Prince Harry Sues Same Tabloid as Meghan Markle Over Police Security Story

Prince Harry is suing U.K. tabloid The Mail on Sunday over an article about his other ongoing lawsuit against the British government.

The Duke of Sussex filed the eighth legal action by either him or wife Meghan Markle since September 2019 at the High Court in London on Wednesday, February 23.

The saga relates to an article published three days earlier, on Sunday February 20, with the headline: "Revealed: How Harry tried to keep his legal fight over bodyguards secret."

The piece was partly based on a Home Office court filing which gave a scathing assessment of the duke's case.

It is not clear what part of the article triggered the litigation but the newspaper argued the Government's account conflicted with the duke's.

Little is currently known about the new specifics of the claim at this early stage but it represents the third Sussex lawsuit against The Mail on Sunday.

The first was launched by Meghan in October 2019 over a private letter the duchess sent her father Thomas Markle in August 2018, which was published by the newspaper in February 2019.

Meghan won a resounding victory in February 2021 but the newspaper took her to the Court of Appeal. The case dragged on into December 2021 when a victory for the royal finally ended a saga in which her private messages were revealed to the world.

Prince Harry has sued The Mail on Sunday for libel before, in November 2020, over an article suggesting he had not stayed in touch with the Royal Marines since quitting royal duties.

The newspaper settled out of court at the end of that year and the litigation was all wrapped up by February 2021.

Between Meghan's original privacy lawsuit and the appeal, January 2022 is the only month since October 2019 when there has not either been a lawsuit or the threat of a lawsuit between the couple and the newspaper.

Prince Harry Flanked by Police Security
Prince Harry is flanked by a police protection officer as he meets fans alongside Meghan Markle in Auckland, New Zealand, on October 30, 2018. Harry is suing The Mail on Sunday over an article about his lawsuit over his police protection being removed. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

What the Sides Said

The duke's legal representative said: "The Duke first offered to pay personally for UK police protection for himself and his family in January of 2020 at Sandringham.

"That offer was dismissed. He remains willing to cover the cost of security, as not to impose on the British taxpayer."

The case relates to a decision taken by RAVEC (Royalty and VIP Executive Committee) to remove Harry's police protection while he is in Britain.

The Home Office filing, seen by Newsweek, reads: "[Prince Harry's] offer of private funding is irrelevant.

"First, the offer is now advanced in [Prince Harry's] witness statement and SFG [a court filing] but notably was not advanced to RAVEC at the time of [Prince Harry's] visit to Great Britain in June 2021 or in any of the pre-action correspondence which followed.

"Secondly, and in any event, personal protective security by the police is not available on a privately financed basis, and RAVEC does not make decisions on the provision of such security on the basis that any financial contribution could be sought or obtained to pay for it."

Newsweek is not able to quote extensively from The Mail on Sunday's story due to the risk of repeating any potential libel contained in it.

However, the newspaper did add its own analysis to the content of the court filings, including based on its own experiences breaking the news of Harry's lawsuit against the Government in January.

Harry and Meghan's Eight Lawsuits

September 2019—Harry separately accused both News UK, publisher of The Sun and the News of the World, and Mirror Group Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, of phone hacking. The two cases are still live but are showing little sign of progress.

October 2019—Meghan sued The Mail on Sunday and won on privacy and copyright grounds, after a prolonged battle, in December 2021.

March 2020—Meghan Markle sues picture agency Splash News over photographs of her with Archie in a park in Canada. The U.K. division settled out of court while the U.S. division filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

July 2020—Meghan and Harry file their only U.S. lawsuit to date at Los Angeles Superior Court against a paparazzi agency that took pictures of Archie in the private grounds of Tyler Perry's mansion using a drone. X17 settled out of court and apologized.

November 2020—Prince Harry sued The Mail on Sunday for libel over a story about the Royal Marines and settled with a pay out towards the end of the year.

September 2021—Prince Harry applies for permission to sue the Home Office for removing his police protection. The High Court is yet to grant permission amid deliberations over the confidentiality of documents, and the case is ongoing.

February 2022—Prince Harry sued The Mail on Sunday for libel over a story about his police security.