Prince Harry's seven-year war with the tabloids rages on

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and ascended the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Prince Harry at Queen Elizabeth's state funeral, London, 2022. (Getty Images)

Prince Harry has launched a legal action against the Daily Mail's parent company, Associated Newspapers Limited, accusing them of invasion of privacy.

Harry is part of a high-profile group including Elton John and his husband David Furnish, Elizabeth Hurley, Sadie Frost, and Baroness Doreen Lawrence — the mother of Stephen Lawrence.

The group has accused ANL of "abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy." Amongst the alleged "unlawful acts" listed are "the hiring of private investigators to secretly place listening devices inside people's cars and homes" and "the impersonation of individuals to obtain medical information."

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - JULY 24:  (L-R) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Sir Elton John, and David Furnish attend the Launch of the Menstar Coalition To Promote HIV Testing & Treatment of Men on July 24, 2018 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAF)
Elton John and his husband David Furnish chat with Prince Harry at a charity event in the Netherlands in 2018. Together they have all begun legal action for invasion of privacy against a tabloid newspaper. (Getty Images)

They also allege that ANL has used other illegal activity like bribing police officers, using "illicit means and manipulation" to access confidential financial information, and phone hacking.

The Duke of Sussex has a long and storied history when it comes to the tabloid press and is no stranger with taking action if he feels they have behaved unethically.

Back in 2007, Clive Goodman and and Glen Mulcaire — the News of the World royal editor and a private investigator — were convicted for intercepting phone calls and voicemails of members of the royal household.

Both served custodial sentences, with the judge calling their actions "reprehensible in the extreme." Goodman and Mulcaire both apologised to William, Harry and their father Charles through their lawyers.

London, United Kingdom:  (FILES) Royal editor for Britain's News of the World  newspaper, Clive Goodman leaves the City of Westminster Magistrates Court, in London, 16 August 2006. Goodman pleaded guilty Wednesday 29 November 2006 at the Old Bailey court in central London to plotting to intercept telephone messages. Goodman, 48, is charged with one count of conspiring to intercept voicemail messages and eight counts of intercepting voicemail messages. Police began their inquiries in December last year when three staff members at Clarence House, the heir-to-the-throne's official London residence, contacted them about
Clive Goodman leaving the City of Westminster Magistrates Court in London, 2006. (Getty Images)

This was the starting point to the scandal that eventually led the News of the World to shutter in 2011. One of the most shocking revelations that was discovered during a widespread police investigation was that in 2002, employees of News of the World had hacked into Milly Dowler's phone. They deleted some of the missing teenager's voicemails, which created for her parents false hope that Milly was still alive and accessing her phone.

In 2019, Harry filed against News Group Newspapers — the company that owns the Sun and the now-defunct News of the World — and Reach, who owns the Mirror, accusing them of hacking his phone.

Court documents from the filing revealed that the alleged hacking caused Harry to suffer "from a complete breakdown in trust with many of his associates," and that the "intrusion into his life [was] isolating and troubling."

EGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 30:  Prince Harry and his girlfriend Chelsy Davy attend the Cartier International Polo match at the Guards Polo Club on July 30, 2006 in Egham, England.  (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)
Prince Harry and ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy were both victims of the phone hacking, pictured at the Cartier Polo match in Egham, 2006. (Getty Images)

His patience with the tabloids has only shortened since his meeting his wife, Meghan and she was subject to what the Duke of Sussex called "a wave of abuse and harassment" in the press and online when their relationship became public in 2016.

The extraordinary statement also took aim at a "smear on the front page of a national newspaper" and the "racial undertones of comment pieces".

Last year, Meghan successfully sued ANL for invasion of privacy and infringement of copyright, after the Mail on Sunday printed parts of a private letter she had written to her father.

After her victory in the courts, Meghan said that it was "a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right. While this win is precedent-setting, what matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry”.

ANL's spokesperson said in response to the most recent allegations: "We utterly and unambiguously refute these preposterous smears" and that they are "unsubstantiated and highly defamatory."