The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry has unexpectedly appeared at the High Court as legal proceedings begin in a privacy case.
Prince Harry is one of those suing Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), publishers of the Daily Mail.
The duke was seen at the High Court on Monday morning, while singer Sir Elton John, who is also involved in the legal proceedings, arrived at lunchtime.
The publisher has described the allegations of unlawful information gathering as “preposterous smears”.
Prince Harry, Sir Elton and actresses Sadie Frost and Liz Hurley are among the individuals who allege unlawful information gathering by the company, which also publishes the Mail on Sunday.
A four-day preliminary High Court hearing in London, starting on Monday, will consider legal arguments and a judge will decide whether the case will go any further. ANL is bidding to end the claims without trial.
Prince Harry’s appearance will be seen by many as a sign of his strength of feeling over his privacy and determination regarding the legal action.
Others taking part in the legal action include Sir Elton’s husband David Furnish, and Baroness Doreen Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in a racist attack in 1993.
The group launched the legal action last year after becoming aware of “compelling and highly distressing evidence that they have been the victims of abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy” by ANL, according to a statement by law firm Hamlins released in October 2022.
Court proceedings began with a bid by ANL’s lawyers to have certain reporting restrictions imposed in the case.
The Duke of Sussex sat towards the back of the courtroom, occasionally taking notes in a small black notebook as legal arguments were made by ANL’s barrister Catrin Evans KC.
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