Prince Harry Scolded by Judge for Missing Lawsuit Over Daughter’s Birthday

Prince Harry’s lawyer acquired a stern speaking to from the decide in certainly one of his U.Ok. media lawsuits after skipping court docket resulting from his daughter Princess Lilibet’s birthday.

The Duke of Sussex is predicted to turn out to be the primary senior royal since 1891 to offer proof in a court docket case on Tuesday, June 6.

However, decide Sir Timothy Fancourt requested him to attend court docket on Monday, June 5, simply in case statements by the 2 sides’ authorized groups have been wrapped up early, permitting his proof to start.

Prince Harry at High Court
Prince Harry arrives on the Royal Courts of Justice, in London, on March 30, 2023, for a lawsuit in opposition to Associated Newspapers, writer of the Daily Mail. He was scolded by the decide in a separate case in opposition to Mirror Group Newspapers after not attending when requested.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Explaining the duke’s absence, David Sherborne, Harry’s legal professional, informed the court docket: “The Duke of Sussex is attending tomorrow to give evidence. He flew yesterday evening from Los Angeles. He was attending his daughter’s birthday.”

Lilibet turned two on Sunday, June 4, the identical day Harry boarded a aircraft to Britain forward of the case. Meghan is believed to have remained in California with Lilibet and Prince Archie, the couple’s son.

“Obviously,” the lawyer continued. “He is in a different category to the three other defendants because he has to make travel arrangements as such and security arrangements as such.”

However, Fancourt mentioned he was “a little surprised” and steered it was all the time a chance there could be time to start Harry’s proof on Monday: “That’s why I directed that the first witness should be available. It’s a matter for the defendant whether they open [make an opening speech] at all.

“I do not wish to spend very a lot time about it because it seems there will not be very a lot completed about it.”

Harry is suing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) on historic allegations of phone hacking relating to aspects of his private life, including his relationship with ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy.

His lawyers have accused Piers Morgan, a repeated critic of Harry and Meghan, of knowing about and colluding in phone hacking by journalists at the Daily Mirror while he was editor, an allegation Morgan has previously denied.

Andrew Green, the newspaper’s lawyer, additionally objected to Harry skipping Monday’s listening to, stating he was involved about “whether I can cross examine the Duke of Sussex for the day and a half that I want rather than the day the claimant are trying to confine me to.

“The place is that the one witness for the Duke of Sussex is the Duke of Sussex and that’s the reason it’s completely extraordinary that he’s not out there for day certainly one of his trial.”

The judge told Green he would not be confined to a single day if he needed to continue for longer.

When Harry testifies on Tuesday, the court will also release a witness statement by the duke which is quoted from in other court documents but has never been released in full.

In it, the prince accuses the Mirror Group of causing him “big misery” and presenting “very actual safety considerations for not solely me but in addition everybody round me,” for example, by obtaining his travel plans in advance.

Harry said there was “an enormous quantity of paranoia in my relationships” because phone hacking made him suspicious that friends were leaking information to the newspapers.

His lawyers said in a court filing that “he couldn’t belief anyone,” and added: “It additionally brought on nice challenges in his relationship along with his ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy, and made him worry for his and her security.

“Every time he was in a relationship, or even a rumoured relationship, that whole person’s family, and often their friends, would be ‘dragged into the chaos’ and find themselves the subject of unlawful activity on the part of MGN.

“There was nowhere that was “off limits” for MGN’s newspapers, whose journalists even managed to e-book right into a resort in Bazaruto, a small island off the coast of Mozambique, when the [Duke of Sussex] and Ms Davy tried to flee there and revel in some peace and quiet.”

Harry’s statement will say this “positioned an enormous quantity of pointless stress and pressure” on their relationship, leading Davy to conclude “a royal life was not for her.”

The break-up, according to Harry’s statement, was “extremely upsetting” and as their friendship circle became smaller he experienced “big bouts of melancholy and paranoia.”

The hearing, at the Royal Courts of Justice, in London, U.K., continues.

Jack Royston is chief royal correspondent for Newsweek, based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jack_royston and read his stories on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook page.

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