Prince Harry loses legal challenge in court in libel claim against Mail on Sunday

Prince Harry

Prince Harry

Dorothy Reddin

By Dorothy Reddin

Published: 08/12/2023

- 10:16

Updated: 08/12/2023

- 12:56

The Duke of Sussex has lost his bid in court

The Duke of Sussex has lost a bid to have The Mail on Sunday publisher’s defence to his libel claim thrown out by the High Court.

Harry, 39, has sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over a February 2022 article about his legal challenge against the Home Office following a decision to change his publicly funded security arrangements when visiting the UK, claiming it was “an attack on his honesty and integrity”.

ANL is contesting the claim, arguing the article expressed an “honest opinion” and did not cause “serious harm” to his reputation.

The duke previously asked the High Court to strike out ANL’s “honest opinion” defence or grant judgment in his favour on it.

WATCH NOW: Royal commentator discusses Harry's libel case

In a written ruling on Friday, Mr Justice Nicklin refused to “strike out” ANL’s defence.

He said: “Overall, it is not fanciful that the defendant will be successful, at trial, in demonstrating that the public statements issued on the claimant’s behalf sought to promote the judicial review claim as his battle against the Government’s (perverse) decision to refuse to allow him to pay for his own security.

“There is a real prospect that the defendant will succeed in demonstrating that this was a misleading description of the issues in the judicial review claim, arguably promoted because it was hoped to show the claimant’s judicial review claim in a positive light, whereas a portrayal of the judicial review claim as the claimant trying to force the Government to reinstate his, taxpayer-funded, state security risked his appearing in a negative light.”

Prince Harry

Prince Harry has multiple court cases with the British press​


The judgment comes a day after the High Court heard Harry’s claim that the February 2020 decision of the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (Ravec) to remove his personal protection was “unlawful and unfair”.

A different judge’s decision in that case is expected at a later date.

A press statement issued on Harry’s behalf in January 2022 said he and his family were “unable to return to his home” due to the lack of police protection needed in the UK.

It added: “The duke first offered to pay personally for UK police protection for himself and his family in January of 2020 at Sandringham.

“That offer was dismissed. He remains willing to cover the cost of security, as not to impose on the British taxpayer.”

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