Meghan Markle Celebrates Victory over 'Invasive and Intrusive Paparazzi'

Meghan Markle has reached a settlement with the U.K. arm of paparazzi picture agency Splash News over "unlawful, invasive, and intrusive" pictures of baby Archie.

The Duchess of Sussex was wearing her son, then eight months, in a sling when photographer Steve Dennett took pictures on a long lens.

Meghan had left the house in Vancouver Island, Canada, where she was staying with Prince Harry on January 20 to go for a walk with their two dogs in Horth Hill Regional Park.

She has sued both the U.K. and U.S. arms of Splash through the High Court in London, on the basis the images were published in U.K. newspapers.

The U.K. arm, which has gone into administration, has now reached a settlement with the duchess, according to a statement by both sides in court today.

A spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan's lawyers, Schillings, told Newsweek: "As explained in today's hearing, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have successfully settled a legal claim brought at the beginning of this year against the paparazzi agency Splash U.K.

Meghan Markle and Baby Archie, Desmond Tutu
Meghann Markle holds her baby son Archie as she and Prince Harry meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu at his foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, on September 25, 2019. HENK KRUGER / POOL/Getty

"This settlement is a clear signal that unlawful, invasive, and intrusive paparazzi behaviour will not be tolerated, and that the couple takes these matters seriously—just as any family would.

"A simultaneous and similar claim against Splash U.S., a sister company to Splash U.K., continues to move forward in the British court system."

The court heard today how Dennett was at the house on Vancouver Island the morning the pictures.

Meghan's solictor Jenny Afia said that if the company at any point came out of administration, they had agreed not to take similar photographs of Meghan and Archie.

Afia told the court: "In light of the administration, the parties have agreed to settle the claim against Splash.

"The administrators have undertaken that should the entity come out of administration, Splash wouldn't take any photographs of the duke and duchess or their son in the future."

Archie is listed as a claimant in the case, represented by both Meghan and Prince Harry.

At the time of the pictures, Prince Harry was yet to arrive back in Canada after a visit to London where he met Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a UK-Africa Investment Summit, according to the Daily Mail, which published the images.

At a September hearing, attorney Jonathan Barnes told the High Court in London: "They were papped in the location that we've already discussed.

"They plead that this was without their acquiescence or consent. They were on a private recreational outing on the morning of January 20, 2020."

Barnes added: "They were immediately offered for worldwide syndication and were snapped up by Associated Newspapers [publisher of the Daily Mail] and News Group [publisher of The Sun]."

Today's hearing comes after Meghan and Harry settled with paparazzi agency X17 in October after a photographer took drone pictures of baby Archie in the grounds of Tyler Perry's Los Angeles mansion, where they were staying at the time.

The pictures were published in German magazine Bunte and showed the toddler on a plastic toy car, Newsweek revealed.

X17 said in a statement following the Los Angeles court case: "We apologize to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son for the distress we have caused.

"We were wrong to offer these photographs and commit to not doing so again."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been fighting six lawsuits over the past year, including the duchess' high profile privacy and copyright case against the Mail on Sunday.

Newsweek revealed Prince Harry is suing the Mail on Sunday's publisher, Associated Newspapers, for libel with papers filed late last month.

Details of the case are still sparse but is came just weeks after the duke's lawyers threatened legal action over claims he had not been in touch with the Royal Marines since he moved to America in March.