Prince Harry and pop superstar Elton John appeared at a London court, delivering a high-profile jolt to a privacy claim launched by celebrities and other figures against a newspaper publisher


  • Prince Harry was reportedly made aware of a phone-tapping incident in 2005
  • He claimed the institution told him they didn't need to know anything about it
  • The Duke of Sussex alleged the royal family withheld information from him

Prince Harry seemingly made another dig against the royal family in his recent lawsuit against a publisher.

The Duke of Sussex is speaking out against the royals once more. He claimed in the recent lawsuit against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL), the publisher of Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, that he was made aware of the phone-tapping incident by the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, which was part of Rupert Murdoch's News Group Newspapers (NGN) in 2005. But his family allegedly told him not to pursue legal action.

"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," he said in a witness statement on Tuesday, Us Weekly reported.

"The Institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN's phone hacking, and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation."

The "Spare" author added that it was "not an exaggeration to say the bubble burst." Prince Harry and Markle stepped back from their royal duties in March 2020.

Prince Harry and Elton John made a surprise court appearance in London's High Court Monday for the preliminary hearing of their privacy lawsuit against ANL. The pair and five others — John's filmmaker husband David Furnish, actress Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, former lawmaker Simon Hughes and Baroness Doreen Lawrence — claimed they were victims of "numerous unlawful acts" carried out by journalists and private investigators working on behalf of ANL's Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.

According to their lawyer, David Sherborne, their claims against ANL include hacking mobile phone messages, bugging calls, getting private information like medical records by deception or "blagging" and "commissioning the breaking and entry into private property."

None of them are expected to speak during the preliminary hearing, and they were not required to attend. Aside from John and Prince Harry, Furnish, Frost and Lawrence were also there.

Prince Harry was spotted chatting with Furnish and Lawrence. The Duke of Sussex was also seen hugging Lawrence. Lawrence is the mother of Black British teenager Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in a 1993 racist attack.

ANL categorically denied all the allegations in a statement to Reuters. The publisher's lawyer also requested that the entire case be thrown out.

The preliminary hearing is expected to last four days, and the judge will decide if the case will move forward.

UK paper group bids to throw out Prince Harry and others' privacy lawsuits