Prince Harry withdraws libel claim: A setback for Team Sussex

Prince Harry has made the decision to withdraw his libel claim against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday, dealing a blow to Team Sussex. The Duke of Sussex had taken legal action against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over an article that mentioned his legal battle with the Home Office regarding changes to his publicly funded security arrangements. The story alleged that Harry had tried to keep the details of his legal fight secret from the public. Despite his lawyers arguing that the article undermined his integrity and charity work, ANL contended that it expressed an “honest opinion” and did not cause serious harm to his reputation.

Last year, a judge determined that parts of the Mail on Sunday article were defamatory as they portrayed Prince Harry as intentionally misleading the public. In addition to the libel claim, the duke’s legal team also sought to have ANL’s defense thrown out and obtain a judgment in his favor without a trial. However, a ruling last month favored the publisher, suggesting they had a “real prospect” of arguing their case. The judge ordered Prince Harry to pay £48,447 towards ANL’s legal costs, bringing the case closer to a trial originally scheduled for May to July.

Despite the mounting legal battle, Prince Harry has now decided to withdraw his libel claim. A spokesperson for the Sussexes stated that the duke wants to focus on his separate case with the Home Office and prioritize the safety of his family. The spokesperson acknowledged the significant time that has passed since the complaint was lodged and mentioned the pending hearing regarding the duke’s judicial review, where the lawfulness of the Home Office’s actions concerning his security will be determined.

The withdrawal of the libel claim is undoubtedly a setback for Team Sussex. It raises questions about the viability of their legal strategy and the potential consequences for Prince Harry’s reputation. The Mail on Sunday article accused him of attempting to conceal his legal battle from the public, which could have contributed to doubts regarding his transparency and integrity. By withdrawing the claim, Prince Harry may allow these doubts to linger, potentially diminishing public trust in his words and actions.

Focusing on the Home Office Case

Prince Harry’s decision to prioritize his case against the Home Office indicates the importance he places on the issue of his security, particularly when visiting the UK. He asserts that the decision to limit his personal protective security was unfair, unreasonable, and improperly made. During a three-day hearing in December, his legal representatives expressed concerns about the safety of his children, Archie and Lilibet, and their ability to feel at home in the UK without adequate protection. While a different judge is handling this case, the outcome could significantly impact Prince Harry’s future relationship with the UK.

Prince Harry’s withdrawal of his libel claim against the Mail on Sunday publisher is a significant blow to Team Sussex. It leaves unanswered questions about the allegations made in the article and the potential implications for the duke’s reputation. By prioritizing his case against the Home Office, Prince Harry demonstrates his commitment to ensuring the safety of his family during their visits to the UK. However, the outcome of the Home Office case and the broader impact on Prince Harry’s relationship with the UK remain uncertain. As the legal proceedings continue, the public watches with interest to see how these developments unfold.

UK

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