Prince Harry’s surprise appearance in UK court

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Prince Harry has made an unexpected court appearance in London.

The Duke of Sussex was surrounded by photographers as he arrived at the Royal Courts of Justice in Westminster on Monday.

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Prince Harry, Elton John, and several other celebrities have filed lawsuits against Associated Newspapers, alleging phone tapping and other invasions of privacy.

The hearing, expected to last four days, involves one of several lawsuits Prince Harry has brought against the media.

Harry’s presence at the High Court in London is a sign of the importance he places on the case.

Britain’s Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has brought a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers. (EPA PHOTO) Credit: EPA

Other plaintiffs include Elton John’s husband David Furnish, and actresses Liz Hurley and Sadie Frost.

None of the claimants were expected to speak on Monday.

The seven claimants launched the action last year, but legal restrictions requested by the newspaper group mean specific details of their allegations have not so far been made public.

According to a statement released in October by lawyers for Frost and Harry, the case against Associated Newspapers includes accusations of bugging people’s calls, cars and homes, and paying police for sensitive information.

Prince Harry surrounded by photographers as he arrives at court. Credit: AP

Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and the Mail Online, has said it “utterly and unambiguously” denies the allegations.

Harry is already suing the Mail on Sunday for libel over an article about his security arrangements, and last year won damages from the same paper after another defamation claim.

His wife Meghan also won a privacy case against the publisher in 2021 for printing a letter she had written to her estranged father.

Meanwhile, Harry is expected to appear in court in May to give evidence in a libel trial against the Daily Mirror newspaper over accusations of phone-hacking.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Credit: AP

Media intrusion was one of the reasons Harry and Meghan cited for stepping back from royal duties and moving to California to forge new lives and careers.

They fiercely attacked the press in their recent six-part Netflix documentary series and in Harry’s memoir Spare.

However, possibly the most notable claimant in the case is Doreen Lawrence, the mother of black teenager Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in a 1993 racist attack.

She was later made a baroness for her campaigning work.

The Mail had championed bringing her son’s killers to justice and said the allegations involving her were “appalling and utterly groundless smears”.

In a statement last October, a spokesman for Associated Newspapers said the publisher had “the greatest respect and admiration” for Lawrence and was saddened she had been persuaded to join the action by “whoever is cynically and unscrupulously orchestrating these claims”.

– with AAP

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