Prince Harry accepted damages & an apology from Splash photo agency

Some backstory: when Prince Harry and then-Meghan Markle were engaged, they decided to rent a cute little cottage in the country. The cottage was in Cotswolds, a posh area full of celebrities and posh country estates. I thought it was weird that they were renting a place rather than buying, and I also thought it was odd that the Queen hadn’t already (at the time) given them a country home. By January of this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had given up their multi-year lease on the home though. And that was because photos were published of the cottage in The Sun. At the time, I thought that the owners of the cottage simply authorized the photos as a way to get more interest in the rental, because the owners already knew that Harry and Meg were leaving for Frogmore Cottage. As it turns out, not so much. Splash News and Picture Agency got the photos through shady means, and Harry ended up suing the agency. And Harry won.

Prince Harry, Britain’s Duke of Sussex, has accepted substantial damages and an apology from a news agency which took photographs of his home from the air, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday. Harry’s lawyer said Splash News and Picture Agency had chartered a helicopter in January to take photos and film the private home of Harry and his wife Meghan, a former American actress, in Oxfordshire, central England.

“The syndication and publication of the photographs very seriously undermined the safety and security of the Duke and the home to the extent that they are no longer able to live at the property,” the lawyer said in a court statement.

“The property had been chosen by the Duke for himself and his wife given the high level of privacy it afforded, given its position in a secluded area surrounded by private farmland away from any areas to which photographers have access.”

[From Reuters]

Omid Scobie says Splash will pay the “substantial” damages, which will cover Harry’s legal fees, and whatever is left over, Harry will donate to charity. And so ends my theorizing about why they actually left that rental cottage/farmhouse. Now that they’re in Windsor, everything will be… slightly better on that front. Well, they’ll still have to deal with petty courtiers being petty, but no one will photograph Frogmore Cottage that extensively.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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