Meghan Markle Has Won Her Copyright Claim Against the Mail on Sunday Over Her Letter to Her Father

Meghan sued the Mail on Sunday's publishers.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has secured another victory in her legal action against Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline. As the Guardian reports, Meghan won her copyright claim over the Mail on Sunday's publication of a private letter to her father, Thomas Markle. The judge, Lord Justice Warby, granted summary judgement supporting Meghan's copyright claim, meaning the case will not have to go to trial.

Meghan's lawyer, Ian Mill QC, told Lord Justice Warby that Associated Newspapers had "no honest belief" in their claim that Kensington Palace aide Jason Knauf could have joint copyright of the letter. Meghan shared a draft of the letter to her father with Knauf and Prince Harry "as this was a deeply painful process that they had lived through with her," her lawyer said, but Knauf did not write any part of the letter. Lawyers for the aide agreed, stating, "In our client’s view, it was the duchess's letter alone."

In February, Meghan won summary judgement in her privacy claim against Associated Newspapers, which also concerned the publication of her letter to her father. Judge Warby ruled at the time that Meghan's copyright had also been infringed, though he stated that the matter of whether she was the "sole author" of the letter would have to be resolved at trial. (Warby's latest summary judgement found that Meghan was indeed the sole author, negating the need for a trial.)

The Duchess of Sussex subsequently released an impactful statement about the ruling. "After two long years of pursuing litigation, I am grateful to the courts for holding Associated Newspapers and the Mail on Sunday to account for their illegal and dehumanizing practices," she said. "They’ve been going on for far too long without consequence. For these outlets, it’s a game. For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships, and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep."

"The world needs reliable, fact-checked, high-quality news. What the Mail on Sunday and its partner publications do is the opposite," she continued. "We all lose when misinformation sells more than truth, when moral exploitation sells more than decency, and when companies create their business model to profit from people’s pain. But, for today, with this comprehensive win on both privacy and copyright, we have all won."

Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

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.