Prince Harry arrives at the High Court in London
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Prince Harry is vying to make himself the “centre of the media attention” as his appearance at London’s High Court shows his commitment to holding the press to account, according to a royal correspondent. Today marks the second day of the preliminary hearing of the case against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), as the royal and other famous figures – including Sir Elton John – are suing the publisher for alleged breaches of privacy.
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Harry has accused ANL of “depriving him” of “important aspects of his teenage years” through privacy hacking measures such as phone tapping, something the publisher denies.
Royal correspondent Laura Bundock analysed his decision to come to the High Court in person, telling Sky News: “His unexpected arrival at London’s High Court guaranteed all lenses were on him.
“For once, he wants to be the centre of the media attention.
“He declared in a recent interview that his ‘life’s work’ will be his mission to change the media landscape.
“We are beginning to understand exactly what that means.
“By coming to court, Harry is positioning himself as the poster boy of privacy cases.”
Lawyers on behalf of the prince have submitted 14 separate claims against ANL alleging that information about his private life, including conversations with his ex-girlfriends, was obtained through illegal means.
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Many claims relate to his previous relationships with Chelsy Davy, Cressida Bonas, Laura Gerard-Leigh and Natalie Pinkham, whom he dated before meeting his wife Meghan Markle.
It is also alleged that ANL revealed information related to a statement by Harry and Prince William “regarding the images of their dying mother” Princess Diana.
David Sherborne, the barrister representing the group of individuals bringing action against ANL, said the Duke felt “suspicion and paranoia” over articles publishing details he thought only close friends knew.
He added that Harry even cut friends off as he believed they were leaking information about him.
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Mr Sherborne, who also represented Coleen Rooney in the infamous Wagatha Christie case, said: “[Prince Harry is] troubled that, through Associated’s unlawful acts, he was largely deprived of important aspects of his teenage years.
“In particular, suspicion and paranoia was caused by Associated’s publication of the unlawful articles: friends were lost or cut off as a result and everyone became a ‘suspect’ since he was misled by the way that the articles were written into believing that those close to him were the source of this information being provided to Associated’s newspapers.
“The claimant regards Associated’s unlawful acts to amount to a major betrayal given promises made by the media to improve its conduct following the tragic and untimely death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.”
ANL said in a statement: “Associated Newspapers, which owns the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, vigorously denies all the claims against it.”
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