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Tuesday March 05, 2024

Prince Harry receives fresh blow after losing court battle

Prince Harry has been ordered to pay the Mail on Sunday more than £48,000

December 11, 2023

Prince Harry, who's suing ANL over an article concerning his legal battle with the Home Office about his security, has been ordered to pay the Mail on Sunday more than £48,000 after losing court battle.

Justice Nicklin ruled that the publisher had a “real prospect of demonstrating that an honest person could have held the view” that a statement released by the Duke’s representatives was “a masterclass in the art of spinning”.

The judge has ordered Harry to pay the £48,447 legal costs incurred by Associated in relation to that “summary judgment application” by Dec 29.

Harry's bid to strike out the newspaper’s “honest opinion” defence was heard in March. 

The Duke's lawyer Justin Rushbrooke KC, in written submissions, argued that the newspaper’s defence should be thrown out because it "rests upon two provably false premises” relating to a press statement released by the Duke when he made the legal challenge.

Associated has argued that the article, which claimed the Duke’s PR team had "tried to put positive spin on the dispute", expressed an "honest opinion" and did not cause the royal "serious harm".

The Mail on Sunday and Mail Online published an article in February 2022, claiming Harry tried to hide his efforts to retain publicly funded protection in the UK after giving up his status as a working member of the royal family in 2020.

The government, meanwhile, has defended its decision to withdraw full protection for the Duke of Sussex because he stepped down from his role as a senior working member of the Firm. It said he was treated fairly and provided with security occasionally when he visits.