Final hearing in Harry’s defamation lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday publishers

The final hearing in the Duke of Sussex’s defamation lawsuit against the editor of The Mail on Sunday over an article about the Duke’s challenge to the Home Office over security arrangements is due to take place in the High Court.

Harry is suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over an article about his separate action in the High Court over keeping himself and his family safe while in the UK. ANL denies the claim.

The story was published in February 2022 with the headline: “Exclusive: How Prince Harry tried to keep his legal dispute with the government over police bodyguards under wraps…then – just minutes after the story broke – his PR machine tried to to take a positive turn towards the argument”.

A preliminary hearing in the defamation case is scheduled to take place before the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Friday.

It comes after the defamation lawsuit was put on hold last December to see if a settlement could be reached between the Duke and the publisher.

Judge Barbara Fontaine was previously told that Harry and ANL had agreed to continue efforts to reach a settlement, but if no settlement was reached the Duke would ask the court to either drop ANL’s defense or grant summary judgment in his favour cases to avoid the need for a sample.

Last July, Mr Judge Nicklin ruled in favor of Harry in the first phase of the lawsuit, which related to the “objective meaning” of the article.

The judge found the article defamatory and said a normal reader would understand from the article that Harry was “responsible for public statements made on his behalf alleging that he was willing to pay for police protection in Britain, and that he was legal. The challenge consisted of the government’s refusal to allow him to do so, while the real point of view, as revealed by documents filed at the court case, was that he had only made the offer of payment after the proceedings had begun”.

Harry is launching the separate case against the Home Office after being told he would no longer receive the “same level” of personal protective equipment if he visited from the US, despite offering to pay for it himself.

Last year, the Duke was given the green light for a full hearing in his challenge to a decision by the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec), which falls under the Home Office’s jurisdiction.

A date has not yet been set for this hearing. Final hearing in Harry’s defamation lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday publishers

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