All the times the royal family has taken legal action - from Kate Middleton to Meghan Markle

It's not unprecedented

Danielle Stacey

The Duke of Sussex confirmed this week that his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, is taking legal action against a Sunday newspaper, after it published a private letter she sent to her father earlier this year. In an emotional statement released via their website Sussex Official, Harry spoke about how his wife has become "one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press" and making reference to his mother Princess Diana, expressed his fears of history repeating itself.

While this passionate statement is unprecedented, Meghan is not the first member of the royal family to have taken legal action. Here we take a look back at all the times the royal family has taken legal action.

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Prince William and Kate Middleton

 In 2012, Harry's brother and sister-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge launched legal proceedings against French magazine Closer to stop it re-printing topless photographs of Kate taken while the couple were on a private holiday. After six people were convicted of charges relating to the taking and publication of the images, a Paris court awarded William and Kate more than 100,000 euros in damages in 2017.

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The Queen

The Queen has sued The Sun twice for breach of copyright – the first time was in 1988, when the newspaper reached an out-of-court settlement with the monarch after publishing a stolen private family photo. The second time was in 1993 when The Sun published the contents of the Queen's annual Christmas broadcast two days before its transmission. The newspaper ended up paying £200,000 to charity in an out-of-court settlement.

In 2003, the Queen also stopped the Daily Mirror from publishing further revelations about journalist Ryan Parry's employment as a footman at Buckingham Palace.

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Princess Diana

 In 1993, Princess Diana took legal action against Mirror Group Newspapers after they published photos of her exercising in the gym. The matter was later settled out of court, but the damages awarded have never been disclosed.

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Prince Charles

Prince Charles obtained an injunction against former housekeeper Wendy Berry, who published her book The Housekeeper's Diary: Charles and Diana Before The Break-up in America. St James's Palace later obtained an injunction that entitled Charles to all profits from her book.

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