Prince Harry vs the press: The newspapers react
Prince Harry made a surprise appearance yesterday at the High Court – as Harry, along with other celebrities, have brought a case against the publisher of the Daily Mail. They have accused Associated Newspapers of using illegal reporting tactics to obtain stories over 20 years.
Other high-profile names included in the case Sir Elton John and Sadie Frost, and Baroness Doreen Lawrence.
The hearing will take around four days – and is to hear arguments over whether the case should go to trial.
The reaction of the UK tabloids has been fairly telling.
Betrayed by the Daily Mail
Baroness Doreen Lawrence told the court yesterday that she was “betrayed” by the Daily Mail, leads the Guardian – one of few papers to feature the story as a lead. Baroness Lawrence’s son Stephen Lawrence – a black British teenager – was murdered in a racist attack in 1993.
The Independent also leads with the alleged illegal press behaviour, quoting Harry as saying he lost friends over ‘unlawful’ stories. The story dominates the Independent’s front splash with a large image of Sir Elton, Harry and Sadie Frost.
What’s not been said?
The British tabloid press usually has a field day when Prince Harry returns to Britain but you may have noticed the tabloid front pages have been suspiciously quiet. And if you want to read this story online, it is buried deep on the MailOnline.
Prince Harry’s current case is against the publisher of the Mail, but he has other cases that involve other newspapers – and that’s why you may struggle to find this story in some of the papers.
Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL) is the publisher of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline. It also owns Metro, Metro.co.uk, i newspaper, inews.co.uk and New Scientist.
But Prince Harry also has cases. In May, his lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), the publisher of the Daily Mirror, will go to trial.
He is also suing News Group Newspapers (NGN), the publisher of The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun newspapers (as well as the now-defunct News of the World) for alleged phone hacking. The Sun has always denied phone hacking took place at the paper, and the publisher has not admitted any unlawful conduct at the title.
The Mirror only left a small space to report on Harry’s return to Britain on its front page – and instead of mentioning the hearing they used their front page headline to report the King doesn’t have time to see his youngest son, and Prince William is out of the country with his family for Easter break.
The ever-vocal Daily Express, The Sun and Daily Mail – all papers which have repeatedly led with scandalous stories on Harry and Meghan – have all left the story off the front page. The Metro – which is owned by ANL – also leaves the story off its front page.