Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have revealed their 14-month-old son, Archie, has not been out in public since they arrived in Los Angeles in an explosive court filing as they seek to protect their privacy.
Harry and Meghan have accused paparazzi in Los Angeles of an “insatiable appetite for harassing and intruding” on their private lives as they file legal action after drones and long lens cameras were used to take pictures of their son.
In the court filing, the couple say they decided to leave the UK to “escape the incessant UK tabloid fabrications” but have found themselves dealing with “harassment and intimidation” both in Canada, where they lived over Christmas, and now in California.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex accuse photographers of using drones and long lenses to get pictures of their son in the home, believed to belong to Hollywood producer Tyler Perry.
Harry and Meghan are believed to have moved to LA at the end of March.
The papers state: “Some paparazzi and media outlets have flown drones a mere 20 feet above the house, as often as three times a day, to obtain photographs of the couple and their young son in their private residence (some of which have been sold and published).
“Others have flown helicopters above the backyard of the residence, as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as 7:00 p.m., waking neighbors and their son, day after day. And still others have even cut holes in the security fence itself to peer through it.”
The couple says it has drawn a line after learning of photographs which are being sold as if they were taken in a town near to where they live - but Archie has never left the house.
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.”
Harry, 35 and Meghan, 38, who announced they were quitting life in the UK in January, say they don’t know who has taken the photographs, and so have taken action against unnamed parties.
The couple intend 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.
Michael Kump of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP, attorneys for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: “Every individual and family member in California is guaranteed by law the right to privacy in their home. No drones, helicopters or telephoto lenses can take away that right. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are filing this lawsuit to protect their young son’s right to privacy in their home without intrusion by photographers, and to uncover and stop those who seek to profit from these illegal actions.”
It’s not the only piece of legal action for the couple.
Prince Harry sent a legal letter to campaign group Republic earlier this week after it’s chief executive suggested Sussex Royal, which he and Meghan set up while they were still senior royals, breached charity commission rules when it received grants from the Royal Foundation, which they were part of with Prince William and his wife Kate.
Harry called the claims deeply offensive and suggested they were defamatory.
Meghan has another hearing in her ongoing legal battle with the Mail On Sunday and the MailOnline next week, when she will attempt to ensure they cannot name five of her friends who spoke to People magazine to defend her, and revealed the existence of a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle.
The letter is now the subject of a copyright case between the two parties.
Archie’s first birthday was marked in lockdown in California, with the couple celebrating by releasing a video of Meghan reading to him.
The couple also decided not to bring him with them when they returned to the UK for a series of engagements before they stepped back as senior royals.
It emerged at the time that they were concerned about the coronavirus situation which stopped them travelling with him.