Prince Harry has been ordered to pay the Mail on Sunday more than £48,000 after he lost his attempt to throw out part of the paper’s defence in a libel case last week.
The Duke of Sussex is suing the newspaper’s publishers, Associated Newspapers, over an article written about his ongoing battle with the Home Office concerning his security arrangements when in the UK.
Harry claims the article was “fundamentally inaccurate” and the newspaper libeled him when it suggested he lied in his initial public statements about his case challenging the government.
Associated Newspapers argue the article expressed an “honest opinion” and did not cause “serious harm” to Harry’s reputation.
The royal argued against this defence and attempted to get it thrown out, however a High Court judge ruled on Friday that it could be included, and the case should go to trial.
The Mail on Sunday and Mail Online published an article in February 2022 headlined: “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.”
The article said Harry tried to hide his efforts to retain publicly funded protection in the UK after giving up his status as a working member of the Royal Family in 2020.
The government, meanwhile, has defended its decision to withdraw full protection for Harry because he stepped down from his role as a senior working member of the Firm. It said he was treated fairly and provided with security occasionally when he visits.