Why Prince Harry did not take the stand to testify against the Mirror Group papers on Monday

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The Duke of Sussex is expected to be cross-examined by lawyers for the publishing center tomorrow at the High Court

Prince Harry did not appear at a London court on Monday for family reasons.

The Duke of Sussex, 38, was expected to appear at the High Court of the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday as his claims against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) for alleged illegal information gathering are raised this week in an ongoing lawsuit.

Prince Harry’s attorney, David Sherborne, told the court that his client was not available to testify on Monday, having traveled from Los Angeles on Sunday night after attending Princess Lilibet’s birthday party. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s daughter turned 2 on June 4.

“His travel arrangements are such and his security arrangements are such that it’s a bit difficult,” Sherborne said, according to Reuters.

Although Prince Harry is not due to give evidence until Tuesday, where he may face hours of questioning, Judge Mr Justice Falcourt had previously asked for witnesses to be available on the first day of their individual cases in case there was time for them to testify. the BBC reported. Fancourt said he was “a bit surprised” by Harry’s absence on Monday, while MGN lawyer Andrew Green accused his team of “wasting time”.

The Duke of Sussex is expected to make modern royal history on Tuesday when he takes the stand to testify against the newspaper group. The last prominent member of the British royal family to do so was King Edward VII, who testified in a divorce case in 1870 and again in a libel trial over a card game in 1890 before he became king, Reuters reported.

Prince Harry is expected to be cross-examined in the lawsuit against MGN, in which he accuses the publisher of using illegal means such as phone hacking to mine information for stories. Harry’s case includes 148 articles published between 1996 and 2010, the BBC reported.

Prince Harry launched the claim in 2019 and is one of more than 100 people who sued MGN for alleged illegal activity between 1991 and 2022. The prince is one of four “representative” claimants selected as “test cases” by the larger group, The Independent previously reported.

The other plaintiffs selected for trial are actress Nikki Sanderson, actor Michael Turner and Fiona Wightman, ex-wife of comedian Paul Whitehouse — and the stakes are high.

“If Harry and the other claimants win, the judge will use this to determine the level of compensation (amount of money) that MGN could be paid in other cases by other celebrities,” the BBC reported.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers allege that senior MGN editors and executives knew — and approved. The newspaper group denied the allegations and said some of the allegations were presented too late.

The trial began on May 10 – just four days after the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla. When it started, Prince Harry received an apology from MGN.

In court filings, lawyers for MGN said the media group “unreservedly apologizes” for an instance of illegal intelligence gathering against the Duke of Sussex and that the breach “warrants damages,” Sky News reported.

According to the report, an MGN reporter ordered a private investigator to illegally gather information about the prince’s activities at a London nightclub in 2004. The subsequent article in The People is not one of Harry’s claims in this case , however, the BBC reported.

“MGN unreservedly apologizes for all of these instances of UIG and assures the plaintiffs that such conduct will never be repeated,” the full apology reads.

The publishing hub otherwise denied the allegations.

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