Prince William settled a phone-hacking claim against a UK newspaper group, according to court documents filed by his brother Prince Harry. Harry is suing several UK newspapers, including News Group Newspapers (NGN), which publishes The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World tabloids, over alleged unlawful information-gathering. NGN is asking the High Court in London to throw out the claims, arguing they are out of time. The prince’s lawyers stated in documents submitted for a three-day hearing this week that William has “recently settled his claim against NGN behind the scenes”. Kensington Palace declined to comment on behalf of Prince William, whose formal title is the Prince of Wales.
The legal submissions also detail claims by Harry that the delay in filing a lawsuit against NGN stems from a “secret agreement” between the royal family as an institution and the publisher. They state that the princes’ late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, was involved in “discussions and authorisation” of the deal, which prevented royals from pursuing claims against NGN until other alleged hacking litigation had concluded. Harry said in a witness statement that “the institution was incredibly nervous about this”. NGN settled phone-hacking claims by more than a dozen public figures in 2021, including actress Sienna Miller.
Meanwhile, Harry and singer Elton John are among six public figures suing the publisher of the Daily Mail over alleged unlawful information-gathering at its titles. In addition, the prince is also expected to give evidence at a trial over allegations of unlawful information-gathering against tabloid publisher Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN). That is due to begin next month, with Harry set to appear in court in June.