LONDON -- On Friday, a judge at London's High Court ruled that a newspaper article about Prince Harry’s legal battle against the British government over security arrangements was defamatory. This allows him to bring his libel case to trial.
Harry, Queen Elizabeth's great-grandson, is suing Associated Newspapers for libel. The article was published in February and claimed that he tried to keep confidential details about his legal fight to reinstate police protection. His aides then attempted to put a positive spin on the story.
Associated Newspapers denied that the article was libelous. A preliminary hearing was held last year to determine what a reader would interpret as the "natural and ordinal" meaning of the Mail story.
Matthew Nicklin, the judge, ruled that "I am satisfied these meanings are defamatory under common law."
He claimed that the report implied Harry sought "far-reaching, unjustifiably broad" confidentiality restrictions. He was also responsible for statements made on his behalf and not his public relations team, as the paper had argued.
Nicklin stated that a reader could also conclude that the prince was responsible for trying to mislead the public about the true situation.
Harry will be able to move forward with his case, while the Mail will have an opportunity to defend themselves.
Nicklin stated that "this is the first phase of a libel case." "It will come down to the later stages of the proceedings whether or not the claim succeeds, and if so, on what basis."
This ruling comes just a day after Harry's lawyers sought permission to review the government's decision regarding police protection.
This is the latest court dispute between Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, who are the Duke and Duchess.
After the Mail on Sunday printed excerpts from a handwritten note Meghan wrote to her father in 2018, Meghan filed a claim against them.