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Prince Harry Alleges Secret Settlement Between Buckingham Palace and Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers

Written by on April 25, 2023

Prince Harry has alleged that Buckingham Palace and Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers (NGN) reached a secret agreement over historical phone hacking claims, according to court documents filed on behalf of the Duke of Sussex. The documents also claim that NGN reached an undisclosed settlement with Prince William over similar claims of phone hacking. Prince Harry is currently suing NGN for alleged unlawful information gathering, including intercepting voicemail messages, using private investigators to gain information, and obtaining private information by deception.

While it is unclear how Prince Harry became aware of his brother’s settlement, he writes in his court response that his information is based on a redacted document through which he is inferring that Prince William signed onto the agreement. Kensington Palace officials have declined to comment on the matter, and Buckingham Palace has reiterated its position of not commenting on legal proceedings.

In the court documents, Prince Harry’s legal team claims that Prince William was paid a “very large sum” by the owner of The Sun and News of the World to settle claims of phone hacking. NGN has not commented on this suggestion, and the company has claimed that Prince Harry should have brought his lawsuit sooner.

The phone hacking scandal first came to light in 2007, when the editor of News of the World and a private investigator were convicted of conspiracy to hack the voicemails of British royals. The scandal resurfaced in 2010 and 2011 amid allegations that phone hacking was a common practice at the Sunday tabloid, and that UK police had been complicit.

The scandal has cost the Murdoch media empire more than £1 billion ($1.24 billion), according to a 2021 investigation by industry publication Press Gazette. In the long-running controversy, a number of British journalists have been accused of illegally hacking the voicemails of thousands of people, ranging from top politicians and celebrities to murder victims and the families of troops killed in action.

Prince Harry has also alleged that there was a “secret agreement” between NGN and Buckingham Palace, by which NGN would forego its right to bring a limitation defense in response to any claims by the Royal Family. However, NGN denies the existence of such an agreement.

The lawsuit filed by Prince Harry is yet another development in the ongoing phone hacking scandal that has rocked the British media and political establishment. The allegations made by Prince Harry, if proven, could have serious implications for both Buckingham Palace and NGN.


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