Victory for Prince Harry as he wins the latest stage of court case against the Mail On Sunday

A High Court judge ruled in favor of Prince Harry and his claim that parts of a Mail on Sunday article were defamatory

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 22: Prince Harry Duke of Sussex visits the finals of wheelchair basketball during the Invictus Games at Zuiderpark on April 22, 2022 in The Hague, Netherlands.
(Image credit: P van Katwijk/Getty Images)

Prince Harry has won the latest stage of his court battle with the Mail on Sunday, which claims part of an article about him was defamatory.

The Duke of Sussex is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Associated Newspapers Limited after their title, the Mail on Sunday, ran an article about Prince Harry's court case over his UK security measures.

While the court case is ongoing, Prince Harry has won the latest stage of proceedings after Mr Justice Nicklin agreed that some parts of the article in question are defamatory. 

The piece was published in February 2022, with the headline, 'Exclusive: How Prince Harry tried to keep his legal fight with the government over police bodyguards a secret... then - just minutes after the story broke - his PR machine tried to put a positive spin on the dispute.'

At the hearing in June, the Sun reports that Mr Justice Nicklin concluded that a reader would think that Prince Harry, "was responsible for public statements, issued on his behalf, which claimed that he was willing to pay for police protection in the UK, and that his legal challenge was to the Government's refusal to permit him to do so, whereas the true position, as revealed in documents filed in the legal proceedings, was that he had only made the offer to pay after the proceedings had commenced".


(Image credit: Getty)

He continued to say in the heading that the article could be read as alleging that Harry, "was responsible for trying to mislead and confuse the public as to the true position, which was ironic given that he now held a public role in tackling 'misinformation'."

He then added, "It may be possible to 'spin' facts in a way that does not mislead, but the allegation being made in the article was very much that the object was to mislead the public."

Mr Justice Nicklin concluded, "That supplies the necessary element to make the meanings defamatory at common law."

He did reject, however, the claim that the article implies that Harry is "lying".

He argues, "The Article does not make that blunt allegation, whether expressly or by implication.

"The hypothetical ordinary reasonable reader would understand the difference, as a matter of fact, between 'spinning' facts and 'lying'."                  

The case continues...

Lauren Hughes

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren worked on the woman&home brand for four years before going freelance. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine.