Prince Harry cites ‘substantial hurt, embarrassment and distress’ as libel claim heads to court

The Duke of Sussex's lawyer has revealed his client's 'embarrassment' over the Mail on Sunday's claims about his legal battle for police protection

Prince Harry ‘hurt’ by ‘defamatory’ claims he had ‘lied’
(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty)

Prince Harry was left with 'substantial hurt' by a report that suggested he had 'lied' about his fight for UK police protection, his lawyer has claimed. 

Prince Harry was 'substantially hurt' by 'defamatory' suggestions that he lied about his fight for UK police protection, the High Court heard on Thursday. 

The Duke of Sussex is suing the publisher of the Mail on Sunday, Associated Newspapers, over a February article that alleged that he had tried to conceal details of his legal battle from the public. 

The story was published a month after Prince Harry's fears that he was 'not safe' in the UK led him to file a claim for the Home Office to review a decision denying him permission to pay for government police protection in his native country. The 37-year-old has previously said that he was chased by photographers during his visit to London for Princess Diana's statue unveiling in July 2021. 

Prince Harry's lawyer, Justin Rushbrooke QC, has now told judge Mr. Justice Nicklin that the Mail on Sunday's story wrongfully claimed that his client had "lied in his initial public statements to the effect that he had always been willing to pay for police protection in the UK." 


(Image credit: Getty)

The Duke of Sussex's legal representative has insisted that he only offered to make the payment after a visit to the UK last June. He also said that the publisher had suggested that Prince Harry had "improperly and cynically tried to manipulate and confuse public opinion" with their claims that he had ordered 'his ‘spin doctors’ to put out false and misleading statements about his willingness to pay for police protection immediately after the Mail on Sunday had revealed he was suing the Government." 

Rushbrooke argued that such "serious" allegations "tend to lower him [Prince Harry] in the eyes of right-thinking people." He went on to add that the story, which had been published in print and online, had caused “substantial hurt, embarrassment, and distress" for the Duke. 

Andrew Caldecott QC, for Associated Newspapers, denied that the Mail Online's story had suggested that Harry was lying, arguing that its emphasis was on the "PR spin on the dispute." 

“The article does allege that the claimant’s PR team spun the story (or added a gloss unduly favorable to the claimant) which led to inaccurate reporting and confusion about the nature of the claim," he added. “It does not allege dishonesty against them.”

Mr. Justice Nicklin's ruling on the matter will be issued at a later date.

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.