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The Intrigue

Prince Harry is currently embroiled in a legal battle against News Group Newspapers (NGN) over alleged unlawful information gathering at two of its titles, The Sun and the now-defunct News Of The World. NGN, on the other hand, is fighting back with a bid to throw out Harry’s claim, as well as a similar one from actor Hugh Grant. The defense argues that Harry’s allegations are unfounded and that the case should be dismissed.

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The Mysterious Agreement

Harry’s lawyers, however, contend that NGN’s attempt to throw out the case is an attempt to go behind a “secret agreement” between the royal family and NGN, which the Duke of Sussex was informed of in 2012. According to Harry’s barrister, Rebekah Brooks and Robert Thomson, two senior NGN executives who were involved in the “secret agreement” and subsequent negotiations, will have to give evidence if the case proceeds to trial.

Prince Harry Kept in the Dark?

In the ongoing hearing at the High Court, it has emerged that Prince Harry was “kept out of the loop” regarding the extent of the alleged unlawful information gathering by tabloid newspapers in relation to the royal household. The prince reportedly believed that there was only one voicemail which his brother, the Prince of Wales, left for him that had been intercepted. Harry’s lawyers allege that NGN’s attempt to throw out his case is an attempt to undermine the “secret agreement” between the royal family and NGN, which Harry knew about.

Settlements and Secrecy

Prince Harry’s case is not the first one against NGN over phone hacking claims. His brother, the Prince of Wales, also brought a claim against the publisher, which was settled out of court for a “huge sum” of money. Harry says that William’s claim was settled without any of the public being told, and seemingly with some favorable deal in return for him going “quietly.” Harry’s lawyers argue that NGN’s strike-out application against his claim is an attempt to keep the public in the dark.

The Implications

The NGN’s lawyers contend that Prince Harry was “at the epicentre” of the phone hacking scandal since as long ago as 2006 and was therefore aware he could have brought a claim sooner. They argue that his evidence that he was prevented from doing so by a “secret agreement” is “without merit in fact or law.” The ongoing hearing will determine whether Harry’s and Grant’s claims will progress to a trial, which is set to be heard in January next year.

The Final Word

NGN has consistently denied any unlawful information gathering at The Sun, although it has settled a number of claims since the phone hacking scandal broke in relation to The News Of The World, which closed in 2011. The Prince Harry case, however, has put the spotlight back on the issue and raises questions about the extent of the alleged phone hacking and the “secret agreement” between the royal family and NGN. The outcome of the hearing and the potential trial in January will have far-reaching implications for both the parties involved and the wider media landscape.

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Hi I'm Oliver Smith, I would say that I take great pride in my work as a journalist and strive to produce high-quality, impactful stories that make a difference. With more than eight years of experience under my belt, I am passionate about uncovering the truth and shining a light on issues that matter.


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