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Prince Harry's bold statements during hacking trial - all the details

The Duke of Sussex is appearing in court due to taking legal action against Mirror Group Newspapers


Harry leaving car outside court
Rachel Avery
Homes Editor
6 June 2023
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Prince Harry, 38, skipped court on Monday, leaving his barrister David Sherborne to explain why he was absent, but on Tuesday the royal arrived ready to give evidence, and during his time on the stand he made a series of allegations and revelations. Keep scrolling to find out what he said...

WATCH: See the one word Prince Harry said to press as he arrived in court

He was pictured arriving at the London High Court in the morning, ahead of the next proceedings in the trial against the Mirror Group Newspapers.

The Duke of Sussex was pictured getting out of a black Range Rover at 9.36am and there was a notable police presence for safety.  He was wearing a smart black and tie for his important appearance.

Prince Harry gets out of car in suit
Prince Harry was pictured outside court


What did Prince Harry say in court?

Prince Harry on stepping back from royal duties 

In Prince Harry's witness statement he once again spoke about why he and his wife Meghan Markle felt the need to step down from being working royals. "In large part, this was due to the constant intrusion, inciting of hatred and harassment by the tabloid press into every aspect of our private lives, which had a devastating impact on our mental health and wellbeing. We were also very concerned for the security and safety of our son," he said. 

Prince Harry on the late Queen being fearful of media intrusion 

The royal admitted: "Everything felt as though I was under 24-hour surveillance," referring to being followed by paparazzi. He also revealed that even during a gap year to Australia in 2003, his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II was so worried about press intrusion that she sent a personal aide to secretly stay down the street from him. 

WATCH: Prince William voices concerns for Prince Harry's privacy in unearthed clip at home

Prince Harry on how his childhood was impacted by the press

Talking about growing up in the royal family and in the public eye, Harry said: "As a child, every single one of these articles played an important and destructive role in my growing up."

He also added: "I now realise that my acute paranoia of being constantly under surveillance was not misplaced after all," after talking about payments made to private investigators used to gather information on him. 

chelsy prince harry
Prince Harry and Chelsy used to date

Prince Harry on his relationship with Chelsy Davy

The royal also touched upon his relationship with former girlfriend Chelsy Davy, and ultimately its breakdown. "These kinds of articles made me feel as though my relationship with Chelsy was always set to be doomed," he said. 

"Ultimately, these factors led her to make the decision that a Royal life was not for her, which was incredibly upsetting for me at the time." he continued.

Prince Harry on understanding how Princess Diana must have felt 

Harry also drew parallels between his experience and his mother Princess Diana's. "I've always heard people refer to my mother as paranoid, but she wasn’t. She was fearful of what was actually happening to her and now I know that I was the same," he told the court. 

READ: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle keep children safe with stringent security at private mansion – details

Prince Harry on the James Hewitt rumours

Princess Diana's relationship with Major Hewitt sparked false rumours that he was in fact Harry's father, despite Diana meeting him after the Prince was born. Harry branded the rumour as "hurtful, mean and cruel" in his impassioned witness statement. 

See more photos of Prince Harry arriving at court 

Prince Harry looking downcast at court © James Whatling
Prince Harry looked pensive ahead of the trial

The royal looked serious as he left the car but he did put on a smile as he approached the building.

Prince harry small smile © Getty Images
The Prince gave a small side ahead of his appearance in the dock

He did not answer any reporter questions as he made his way inside the building for standard security checks.

Prince Harry in dark suit outside court
Prince Harry was suited and booted for the appearance

His barrister David Sherborne arrived ahead of the Duke and was pictured. 

Barrister David Sherborne arriving at court © Getty Images
Barrister David Sherborne is representing Prince Harry

On Monday, Mr Justice Fancourt, the judge hearing the case, said he was “a little surprised” to hear that the duke was a no-show. It is believed he was late to the trial as he wanted to celebrate his daughter's second birthday in the US on Sunday and flew out after. 

What is Prince Harry's court case about?

Prince Harry has made claims regarding the newspaper group using illegal methods to obtain information about him in order to run stories over a 10-year period.

READ: Are Meghan Markle, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet with Prince Harry in London?

Prince Harry waving in suit outside of court© Getty
Prince Harry made three appearances at the High Courtearlier in the year

Earlier this year he joined friend Elton John and other public figures in a lawsuit against the publisher of the Daily Mail and the Sunday Mail.

Speaking to ITV’s Tom Bradby to promote his bombshell memoir "Spare", Harry talked about his continued determination to hold the press accountable. He said: "They want to hold us and the rich and powerful to account and they want to police society – then who’s policing them?"

NEWS: Prince William stuns with surprise book deal announcement

Meghan and Harry in smart clothes in the netherlands in 2022© Getty
Harry wants paid-for security when in the UK

The royal took a blow last month when a High Court ruling over his security didn't go in his favour. The duke wanted to refute the fact he should pay privately for his security when in the UK, despite stepping down as a working royal, but a judge ruled that he could not dispute the decision. His team could still appeal the ruling at this stage.

Will Prince Harry see his family while he is in the UK?

It has not been revealed where the Prince will stay during his UK visit and if he will have the chance to reunite with any members of the royal family. It is very unlikely he will see his father King Charles as he has just commenced a private stay at his home in Romania. But, there could be a chance for him to meet the latest addition to the royal family, Princess Eugenie's newborn son, Ernest, who was born on 30 May.

King Charles arriving at 180 The Strand© Getty
King Charles is currently out of the country

Have other royals ever appeared in court?

Yes, Princess Anne had to appear in court back in 2002, when she pleaded guilty to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act after her pet dog Dotty, an English Bull Terrier, bit two children in Windsor Great Park. 

REVEALED: The special meaning behind Princess Eugenie's second royal baby's name

Princess Anne wearing blue hat and matching coat with pearl necklace© David Hartley/Shutterstock
Princess Anne has appeared in court before

The Princess Royal was fined £500 for the attack and ordered to pay £250 in compensation and £148 in costs while Dotty was ordered to undergo training to prevent anything like that happening again.

Prince Harry's mother Princess Diana was once gearing up to appear in court in a case against former gym owner Bryce Taylor, who took unlawful photos of Diana working out and they were later published by the Mirror Group Newspapers. In the end the case was settled, and the Princess of Wales didn't have to go to court. 

Also, back in 1870, Prince Harry’s great-great-great grandfather the Prince of Wales – later King Edward VII - appeared in the witness box in court in a divorce case to refute Lady Harriet Mordaunt's claims of an affair.

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