Duke of Sussex withdrawn libel claim against Associated Newspapers, a company spokesperson has said

Friday 19 January 2024

The Duke of Sussex has withdrawn his High Court libel claim against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday.

Harry, 39, 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.

The duke’s lawyers claimed the story “purported to reveal, in sensational terms” that information from court documents “contradicted public statements he had previously made about his willingness to pay for police protection for himself and his family whilst in the UK”.

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

In a ruling last month, the duke lost a bid to have ANL’s “honest opinion” thrown out by a judge and was ordered to pay £48,447 towards the publisher’s lawyers’ bills.

A spokeswoman for the publisher confirmed to the PA news agency on Friday that Harry had withdrawn his case.

A spokesperson for the Sussexes said the duke was focusing instead on the safety of his family and his legal case against the Home Office over security arrangements for himself, his wife and children when they are in the UK.

“As is the nature with legal proceedings, years have lapsed since this complaint was first filed,” the spokesperson said.

“In the time since, the main hearing relating to the duke’s Judicial Review has taken place and we are awaiting the final decision as to whether RAVEC acted lawfully with regard to his security.

“His focus remains there, and on the safety of his family, rather than these legal proceedings that give a continued platform to the Mail’s false claims all those years ago.”