Prince Harry Sent a Legal Warning Over a "False and Defamatory" Article

Prince Harry's lawyers issued a legal warning to the Mail on Sunday over a "false and defamatory" article about his relationship with the Armed Forces.

britains prince harry, duke of sussex arrives to attend the uk africa investment summit in london on january 20, 2020 photo by ben stansall afp photo by ben stansallafp via getty images
(Image credit: Karwai Tang)

Prince Harry has sent a legal warning to the Mail on Sunday, whose publishers Meghan Markle is suing, over a recent article (opens in new tab) alleging that he had not been in touch with the Royal Marines after giving up his role of Captain General in March. Harry lost the honorary title (opens in new tab), awarded in 2017, after he and Meghan stepped down as senior members of the royal family.

Harry's lawyers at London firm Schillings—the same firm representing Meghan in her legal battle against Associated Publishers (opens in new tab), concerning their publication of her letter to her father, Thomas Markle—said the Mail on Sunday's article was "false and defamatory," as Vanity Fair reports (opens in new tab). An aide for Harry told the magazine, "To say he has not been in touch with the Marines is not the case. He had many conversations with former colleagues during the lockdown and is in regular contact with a lot of military personnel on a private and personal basis."

The Mail on Sunday quoted former Marine Major General Julian Thompson, who said, "I’m not trying to give him a lecture, but he has to take the job seriously and not just say, 'Well, I’m still the Captain General and I’m going to live in Los Angeles and never visit the UK.' It’s wrong. You can’t do that. He is expected to attend events and be around and be as accessible as his grandfather was."

The newspaper further alleged that Harry ignored a written request from Lord Dannatt, former head of the Army, for greater support for the British military community. According to Vanity Fair, sources close to Harry said that he never received Lord Dannatt's letter, and his office have since requested a copy be sent to the Duke of Sussex's Los Angeles staff.

Speaking to Vanity Fair, an unnamed friend of Harry said, "He might have been made to give up his titles, but he has not given up on the military, far from it." 

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Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.