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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get apology for paparazzi photos of baby Archie

Baby Archie, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Baby Archie with his parents, Meghan and Harry, the Duchess and Duke of Sussex.
(Pool / Samir Hussein / WireImage)

Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have declared a royal victory in a legal battle with a celebrity photo agency responsible for unauthorized photos of baby Archie taken at their family home in Beverly Hills.

On Thursday, the Sussexes’ attorney, Michael Kump, released a statement announcing the agency, X17, had “apologized and agreed to a permanent injunction and reimbursement of a portion of legal fees” related to the incident.

“Over the summer, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took action against intrusive and illegal paparazzi photos taken of their family at a private residence,” read the statement provided to the Los Angeles Times. “This is a successful outcome. All families have a right, protected by law, to feel safe and secure at home.”

In July, Harry and Meghan filed a complaint against unnamed individuals who allegedly photographed their 14-month-old son and his maternal grandmother in their backyard. The lawsuit detailed drones and photographers tracking the royals’ every move, flying helicopters over their residence and cutting holes in their security fences to secure the images.

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“We apologize to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son for the distress we have caused,” X17 said Thursday in a statement. “We were wrong to offer these photographs and commit to not doing so again.”

After settling in Los Angeles, the couple and their young child allege they have been harassed daily by eager photographers invading their privacy.

The agency, which had been shopping the photos in the United States and Europe, has agreed to refrain from commissioning, selling, licensing, publicly exhibiting, distributing or publishing any photos taken of the Sussex family at their private home “through use of zoom or telephoto lens, or drones,” according to legal documents obtained Thursday by The Times.

X17 is required to hand over “all originals and all copies (physical and digital)” of the existing images to the Sussexes as well as delete all traces of the photos from their archives.

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After announcing their decision to take a “step back” as senior members of the British royal family, the duke and duchess moved earlier this year to Meghan’s native California, where they recently inked a massive production deal with Netflix.

The prince and former “Suits” actress have signed on to produce a variety of film and TV projects, including scripted series, docuseries, documentaries, features and children’s programming featuring diverse voices for the streaming giant.

On Saturday, a new episode of the podcast “Teenager Therapy,” hosted by students of Loara High School in Anaheim and featuring guests Harry and Meghan, will be released on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube in honor of World Mental Health Day. During the installment, the teens and royals will discuss the importance of prioritizing and destigmatizing mental health.

Times staff writers Anousha Sakoui and Nardine Saad contributed to this report.


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