Huge upset for Prince Harry: Duke of Sussex ordered to pay Mail nearly £50,000
Prince Harry: Associated Newspapers argued that the article expressed an "honest opinion" and did not cause "serious harm" to Prince Harry's reputation.
Prince Harry has been ordered to pay the Mail more than £48,000 after he lost his attempt to strike out part of the paper's defence in a libel case. The Duke of Sussex sued the newspaper's publishers, Associated Newspapers, over an article written about his fight with UK's Home Office concerning his security arrangements.
Associated Newspapers argued that the article expressed an "honest opinion" and did not cause "serious harm" to Prince Harry's reputation. Prince Harry had tried to have the "honest opinion" defence thrown out. In a judgement, a High Court judge decided that it could be included and the case should go to trial.
The judge ruled the publisher had a "real prospect" of arguing its case because of which Prince Harry has been ordered to pay the newspaper's costs of £48,447 by December 29. The original article was published in 2022. It talked about Prince Harry's dispute with UK's Home Office decision to remove his automatic police protection after he stepped down as a working member of the royal family.
The newspaper headline read, “How Prince Harry tried to keep his legal fight with the government over bodyguards a secret … then - just minutes after the story broke - his PR machine tried to put positive spin on the dispute.”
The Duke of Sussex said that this attacked “his honesty and integrity” as his lawyers argued that it is inaccurate and suggested he had "lied" and "cynically" attempted to mislead public opinion.
If a settlement isn't reached, the libel trial will be held between May and July next year.