Everyone’s still all abuzz that Prince Harry managed another stealth visit to the UK. It’s been almost a year since Harry and Meghan made their stealth visit to QEII in Windsor too – bad memories for the British media, because they were utterly scrambling to rewrite all of their narratives about how Harry was evil for never spending time with his elderly grandmother. Anyway, by the looks of things, Harry did arrive in London solo, with the sole purpose of attending this four-day pre-trial hearing in his lawsuit against ANL, the parent company of the Mail. This is part of the larger lawsuit into phone hacking, financial hacking and years of criminal activity undertaken by the Mail. Not to be confused with Harry’s lawsuit against the Mail for lying about his security or his lawsuit against the Mirror for much of the same thing as this ANL lawsuit.
The British media didn’t want to spend this much time talking about ANL and this lawsuit. Harry forced their hands by showing up in person to the High Court. According to the BBC, Harry sat in a few rows back from his lawyers and took notes:
The Duke of Sussex has unexpectedly appeared at the High Court as legal proceedings begin in a privacy case. Prince Harry and other individuals are suing Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), publishers of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. The duke, singer Sir Elton John and actresses Sadie Frost and Liz Hurley are among the individuals who allege unlawful information gathering. The publisher has described the allegations as “preposterous smears”.
A four-day preliminary High Court hearing in London, starting on Monday, will consider legal arguments and a judge will decide whether the case will go any further. ANL is bidding to end the claims. Prince Harry’s appearance will be seen by many as a sign of his strength of feeling over his privacy and determination regarding the legal action.
The group launched the legal action last year after becoming aware of “compelling and highly distressing evidence that they have been the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy” by ANL, according to a statement by law firm Hamlins released in October 2022. Court proceedings began with a bid by ANL’s lawyers to have certain reporting restrictions imposed in the case.
The Duke of Sussex sat towards the back of the courtroom, occasionally taking notes in a small black notebook as legal arguments were made by ANL’s barrister Catrin Evans KC. Frost sat two seats away from Harry in the courtroom.
We love a note-taker and receipt-keeper. We love a man who actively participates in a lawsuit which will (hopefully) change the way the British media does business. It’s also funny that one of the first items on the agenda for this pre-trial hearing was about the Mail wanting to put limitations on what the media can report about the case.
Meanwhile, the British tabloids are obviously much more focused on what Harry’s appearance means for family relations. While the Telegraph reported that King Charles is “too busy” to see his son and that William and Kate are on vacation, the Sun actually pointed out that Charles isn’t even in London or Windsor right now? I guess Charles decided to retire to Highgrove this weekend after his French trip was canceled. And… like, he’s just going to stay in Highgrove until he goes to Germany on Wednesday? The Sun also says that the Wales family is “not in Windsor” because it’s the kids’ Easter break. The assumption, I suppose, is that they retired to Anmer Hall, but we really don’t know. Peg and Buttons travel undercover all the time too, they could be sitting on a beach in South America for all we know. I love how Harry’s surprise trip highlights the active media collusion to protect the lazy Windsors too.
He looks dashing.
Photos courtesy of Getty, Avalon Red.