Royal Expert Claims Prince Harry's Surprise U.K. Visit "Was Not Planned" With King Charles

The communication is going great...

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex leaves from the Royal Courts of Justice, Britain's High Court, in central London on March 27, 2023. - Prince Harry and pop superstar Elton John appeared at a London court Monday, delivering a high-profile jolt to a privacy claim launched by celebrities and other figures against a newspaper publisher. The publisher of the Daily Mail, Associated Newspapers (ANL), is trying to end the high court claims brought over alleged unlawful activity at its titles.
(Image credit: Photo by Justin Tallis / Getty)

As a reporter on the British Royal Family, I do enjoy a bit of intrigue amid the royal fold, but royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams isn't so pleased about Prince Harry's latest move.

The Duke of Sussex unexpectedly appeared at the High Court in London on Monday to attend a four-day hearing on his case against the publishers of the Daily Mail, which he launched with a group of public figures with similar allegations to his: Sir Elton John, David Furnish, Sadie Frost, Elizabeth Hurley, and campaigner Doreen Lawrence. The group is suing Associated Newspapers for alleged "abhorrent criminal activity and gross breaches of privacy."

"The problem with this appearance is that it is a surprise appearance and the Sussexes do like to surprise," Fitzwilliams told Express.

"They're always unpredictable and nobody expected this.

"There is little doubt Harry is attaching his name to a list which is very distinguished but equally it was an opportunity for him to appear on the privacy area where the Sussexes feel very strongly."

For Fitzwilliams, Harry is unlikely to have consulted his father before deciding to attend the hearing—since relations between them aren't exactly at their best these days.

"Clearly this was not planned because Charles would have been in France and he's going to Germany on Wednesday," the expert said.

"It's very hard to see what he and the King would have to say to each other because can you trust saying anything sensitive when it might very well appear in a book or article?

"The Prince and Princess of Wales are also on holiday apparently with their children."

Of course, the publication of Harry's memoir Spare rocked the Royal Family, because of the many shock revelations it contained—especially concerning the King, Prince William, and Princess Kate. Commentators believe that the royals are now particularly wary of how they interact with the Sussexes, for fear of further damaging revelations coming to light.

Hypothesizing on why Harry chose to attend the hearing in person, Fitzwilliams concluded, "This case, where his name is joined up with other big names, is obviously one he thought it would be beneficial to appear at." I can see that.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.