UK’s Prince William ‘settled’ phone-hacking claim, filing says

Britain's Prince William, Prince of Wales attends an Anzac Day dawn service at Hyde Park Corner in London on April 25, 2023. - Anzac Day commemorates Australian and New Zealand casualties and veterans of conflicts and marks the anniversary of the landings in the Dardanelles on April 25, 1915 that would signal the start of the Gallipoli Campaign during the First World War. (Photo by Ian Vogler / POOL / AFP)

Britain’s Prince William, Prince of Wales attends an Anzac Day dawn service at Hyde Park Corner in London on April 25, 2023. – Anzac Day commemorates Australian and New Zealand casualties and veterans of conflicts and marks the anniversary of the landings in the Dardanelles on April 25, 1915 that would signal the start of the Gallipoli Campaign during the First World War. (Photo by Ian Vogler / POOL / AFP)

Prince William has “recently settled” a phone-hacking claim against a UK newspaper group, court documents filed by his brother Prince Harry as part of his own lawsuit claimed on Tuesday.
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Harry, 38, is suing a number of UK newspapers over alleged unlawful information-gathering, including News Group Newspapers (NGN) which publishes The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World tabloids.

NGN is part of Rupert Murdoch’s global publishing empire and is asking the High Court in London to throw out the claims, filed by Harry alongside actor Hugh Grant, arguing they are out of time.

But in documents submitted for a three-day hearing this week, the prince’s lawyers stated that William has “recently settled his claim against NGN behind the scenes”.

Kensington Palace declined to comment on behalf of Prince William, whose formal title is the Prince of Wales.

The legal submissions also detail claims by Harry that the delay in filing a lawsuit against NGN stems from a “secret agreement” between the royal family as an institution and the publisher.
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They state that the princes’ late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, was involved in “discussions and authorisation” of the deal, which prevented royals from pursuing claims against NGN until other alleged hacking litigation had concluded.

“The reason for this was to avoid the situation where a member of the royal family would have to sit in the witness box and recount the specific details of the private and highly sensitive voicemails that had been intercepted,” Harry said in a witness statement.

“The institution was incredibly nervous about this,” he added, with the documents noting Harry was informed of the agreement in 2012.

“This agreement, including the promises from NGN for delayed resolution was, obviously, a major factor as to why no claim was brought by me at that time.”
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NGN settled phone-hacking claims by more than a dozen public figures in 2021, including actress Sienna Miller.

Meanwhile, Harry and singer Elton John are among six public figures suing the publisher of the Daily Mail over alleged unlawful information-gathering at its titles.

In addition, the prince is also expected to give evidence at a trial over allegations of unlawful information- gathering against tabloid publisher Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

That is due to begin next month, with Harry set to appear in court in June.
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