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Prince Harry drops libel claims against Mail publisher

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He had sued over an article about his publicly-funded security arrangements.

Prince Harry has withdrawn his libel claim against the Mail on Sunday publisher, Associated Newspapers says.

The Duke of Sussex, 39, had sued over an article about his publicly-funded security arrangements when visiting the UK after stepping back as a senior royal.

In an article on the Daily Mail website the paper said he had “abandoned his case” hours before a court deadline.

It said the prince would be liable for the publisher’s £250,000 legal costs.

The Mail on Sunday article, published in February 2022, had reported on the prince’s legal challenge against the Home Office over changes to his publicly-funded security that had happened after he had stopped being a working royal and moved to the United States.

After the claim was dropped, a spokesperson for the Sussexes said the duke was instead focusing on the safety of his family and his legal case against the Home Office.

“His focus remains there, and on the safety of his family, rather than these legal proceedings that give a continued platform to the Mail’s false claims all those years ago,” they said.

The Daily Mail said the duke could be facing costs of up to £750,000 but the spokesperson for the Sussexes said costs were still to be determined and it was “premature” to speculate.

The now-withdrawn libel case is separate from the prince’s claims of unlawful obtaining information against Associated Newspapers, which are due to go to trial.

Prince Harry recently won damages from the Daily Mirror’s publisher over phone-hacking claims.

In his long-running libel case against Associated Newspapers, the prince had claimed the story falsely suggested he had “lied” and “cynically” tried to manipulate public opinion.

The headline said the duke had “tried to keep his legal fight with the government over police bodyguards a secret” and his lawyers argued the article was “an attack on his honesty and integrity”.

The publisher contested this claim, arguing the article expressed an “honest opinion” and did not cause “serious harm” to his reputation.

Prior to the case being dropped, a three-day trial had been scheduled to be held between 17 May and 31 July this year.

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