Watch: Prince Harry to sue Mail on Sunday publisher over ‘libellous’ news article
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have changed much about their dealings with the press since stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family in March.
Other members of the Royal Family are no strangers to taking legal action, but for royals to take on so many cases at once is rare.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shown they are willing to act when they feel they are facing a breach of privacy.
They also do their utmost to protect their son Archie.
Yahoo UK looks at each case the royals are fighting, both in the UK and the US.
Duke of Sussex vs Mail on Sunday
The duke launched legal action against the Mail on Sunday’s publishers, Associated Newspapers Ltd, for libel according to papers filed in the UK High Court at the end of November 2020.
The Daily Telegraph reported the case related to a story in the Mail on Sunday which claimed the duke had not been in touch with the Royal Marines since stepping back from his senior royal position.
No more information was available, and the Mail on Sunday has not commented.
Duchess of Sussex vs Splash News and Pictures
Meghan is suing the news agency Splash News and Pictures over images taken of her walking her dogs, with baby Archie, through the woods in Canada in January 2020.
She is suing in her own right, but the action is also brought by Harry and Meghan on behalf of Archie.
Meghan was out for a walk on 20 January when she was “papped”, her lawyers say, by a photographer who works for the US branch of Splash.
The couple say the photographs are a misuse of Meghan and Archie’s private information and are in breach of the Data Protection Act.
Their lawyer said in High Court that the photographer was “casing” the home they were staying in on Vancouver Island the day before the images were taken.
The pictures were sold and used widely by Associated Newspapers and News Group, who publish papers like the Daily Mail and The Sun.
Harry and Meghan have brought action against Splash in the UK, at the High Court, but sought permission to serve the claim against the US arm of the agency, which they were granted.
It’s not the first time they have gone to battle against Splash. In 2019, they accepted damages after Splash used a drone to take images above the home in the Cotswolds, which gave a view of their bedroom.
Duchess of Sussex vs Associated Newspapers Ltd
Perhaps the best known court case of the couple’s battles is the duchess’s case against Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), over articles which appeared in the Mail On Sunday and on the MailOnline.
The duchess is suing after parts of a letter she wrote to her father, which she says were private, were reprinted in the paper and then online.
Meghan, 39, is suing for damages citing alleged misuse of private information, copyright infringement and breach of the Data Protection Act.
She sent her father, Thomas Markle, the letter in August 2018, and it was referenced by her friends in an article for People magazine about six months later, in February 2019.
Claiming he needed to defend himself, Markle then spoke to the Mail On Sunday, and showed them the letter, parts of which were then printed in the paper and online.
Meghan says she did not know her friends would be speaking to People magazine, and that her father was manipulated.
The article was headlined: “Revealed: The handwritten letter showing true tragedy of Meghan's rift with father she says has 'broken her heart into a million pieces' - and why he feels forced to make the 'devastating' missive public”.
The case has already had two big court dates - one won by Meghan and the other by ANL.
ANL denies the allegations, particularly Meghan’s claim the letter was edited in any way. It says it will hotly contest the case.
The case is expected to go to full trial next year.
Duke and Duchess of Sussex vs Unknown Paparazzi
Harry and Meghan filed legal action against unknown photographers at the end of July, as they accused paparazzi of having an “insatiable appetite for harassing and intruding” on their private lives.
The couple claimed in court papers that photographers were using drones and long lenses to get pictures of their son in the home they had been living in in LA, believed to belong to Hollywood producer Tyler Perry.
Harry and Meghan have moved since then, to a new home which they have bought and are understood to have a mortgage on.
The couple does not know who has taken the images of them, and so the legal action was filed against multiple unnamed photographers.
The action is intended to put prospective buyers of the photographs on notice that they are illegal images, and hope to uncover who took them in order to have the pictures handed over.
They also suggest they will take any other appropriate action against the photographer.
The papers add: “In particular, the couple recently learned that someone is shopping photographs of their 14-month-old son, Archie, falsely claiming to have taken them on a ‘recent’ public outing ‘in Malibu’. But Archie has not been in public, let alone in Malibu, since the family arrived here.”
Duke of Sussex vs The Sun and The Mirror
Prince Harry confirmed in October 2019 that he was taking action against the owners of The Sun, The Mirror and the defunct News of the World, for alleged phone hacking.
Buckingham Palace said papers were filed for the prince at the High Court, about alleged interception of phone messages, and News Group, which owns The Sun and used to own News of the World, confirmed a claim was issued.
Court filings reported by Byline Investigates appear to show two separate cases, made in the prince’s name, one against Rupert Murdoch’s News Group, and the other against Reach Plc’s group MGN. Reach is the publisher for The Mirror.
The BBC reported some of the claims were understood to predate 2010, and Jonny Dymond, the organisation’s royal correspondent, said the action goes back to the phone hacking scandal of the 2000s.
Phone hacking was a major scandal from 2007 and Princes William, Harry and then Kate Middleton were all named in the trial.
More than £500m has been paid out to victims of phone hacking over the years in settlements and legals costs.