Prince Harry isn't done taking legal action against British news outlets he considers to have crossed a line in their reporting on his wife, Meghan Markle.
Three days after announcing that they'd be "taking legal action" against the Mail on Sunday for its publishing of a private letter that Meghan wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, Buckingham Palace confirmed Friday that the Duke of Sussex has filed claims in the High Court against News UK, which is the parent company of British tabloid The Sun, and MGN, the parent company of The Mirror. Both claims are in regards to alleged illegal interception of voicemails.
Harry's latest round of legal action against news outlets continues several years of him changing his tune when it comes to his relationship with the media, fueled by its coverage of his former "Suits" actress wife.
Back in November 2016, the same year that Harry's private romance with Meghan started and ultimately became public, the British royal released an uncharacteristic statement condemning "the outright sexism and racism" directed at Meghan.
"He has rarely taken formal action on the very regular publication of fictional stories that are written about him and he has worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the media, focused on his work and the issues he cares about," Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time. "His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public -- the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments."
"Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm," it went on. "He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game -- it is her life and his."
In the years since, though, the media coverage of Meghan, her family and her relationships with various members of the royal family has reached fever pitch in an effort to feed an international appetite for stories about her. It appears as though Meghan and Harry have quietly been gearing up to strike back, with the duke releasing an even lengthier statement earlier this week lambasting the media for its "malicious" treatment of his wife.
"Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences — a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son," he said. "Though we have continued to put on a brave face -- as so many of you can relate to -- I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been. Because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day’s coverage is no longer tomorrow’s chip-paper. Up to now, we have been unable to correct the continual misrepresentations - something that these select media outlets have been aware of and have therefore exploited on a daily and sometimes hourly basis."
In addition to his own statement, the royal's legal representatives at Schillings released a statement of their shedding more light on the legal action that they've taken against the Daily Mail and its parent company.
"We have initiated legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday, and its parent company Associated Newspapers, over the intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by the Duchess of Sussex, which is part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband," the firm said. "Given the refusal of Associated Newspapers to resolve this issue satisfactorily, we have issued proceedings to redress this breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and the aforementioned media agenda."
It's not just the tabloids that Harry appears to be having a tough time with: In the final days of his family's 10-day royal tour of Africa, while leaving an event during his solo jaunt to Malawi, he lashed out at a seasoned Sky News reporter after she pushed him with a few so-called "unscheduled" questions.