Prince Harry is in court in London today giving testimony in a lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN). He is one of more than a hundred people suing MGN for “alleged phone hacking and other invasions of privacy”. This is a historic moment as Harry is the first member of the British royal family to take the witness stand in over a century. Which is why it’s a huge story, one of the biggest headlines of the day not just in the UK but all over the world, including North America.
As you consider the coverage of the trial though, there’s something to keep in mind. Harry is involved in several class action lawsuits against the British tabloids. Today it’s the Mirror, but he and many others are also suing The Sun and the Daily Mail. All of whom, of course, are reporting on the case even as they themselves have been accused of obtaining information illegally. How those outlets frame Harry’s testimony must be interrogated. It’s not like it’s in their best interest to be objective. And the fact of the matter is, much of what people think they know about Harry and, by extension, Meghan Markle, comes from these publications with an agenda.
â€œEvery national newspaper â€“ with the exception of the Telegraph, Guardian, and Financial Times â€“ is owned by a company currently being sued by prince Harry.â€— The Purple Pimpernel (@Eyeswideopen69) June 5, 2023
Add to these, the rightwing social media talking heads and their mindless apostles, and you have to admire his courage.
Just a suggestion to any news organisation covering the coming hacking trials involving Prince Harry. If your newspaper is a defendant in any of these actions, please include an editor's note to that effect. (It's called a conflict of interest)— alan rusbridger (@arusbridger) June 5, 2023
There are many out there who are not fans of Harry and Meghan – I know because I hear from them every day – and they are entrenched in their position that Harry and Meghan are terrible people who brought this on themselves. While it’s futile to make this point, I’ll try anyway: much of what they believe has been shaped by the reporting that’s come from these tabloids. The foundation is rotten and I’m not sure how there can be a “yeah …but” here when the “but” is in defence of these publications that have done so much harm.
Consider that in one of the other lawsuits, the one against the Daily Mail (their parent company Associated Newspapers Limited), Harry is suing alongside a group of high-profile individuals that also includes Doreen Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in a racist attack in London in 1993. Lady Lawrence claims at the Daily Mail “hired investigators to hack her phone”.
Harry is taking a stand against organisations that his family have always been reluctant to offend. And they’re the f-cking British royal institution! Even the crown is afraid of these people! Now the crown has another problem. Because what could come out in Harry’s testimony, in a courtroom, to be documented officially on the books, is how the royal family actively worked with the tabloids, the same publications that broke into people’s phones and invaded the privacy of victims. As always then, be mindful of the source as you follow along with these legal proceedings.
Yours in gossip,