Prince Harry makes a surprise arrival at the High Court as legal proceedings. Which in an Associated Newspapers phone-tapping and privacy cases commence.
He is only returning to the UK for the first time since his grandmother’s funeral in September.
He is one of several claimants in the lawsuit filed against the owner of The Daily Mail newspaper. And a preliminary High Court hearing begins today to examine legal arguments before a judge decides whether the case will proceed.
Prince return to UK
A smiling prince was seen entering at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, flanked by bodyguards. While dressed in a suit and tie and a black winter coat, and encircled by journalists.
The prince’s unexpected return to the UK comes amid tensions with Buckingham Palace. Over bombshell revelations in his controversial book, Spare. In which he detailed his troubled relationship with his father King Charles, further his brother, Prince William, the Prince of Wales.
Along with actresses Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, Sir Elton John and his spouse, filmmaker David Furnish, and Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon OBE, Harry is bringing the action.
They claim they were victims of “abhorrent criminal activity”. And “gross breaches of privacy” by Associated Newspapers Limited. Also revealed in October that they were filing claims for misuse of private information against ANL. Which also publishes The Mail On Sunday and MailOnline.
The alleged illegal acts included hiring private detectives to secretly place listening devices inside vehicles and homes. Secretly recording private phone conversations. Illegally accessing bank accounts. And paying police officials for inside information.
The publisher has described the accusations as “preposterous smears” and a “pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail titles into the phone-hacking scandal”.
A spokesperson for ANL also said the allegations were “unsubstantiated and highly defamatory claims, based on no credible evidence”.
Meanwhile a four-day hearing is set to include ANL’s bid for the claims to be dismissed without a trial.
It’s the latest of several cases brought against the tabloid press by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex over the last few years, and this is just one of several cases Prince Harry is involved in.