Prince Harry Reacts to Legal Victory: “Vindicating and Affirming”

This morning in London, a judge ruled in Prince Harry’s favor in a lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), finding that the tabloid did engage in unlawful information gathering.

Following the ruling, his lawyer, David Sherbourne, said, “Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex is unable to be present today due to the short notice which was given of this hearing. However, he has prepared a statement on this momentous win today which I will now share on his behalf.”

high court rules in prince harry's phone hacking lawsuit against mirror group

David Sherbourne reads a written statement on behalf of his legal client Prince Harry.Leon Neal – Getty Images

The statement spoke about his “journey to justice,” and called upon authorities to investigate bringing charges. He concluded with a powerful remark, “I’ve been told that slaying dragons will get you burned. But in light of today’s victory and the importance of doing what is needed for a free and honest press – it’s a worthwhile price to pay. The mission continues.”

Here, read Prince Harry’s full statement:

Today is a great day for truth as well as accountability. The Court has ruled that unlawful and criminal activities were carried out at all three of Mirror Group’s newspaper titles (The Mirror, The Sunday Mirror and The People) on a habitual and widespread basis for more than a decade.

I’d like to thank my legal team for so successfully dismantling the sworn testimony of Mirror Group Newspaper’s senior executives, legal department and journalists who at least turned up to Court, unlike their colleagues, who were perhaps too afraid to do so.

This case is not just about hacking; it is about a systemic practice of unlawful and appalling behaviour, followed by cover-ups and destruction of evidence, the shocking scale of which can only be revealed through these proceedings. The Court has found that Mirror Group’s principal board directors, their legal department, senior executives, and editors such as Piers Morgan, clearly knew about or were involved in these illegal activities. Between them, they even went as far as lying under oath to parliament, during the Leveson Inquiry, to the Stock Exchange, and to us all ever since.

The journey to justice can be a slow and painful one, and since bringing my claim almost five years ago, defamatory stories and intimidating tactics have been deployed against me and at my family’s expense. And so, as I too have learnt through this process, patience is in fact a virtue – especially in the face of vendetta journalism.

I hope that the Court’s findings will serve as a warning to all media organisations who have employed these practices and similarly lied about them. Mirror Group’s actions were so calculated and misleading that their pattern of destroying evidence and concealing their unlawful behaviour continued into the litigation itself and, as the Judge has ruled, even to this day.

I am happy to have won the case, especially given that this trial only looked at a quarter of my entire claim. Even on just that, it is clear Mirror Group’s persistent attempts to suggest that my claim was, to quote their counsel, “fantastical” and was in the “realms of total speculation” and that there was “simply no evidence at all” to suggest I was hacked, “zilch, zero, nil, nada, niente absolutely nothing,” were total nonsense and were used maliciously to attack my character and credibility. However, as Mirror Group intended, these hollow soundbites were blasted across front pages and across online platforms, and into the next day’s morning television shows. The Court has in fact confirmed that all four claimants were subjected to voicemail interception and unlawful information gathering. But no one would have believed that was the case given how this trial has been covered in the UK.

My commitment to seeing this case through is based on my belief in our need and collective right to a free and honest press, and one which is properly accountable when necessary. That is what we need in Britain and across the globe. Anything else is poisoning the well for a profession we all depend on. The acts listed in this judgement are prime examples of what happens when the power of the press is abused.

I respectfully call upon the authorities – the financial regulator, the Stock Market who were deliberately deceived by Mirror Group, and indeed the Metropolitan Police and prosecuting authorities – to do their duty for the British public and investigate bringing charges against the company and those who have broken the law.

Today’s ruling is vindicating and affirming. I’ve been told that slaying dragons will get you burned. But in light of today’s victory and the importance of doing what is needed for a free and honest press – it’s a worthwhile price to pay. The mission continues.”

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