Prince Harry Is "Free From the Shackles" of the Royal Family's "Mentality," Friend Says

His court battle is proof.

Prince Harry grimaces as he leaves a U.K. courtroom
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Harry testified in London last week as part of his court case against the publishers of the Daily Mirror.

This, according to the Sunday Times, made him "the first senior royal to give evidence in court in more than 130 years," which—as you can imagine—is a significant milestone.

More than just making history, this strategic move of Harry's in his battle against British tabloids signifies how far he's come in separating himself from the Royal Family's traditional ways.

One former courtier told the Times, "We would have been terrified to have a member of the Royal Family cross-examined on the stand, but Harry thinks 'bring it on.'"

Meanwhile, a friend of the Duke of Sussex' said, "He’s free from the shackles of that mentality. In Meghan he has found someone supportive of that stance and he’s emboldened by that. But the bigger picture is that he believes there are some very significant wrongs that need to be righted. It’s deeper than just wanting his day in court."

The duke is accusing several tabloid newspapers of unlawfully gathering information about him via means such as phone hacking. He is also accusing these papers of making his life as a young man significantly harder than it should have been.

"As a teenager and in my early twenties, I ended up feeling as though I was playing up to a lot of the headlines and stereotypes that they wanted to pin on me mainly because I thought that, if they are printing this rubbish about me and people were believing it, I may as well 'do the crime,' so to speak," Harry said in his witness statement for his case against Mirror Group Newspapers.

"It was a downward spiral, whereby the tabloids would constantly try and coax me, a 'damaged' young man, into doing something stupid that would make a good story and sell lots of newspapers.

"Looking back on it now, such behavior on their part is utterly vile."

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.