Prince Harry went nuclear on his family in court Tuesday, accusing them of “conditioning” him to believe that he could not complain about media misrepresentation and “withholding information” about phone hacking from him so that he wouldn’t “open a can of worms” or appear in court.
In an extraordinary witness statement made as part of a civil claim he is pursuing against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), publisher of the Daily Mail, Harry said he only came to understand that he “had a claim that I could bring” after he dumped royal lawyers and got his own.
He said: “The Institution [the monarchy] was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN’s [News group Newspapers – publishers of The Times and the Sun] phone hacking and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation.”
Harry, along with six other claimants, including Sir Elton John, alleges ANL invaded his privacy by using private detectives who intercepted his calls and voicemails and even put tracking devices on his friends’ cars.
ANL denies all the allegations.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that the bubble burst in terms of what I knew in 2020 when I moved out of the United Kingdom,” Harry said.
He went on: “There was never any centralised discussion between us about who had brought claims as each office in the Institution is siloed. There is this misconception that we are all in constant communication with one another but that is not true.”
Harry added: “The Institution made it clear that we did not need to know anything about phone hacking and it was made clear to me that the Royal Family did not sit in the witness box because that could open up a can of worms.”
Harry’s appearance in court Monday and Tuesday makes him the first royal to appear in a courtroom since Princess Anne admitted an offense relating to an out-of-control dog in 2002.
He went on to say the Royal Family’s “strict no comment policy” meant that “even the worst or most suspicious articles were often never brought to my attention.”
Harry said he was “bringing this claim because I love my country and I remain deeply concerned by the unchecked power, influence and criminality” of the publisher.
“The British public deserve to know the full extent of this cover up and I feel it is my duty to expose it.”
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