Prince Harry will break royal precedent again when he testifies this week in court, becoming the first British royal to do so in over a century.
Harry, Duke of Sussex, is expected to take the stand on Tuesday and Wednesday in his suit against Mirror Group Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mirror.
Harry’s solicitor, David Sherborne, said in court on Monday that Harry will need to testify on Tuesday because of a delayed flight back to the UK after celebrating the birthday of his daughter Lilibet, who turned two on Sunday.
Harry and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, live in California with Lilibet and their 4-year-old son, Archie.
Harry and 100 other celebrities, including the estate of the late George Michael, have sued the Mirror newspaper group over alleged misuse of private information between 1991 and 2011, including phone hacking and the interception of voicemails.
Harry’s legal team accused the newspaper’s publisher of illegally collecting information on an “industrial scale”.
“It was a flood of illegality,” Sherburne said in his opening statement at the trial last month. According to the Associated Press. “But worse than that, this deluge was sanctioned by CEOs, editorial directors, and board members.”
Mirror Group newspapers denied the allegations, saying its reporters had found the information through legal reporting.
In court papers, the publisher apologized after citing “certain evidence of instructing third parties to engage in other types of UIG (unlawful information gathering),” according to the Associated Press.
“MGN apologizes unreservedly for all of these UIG cases, and assures plaintiffs that such behavior will never be repeated,” the publisher said in court papers.
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If Harry takes the stand Tuesday as expected, he will be the first member of Britain’s royal family to testify in a court case since the late 19th century.
ABC News royal contributor Robert Jobson said: “Harry is a very clear person in what he wants to achieve. He believes he has been treated badly by this press group.” “He believes his phone was hacked by this press group and so he is determined, because he is right, to make it up and get an apology,” he added.
Since stepping down as a senior royal in 2020, Harry has made no secret of his disdain for the British media.
The suit against Mirror Group newspapers is one of six lawsuits that Harry, the youngest son of King Charles III, has brought against British newspapers.
He turned up unexpectedly in a UK courtroom in March for a hearing in a lawsuit that he, Elton John and other celebrities have brought against Associated Newspapers Ltd. , publisher of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline.
The case, which was first announced last year, alleges the celebrity defendants are “victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy,” according to a press release published last year by Hamlins, the London-based law firm representing Harry in the case.
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Harry told ABC News’ Michael Strahan in January that the lawsuits he was involved in are his attempt to make a real difference when it comes to media coverage of celebrities and the royal family.
“I’m in this to be able to say, ‘Draw a line,'” he said. Enough. We can all move on and get on with our lives.” “But if this continues, I naturally worry deeply that what happened to us will happen to someone else.”
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