Prince Harry accepts apology, damages in U.K. libel lawsuit
Britain’s Prince Harry on Monday accepted an apology and damages from the publisher of the tabloid Mail on Sunday and its online version, MailOnline, in a libel lawsuit relating to articles about his relationship with the British armed forces.
Harry sued Associated Newspapers for libel over two articles published in October that claimed he had snubbed the Royal Marines after stepping down as a senior royal.
The articles said that Harry had “not been in touch” with the force since his last appearance as an honorary Marine in March and that military leaders were considering replacing him as captain general of the Royal Marines.
Harry and his wife, the former actress Meghan Markle, stepped down as working royals and moved to the U.S. in early 2020. The prince’s honorary military titles were put on hold, and they were due to be reviewed in March as part of the monarchy’s review of the couple’s departure arrangements.
Harry had served for a decade in the British army, and his lawyers said the articles caused considerable damage to his reputation and credibility with veterans.
Lawyer Jenny Afia, representing the prince, said the publisher had accepted that allegations of his having turned his back on the force were false.
A celebrity photo agency has apologized to Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, for photos taken of baby Archie at their private family home.
The articles “constituted not only a personal attack upon the Duke’s character but also wrongly brought into question his service to this country,” Afia said of Harry, who is also the Duke of Sussex.
Afia said Harry was “proud to have served in the British armed forces for 10 years in Her Majesty’s name” and “has maintained active links with those forces ever since and will continue to do so in the future.”
Harry will donate the damages to the Invictus Games Foundation, a charity he founded for wounded and ill military personnel, she added. The amount of the damages was not disclosed.
Separately, his wife is also suing Associated Newspapers for invasion of privacy and copyright infringement over articles that published portions of a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, after her marriage to Harry in 2018.
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