Meghan Markle's Royal Aides Willing To Testify Over Letter to Her Father

Meghan Markle's royal aides could give evidence on whether she intended details of a private letter accusing her father of betrayal to leak to the media.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit royal duties last year for a new life in America, but a group of palace aides they left behind could be pushed into the center of her lawsuit against a U.K. tabloid.

Meghan's lawyers say a five-page "heartfelt plea from an anguished daughter to her father" was printed by The Mail on Sunday in violation of her right to privacy and copyright.

However, the newspaper says the handwritten note was part of a media strategy and details of it were always intended to leak.

The tabloid's lawyers argue it was written with the help of Kensington Palace press office and want a group of aides who they call the "Palace Four" to give evidence.

Meghan Markle's Mail on Sunday Lawsuit Announced
Meghan Markle in Tembisa township, Johannesburg, South Africa, on October 2, 2019, when her privacy copyright case against the Mail on Sunday was announced. The Duchess of Sussex now faces her palace aides giving evidence in the lawsuit. Michele Spatari / AFP/Getty

Samantha Cohen, Christian Jones, Jason Knauf and Sara Latham have hired lawyers Addleshaw Goddard, who wrote a letter to the court indicating one or more of the aides have evidence to give.

It reads: "We have considered with each of our clients whether s/he is likely to be in a position to assist the Court by giving evidence at trial relevant to any of the issues in dispute in the Proceedings.

"On the basis of our analysis of the statements of case, our preliminary view is that one or more of our clients would be in a position to shed some light on the following issues: the creation of the Letter and the Electronic Draft; whether or not the claimant anticipated that the Letter might come into in the public domain; whether or not the claimant directly or indirectly provided private information (generally and in relation to the Letter specifically) to the authors of Finding Freedom."

Finding Freedom was a tell-all biography published over the summer. It contains claims Prince Harry viewed his brother as a snob.

The newspaper claims to have a "high-grade" source in the royal household who says Latham helped co-authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand fact check the book.

Editor Ted Verity also claimed the palace insider said Knauf helped Meghan draft the letter.

A court filing by the newspaper described the offer by the "Palace Four" as a "significant development."

Meghan's lawyers have said that she is the sole author of the letter and a previous filing reads: "The comments Mr. Knauf provided were in the form of 'general ideas' as opposed to actual wording.

"For the avoidance of doubt neither Mr. Knauf (nor anybody else) created any part of the Electronic Draft or the Letter.

"[Meghan], and [Meghan] alone, created the Electronic Draft, which she then transcribed by hand to her father as the Letter."

In relation to Finding Freedom, a previous court filing read: "[Meghan] was concerned that her father's narrative in the media that she had abandoned him and had not even tried to contact him (which was false) would be repeated, when in fact she had tried to call him, and text him, and had even written a letter to him to try to persuade him to stop dealing with the media; and he had written back to her.

"Accordingly, she indicated to a person whom she knew had already been approached by the authors that the true position as above (which that person and several others who knew the Claimant already knew) could be communicated to the authors to prevent any further misrepresentation."

The letter from the Palace Four's lawyers reads: "Our clients are all strictly neutral. They have no interest in assisting either party to the Proceedings.

"Their only interest is in ensuring a level playing field, insofar as any evidence they may be able to give is concerned."

However, they will only be required to give evidence if Meghan loses an application at the High Court that is being heard today.

The Duchess of Sussex is applying for "summary judgment." This would see her win the case with no need for a trial, and therefore no need for the four to give evidence.