Prince Harry claims the palace withheld information from him in phone hacking

The Duke of Sussex submitted a witness statement ahead of the civil case against Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers, which he’s attending in London

Prince Harry is making a statement.

The Duke of Sussex submitted a witness statement in which he claims he was forced to adopt his family’s policy of “never complain, never explain” when dealing with the media. The Duke of Sussex is in London this week for a legal case in which he and other well-known individuals are suing Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, for illegal information gathering.

“Following the death of my mother in 1997 when I was 12 years old and her treatment at the hands of the press, I have always had an uneasy relationship with the press,” he said, referring to his mother, Princess Diana. “However, as a member of the Institution, the policy was to ‘never complain, never explain.’ There was no alternative; I was conditioned to accept it. For the most part, I accepted the interest in my performing my public functions.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leaves from the Royal Courts of Justice, Britain's High Court

Although Prince Harry admitted that dating Meghan Markle made him “increasingly troubled by the approach of not taking action against the press in the wake of vicious persistent attacks on, harassment of, and intrusive, sometimes racist articles concerning Meghan,” he did not specifically mention this in his statement. The birth of their first child and Meghan’s pregnancy, he continued, “made the issue worse.”

Prince Harry stated that he learned that he may file a lawsuit in 2018 against News Group Newspapers for phone hacking.

“The Institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN’s phone hacking and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation,” he said.

Harry continued: “It is not an exaggeration to say that the bubble burst in terms of what I knew in 2020 when I moved out of the United Kingdom.” Prince Harry and Meghan moved to her home state of California that year after stepping back as senior members of the royal family.

“To this day, there are members of the Royal Family and friends of mine who may have been targeted by NGN and I have no idea whether they have or have not brought claims,” he continued. “There was never any centralised discussion between us about who had brought claims as each office in the Institution is siloed. There is this misconception that we are all in constant communication with one another but that is not true.”

Prince Harry said the claim was “not just about me.”

“I am bringing this claim because I love my country and I remain deeply concerned by the unchecked power, influence, and criminality of Associated,” he said. “The evidence I have seen shows that Associated’s journalists are criminals with journalistic powers which should concern every single one of us. The British public deserves to know the full extent of this cover and I feel it is my duty to expose it.”

Prince Harry stated that he learned that he may file a lawsuit in 2018 against News Group Newspapers for phone hacking.

The Duke of Sussex returned to the High Court on Tuesday for the second day of a case he and other notable individuals are suing ANL in. These individuals include Elton John, the singer’s husband David Furnish, Elizabeth Hurley, Parliament member Doreen Lawrence, and Jude Law’s ex-wife Sadie Frost. In their lawsuit, the claimants claimed that illegal activities included placing listening devices in their homes and cars by private investigators, secretly recording private phone calls, paying police “with corrupt links to private investigators” for sensitive information, and impersonating them in order to obtain medical information from hospitals and care facilities and illicit manipulation into accessing bank accounts, credit histories, and other financial transactions.

Both sides’ legal defenses will be taken into account throughout the four-day hearing, which will end with a judge’s decision on whether the matter should proceed to trial. The case, according to Associated Newspapers, should be dismissed.

According to the BBC, Associated Newspapers denies the accusations and refers to them as “preposterous slander.”