Prince Harry, aged 39, has decided to drop his libel case against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday, Associated Newspapers, as confirmed by the newspaper.
The lawsuit revolved around an article discussing his publicly-funded security arrangements during visits to the UK after stepping back as a senior royal.
The Daily Mail reported that the Duke of Sussex “abandoned his case” just hours before a court deadline, making him potentially liable for the publisher’s £250,000 legal costs.
The article in question, published in February 2022, detailed Prince Harry’s legal challenge against the Home Office regarding changes to his security following his move to the United States after ceasing to be a working royal.
Following the withdrawal of the libel claim, a spokesperson for the Sussexes stated that Prince Harry is now directing his attention to the safety of his family and his legal case against the Home Office.
They emphasized that his focus is on these matters rather than the legal proceedings that echo past false claims made by the Mail.
While the Daily Mail suggested potential costs of up to £750,000, the Sussexes’ spokesperson noted that costs were yet to be determined, and speculation was premature.
This libel case, now withdrawn, is distinct from Prince Harry’s claims of unlawfully obtaining information against Associated Newspapers, which are scheduled for trial.
Recently, he secured damages from the publisher of the Daily Mirror over phone-hacking allegations.
In the libel case against Associated Newspapers, Prince Harry asserted that the article falsely portrayed him as having “lied” and attempted to manipulate public opinion.
The contested headline alleged that he had tried to keep his legal battle with the government over police bodyguards secret, leading his lawyers to argue it attacked his honesty and integrity.
Before the case was dropped, a three-day trial had been planned between May 17 and July 31.
In the previous month, part of the legal battle was lost when a judge ruled that the newspaper group’s argument that the article represented “honest opinion” had a “real prospect” of success.
Prince Harry has been entangled in several legal cases, with many yet to be resolved, including claims against the Home Office, allegations of unlawful information gathering against various newspaper publishers, and an upcoming trial in 2025 against News Group Newspapers over similar allegations.