Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has accepted an apology from Associated Newspapers over the publication of what he described as ‘baseless, false and defamatory stories.’ For those who do not know, His Royal Highness had sued the newspaper group for libel over two’ almost identical’ articles published in October 2020 that claimed he had snubbed the Royal Marines after his royal exit.
To brush you up, The Mail on Sunday (October 25) published an article titled, ‘Top General accuses Harry of Turning his Back on the Marines’. Mail Online also published an almost identical piece, thus leading to the Prince’s legal team’s lawsuits.
As per reports by CNN, Jenny Afia, Prince Harry’s lawyer, told the court in a remote hearing on Monday, “The baseless, false and defamatory stories published in the ‘Mail on Sunday’ and on the website ‘MailOnline’ constituted not only a personal attack upon the Duke’s character but also wrongly brought into question his service to this country.”
Jenny Afia also mentioned that Associated Newspapers had accepted the allegations were false, although considerable damage was already done. The newspaper had published an apology in December 2020, but Prince Harry’s legal team believed it was not given the same prominence as the original articles. They, therefore, had asked for permission for the settlement to be read out in open court.
The damages received through this settlement, the amount of which remains undisclosed, will be donated to the Invictus Games Foundation. This foundation was founded by the Prince for wounded members of the armed forces. Harry’s lawyer said this way the Prince will “feel something good had come out of the situation”.
In a separate statement, a spokesperson for Prince Harry – who has also served in the British Army – said HRH’s commitment to the military community was unquestionable. Associated Newspapers is still to release a statement following this hearing.
As for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have cut off dealings with four tabloid newspapers including the Daily Mail since April 2020. This step was taken following years of strained relations.