Entertainment

‘Devastation’ and ‘discord’: Explosive start to Harry’s court battle against Daily Mirror publisher

This trial was always going to be explosive and it certainly started with a bang.

Not just the testy exchanges about why Prince Harry wasn’t in court, but revelations and claims about phone hacking which started in his childhood.

If one sentence from the High Court sums up Harry’s view of press interest in his life it is perhaps this: “Nothing was sacrosanct or out of bounds.”

We now have a sense of what he means.

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Why is Prince Harry claiming damages against Mirror Group Newspapers?

He has accused the Daily Mirror of hacking into his mother’s voicemail messages, how Diana was “devastated” that private conversations she’d had with the entertainer Michael Barrymore ended up in the paper.

And how this happened under the editorship of Piers Morgan.

But this was only the start.

We were taken back to Harry’s schooldays, around the time of his parents’ divorce, when the 11-year-old prince was already the subject of stories which his barrister claims show the “tell-tale” signs of unlawful information gathering.

And accusations too about the negative reporting of Harry’s relationship with Prince William.

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Their current falling out is well-documented. But his barrister said “seeds of discord” were fuelled and fostered by the coverage in the papers, causing trust to erode and mistrust to “settle in”.

We’ve had more details too about Harry’s relationship with Chelsy Davy and how the press coverage meant they felt they were never alone.

All of this paints a picture of Harry growing up with “every facet” of his life written about in the papers.

His most private moments and conversations made public.

We know Harry has made his fight against the tabloids his life’s work.

He insists he doesn’t have a vendetta against the press in general, but he does see himself as a champion of change, using his position and profile as a platform to reform the media landscape.

We will find out soon if he’s had any success.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror’s publisher Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) denies all the allegations, referring to the Diana voicemail hacking accusation as “total speculation”.

Harry In Court – watch a special programme on Sky News tonight at 9pm

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