Royals

Prince Harry’s powerful move to protect Duchess Meghan and baby Archie

The prince has won “substantial damages” after filing a lawsuit against a news agency that took and sold invasive photographs of his and Meghan’s country home.

In a brief statement released by Buckingham Palace, Prince Harry has said he acknowledges and accepts the "substantial damages" and formal apology from Splash News and Picture Agency who in January took aerial photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's country home in Oxfordshire, which were then published in multiple newspapers.
According to Hello!, a statement made in court by Harry's solicitor, Gerrard Tyrrell, noted that: "The property had been chosen by The Duke for himself and his wife given the high level of privacy it afforded given its position in a secluded area surrounded by private farmland away from any areas to which photographers have access.
"The helicopter flew over the home at a low altitude allowing Splash to take photographs of and into the living area and dining area of the home and directly into the bedroom…"
Adding: "The syndication and publication of the photographs very seriously undermined the safety and security of The Duke and the home to the extent that they are no longer able to live at the property."
The aerial shots were said to have shown the living area, dining room and bedroom of their private country home, forcing the Duke and Duchess to move as they no longer felt safe. (Image: Getty)
As a result of the lawsuit, Splash paid a sizeable sum for "damages" and agreed to no longer sell or publish any of the photos of the Sussex's home or any photos that are similar and that they would not "repeat its conduct" by taking photographs of their home which would "infringe privacy or data rights or otherwise unlawful activity."
According to royal commentator Omid Scobie a palace aide has said "the significant sum paid by Splash will cover the Duke's legal costs and also be put towards a donation to charity."
Harry and Meghan moved out of their country home in March, and while they were residing at Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace at the time, their country home was a regular getaway for the couple over the weekends.
Prince Harry is making it clear he won't tolerate having his family's privacy invaded. (Image: Getty)
The new parents have now settled into their new family home Frogmore Cottage at Windsor, where Meghan's mother is currently staying with them to lend support and a helping hand with baby Archie who was born just last week.
This isn't the first time Prince Harry has been firm in his defence of the safety and privacy of himself and people he cares about.
In the early stages of his relationship with Meghan, Prince Harry issued a rare statement voicing his concerns and disappointment around Meghan's safety, due to the malicious and fictitious stories that were published and the abuse and harassment she had received at the hands of the media.
"He has rarely taken formal action on the very regular publication of fictional stories that are written about him and he has worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the media," the statement said.
"But the past week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment."
And it's clear this push for privacy will become even more firm now that the two have a son to take care of now.
The couple have already shown they will want to give Archie as normal a life as possible with the new parents keeping details around his birth private and choosing to forego giving Archie a royal title.
With Prince Harry and little Archie sixth and seventh in line for the throne, they have a lot more leeway in how much visibility is expected from them, whereas his older brother Prince William, who will be King one day, and his family are expected to publicly mark big occasions.