Britain’s Prince Harry has launched a case against two British tabloids over alleged phone hacking allegations, believed to date back a few years.
His latest action, against the Sun and Mirror group of newspapers, marks an escalation of his fight with sections of the media he had recently branded as “ruthless” in an impassioned letter and accused them of waging a war against his wife Meghan Markle.
Lawyers representing the 35-year-old Duke of Sussex, the sixth in line to the British throne, have filed papers at the High Court in London over the illegal interception of voicemail messages dating back to the early 2000s. The details of the legal claim have not yet been made public or delivered in full to the newspapers concerned.
However, it is believed the claims refer to historical cases when Harry and his brother, Prince William, were at the centre of a series of hacking allegations after it emerged in the early 2000s that UK tabloid journalists were routinely accessing public figures voicemails to find stories.
It had led to a flurry of legal cases and eventually resulted in the closure of the Rupert Murdoch owned News of the World.
Harry’s claims were filed by leading London law firm Clintons, which has overseen several phone-hacking claims in the past and won substantial payouts on behalf of high-profile clients.
A spokesperson for News Group Newspapers (NGN), which owns The Sun, said: “We confirm that a claim has been issued by the Duke of Sussex. We have no further comment to make at the current time.”
Buckingham Palace also confirmed that papers had been filed on behalf of Prince Harry but declines to give any further details.
The revelation, first reported by Byline Investigates news outlet, comes days after it emerged that Markle launched a separate legal action against the Mail on Sunday for alleged breach of privacy and copyright infringement over its decision to publish a private letter she had sent to her estranged father.
In an open letter earlier this week, Harry accused the so-called “press pack” of vilifying his former actress wife daily for the past nine months and compared it with the treatment of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son [Archie],” he said.
“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in,” he adds.
Princess Diana had died aged 36 in 1997 after her car crashed in Paris while being pursued by paparazzi.