Prince Harry has withdrawn his libel case against Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) and the Mail on Sunday newspaper over an article from February 2022.
The abrupt move came just hours before a key deadline when the Duke of Sussex’s lawyers were due to hand over documents relating to his claims.
What happened to the Prince Harry libel case?
The article in question claimed that information from court documents regarding Harry’s separate legal battle with the Home Office “contradicted public statements he had previously made about his willingness to pay for police protection for himself and his family whilst in the UK.”
Harry’s lawyers argued this was defamatory, an “attack on his honesty and integrity.”
ANL disputed the libel claims, stating the article represented an “honest opinion” and did not cause Harry “serious harm.”
Last month, a judge ruled against throwing out ANL’s “honest opinion” defense, ordering Harry to pay £48,447 (over US$60,000) towards the publisher’s legal costs.
By withdrawing the case now, it is likely the Duke faces having to pay ANL’s full legal bills, which could amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds on top of his own substantial fees.
The abrupt end to proceedings came mere hours before Harry’s lawyers were scheduled to hand over relevant documents – potentially exposing private correspondence.
The original case centered around a public disagreement over who should pay for Harry’s security detail when visiting the UK.
The prince has resided in the US since 2020 but previously asserted willingness to cover such costs himself, while ANL claims documents show otherwise.
Paying publisher costs represents a significant blow just as Harry seeks greater control over media narratives surrounding him.