Prince Harry’s phone hacking claims have been under the spotlight after the duke made two headline-grabbing appearances in court this week.
The duke is suing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) for damages, claiming journalists at its titles were linked to methods including phone hacking and using private investigators for unlawful activities.
There were shouts of support for Harry as he left court but his popularity with the public has taken a hit in recent months after the publication of his memoirs, Spare, which detailed the falling out with brother William and tensions with his dad, King Charles.
Support for Harry has slumped following the book’s publication and the airing of his Netflix series – but how has your opinion changed about the prince following his court appearances this week?
What has Harry claimed in court?
Harry was questioned for hours in the High Court and said he would “feel some injustice” if his phone hacking claims were rejected.
He claimed the press “misled me and covered up the wrongdoing” for his whole life and went to “extreme lengths to cover their tracks”, during a second day in the witness box.
During almost eight hours of questioning over two days, the duke repeatedly told the court that articles published in MGN titles were “incredibly suspicious” and bore “tell-tale signs” of unlawful activity.
He blamed the press for ruining his relationship with girlfriend Chelsy Davy, claiming the interest in the pair ultimately led Davy to breaking up with him in 2010 and telling him that “a royal life was not for her”.
Harry spoke of how he would ring his mother, Princess Diana, on “most Sunday nights” after he was dropped off at Eton as a student, “in floods of tears”.
He appeared choked and close to tears at one point as he described with a crack in his voice how the toll his court appearances had taken on him was “a lot”.
Harry hurt by ‘mean’ headlines celebrating break-up with Chelsy Davy (Evening Standard)
Harry's case 'based on total speculation'
Harry was asked to provide hard evidence of his phone hacking claims – which he repeatedly failed to deliver.
MGN’s barrister Andrew Green KC contended that Harry had no call data evidence and it was “total speculation” that journalists unlawfully obtained the information about him in 33 articles which are at the centre of his case.
Harry suggested he “could” have been hacked on a daily basis but “did not know”, and told Green that he was not aware of any evidence to suggest he was being hacked.
Paul Burrell, the butler to Harry’s late mother Princess Diana, accused the duke of not telling the truth in court by referencing allegations that Burrell sold possessions belonging from Diana – something Burrell was cleared of.
Harry was also forced to reject suggestions that it was a Buckingham Palace source who provided information to the press about his relationship with Davy rather than as a result of phone hacking.