A judge in London on Monday ordered Prince Harry (pic) to pay the legal fees of a British newspaper publisher after he lost part of a High Court libel case.
King Charles III’s younger son, who now lives in the United States, is suing Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL) over claims made in its Mail on Sunday title.
He unsuccessfully tried to have the newspaper group’s defence of “honest opinion” thrown out on the grounds that it had no real prospect of success.
Judge Matthew Nicklin on Monday ordered Harry to pay ANL £48,447 (RM286,259) costs incurred dealing with the application by December 29.
He also said a full hearing in the case would be heard between May and July next year, lasting three or four days.
Harry is suing over a February 2022 article about his legal challenge against the government’s changes to his taxpayer-funded security when he visits the UK.
His lawyers argue that the article, which claimed to reveal contradictions about Harry’s willingness to pay for security himself, was “an attack on his honesty and integrity”.
The publisher disagrees, and has submitted that the article was an “honest opinion”, and did not cause him serious reputational damage.
Judge Nicklin refused to “strike out” ANL’s defence on Friday.
The case against the publisher is one of several involving Harry and British newspaper groups, for issues including breach of privacy and illegal information-gathering.
In his case against the UK government, Harry said the changes to his security detail made it unsafe for him, his American wife Meghan and their two young children to visit the UK.
The Home Office disputes that he has been treated less favourably and said “bespoke” arrangements were in place for whenever he visits from the United States.
A decision was made not to provide him with the same level of protection because he had quit royal duties in early 2020 and moved to the United States, its lawyers have said.