awarded JDepp $5m & the state capped it at $350K

  10. Jennifer says:

    My guess is that the only reason Harry got security was that he and/or Meghan stayed on royal grounds/another royals who were already getting security. Like I doubt they gave him PPO to go hang out at a pub by himself later on, but IF other people were already being protected around him, they might deign to throw him that bone.

  11. Bingo Esq. says:

    Legal fees are different in the commonwealth countries compared to the US – generally in Australia and the UK the losing party will, as a matter of course, pay the legal fees of the winning party.
    So he should get the 350k plus the fees.
    Until they remove the defamation cap for media companies, they will keep printing libel against H&M. 350k is a drop on the bucket compared to what these media companies make from their press on H&M. There is absolutely no financial incentive for them to stop defaming H&M and it’s got to be emotionally exhausting for H&M to keep suing them.

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