PRINCE Harry has revealed his wife Meghan has launched legal action against the Mail on Sunday.
In a lengthy statement published on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s website, Harry alleged the paper had “unlawfully” published a letter from her to her father Thomas Markle.
Harry said Meghan had been ‘vilified’ by the press[/caption]
The Duchess insists the letter – which detailed her pain at their estrangement since the Royal Wedding – was private.
In a statement revealing the legal action, Prince claimed the couple were suffering from the “painful” impact of “relentless propaganda” against Meghan.
Referencing press coverage of his mother Princess Diana, the Duke said his “deepest fear is history repeating itself”.
He wrote: “I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person.
“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
The statement appeared to break unofficial protocol by discussing personal matters while in the middle of a Royal tour.
And it is unclear whether The Queen formally sanctioned the statement or its timing.
The outpouring comes after a string of stories about the Royal couple.
They include charges of hypocrisy over Harry and Meghan campaigning for climate change while using private jets and Harry attending a Google conference on board a mega-yacht.
The couple have also faced criticism over the £2.4m cost of refurbishing their home Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate.
In his statement, Harry said he and Meghan believed in “media freedom and objective, truthful reporting” as a “cornerstone of democracy”.
But he added: “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.
“There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to – I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been.
“Because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day’s coverage is no longer tomorrow’s chip-paper.”
Harry, who is represented by high-powered London legal firm Harbottle & Lewis who have made several complaints to newspapers on his behalf, also claimed the couple had been unable to correct “continual misrepresentations” in the press.
He also even questioned the positive newspaper coverage the couple have enjoyed during their current Southern African tour.
The Duke and Duchess have been pictured every day since last week attending a series of events to highlight good causes close to their hearts.
Each visit has been crafted by a team of public relations experts to help improve their image.
That included Harry’s visit to land mine fields in Angola – just like Diana did in the 1990s and a rare public appearance by their baby son Archie.
But the Prince claimed this “positive” coverage of himself and Meghan on the tour exposed “the double standards” of the press.
He added: “She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you’ve seen on this Africa tour.
“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.”
Meghan started the costly legal action against the Mail on Sunday newspaper over an allegation it “unlawfully” published a letter from her to her father Thomas Markle earlier this year.
The Duchess insists the letter – which detailed her pain at their estrangement since the Wedding – was private.
Law firm Schillings, representing the Duchess, said she had filed a High Court claim against the paper and its parent company Associated Newspapers over the alleged misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.
The legal proceedings in the Chancery Division of the High Court are being privately funded by Harry and Meghan.
Depending on the court ruling, proceeds from any damages will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.
In response to Harry’s statement, Royal author and Prince Charles’ biographer Penny Junor said: “This is the most extraordinary statement and goes way beyond anything I have ever seen issued by a member of the royal family.
“I completely understand that Harry should feel protective about his wife and there have undoubtedly been some negative stories in the last nine months that must have hurt – but not exclusively in the Mail on Sunday – and they have not all been lies, nor I would suggest, part of a ruthless campaign.
“The positive coverage of this last week in Africa is richly deserved. This feels to me like an over-emotional and somewhat ill- advised outburst.”
Meghan and Harry with their newborn son, Archie[/caption]
The royal couple have come in for criticism for their use of private jets[/caption]