| 17.2°C Dublin

Meghan's privacy case could lay bare inner workings of palace, court papers reveal

Close

Exit: Meghan and Harry plan to reveal the reason behind their  decision to step away from their royal lives in a biography called ‘Finding Freedom’. Picture: PA

Exit: Meghan and Harry plan to reveal the reason behind their decision to step away from their royal lives in a biography called ‘Finding Freedom’. Picture: PA

Exit: Meghan and Harry plan to reveal the reason behind their decision to step away from their royal lives in a biography called ‘Finding Freedom’. Picture: PA

The Duchess of Sussex's privacy case could see Kensington Palace's inner workings laid before the courts.

Documents filed this week place the behind-the-scenes mechanisms of the Sussexes' former London residence at the centre of Meghan's claim against 'The Mail on Sunday', her legal team say.

They claim that her friends spoke out only to protect her after she felt "prohibited from defending herself".

The revelations raise the prospect former or current staff could be called as witnesses at the High Court, along with friends of Meghan.

The duchess herself will prepare a witness statement laying bare further details of a letter she wrote to her father, the arrangements she made for him to travel to Britain for her wedding to Prince Harry and the lengths she went to in trying to stop the media from speaking to him.

Insiders fear the case will expose previously unknown details of Meghan's life in the Royal family.

It will not, a source last night insisted, target individual members of the British royal family or their relationship with the Sussexes, but the "institutional processes" friends feel "let her down".

The latest revelations, detailed in written answers provided to the newspaper's legal team by Meghan's lawyers, continue the ongoing public fallout of the Sussexes' departure from the UK.

Next month, a biography of the couple promises to tell their "epic and true" story "finally revealing why they chose to pursue a more independent path and the reasons behind their unprecedented decision to step away from their royal lives".

Entitled 'Finding Freedom', it has been predicted to make uncomfortable reading for the British royals.

Meghan is suing 'The Mail on Sunday' on the grounds of breach of privacy, data protection and copyright, over the publication of parts of a handwritten letter to her father.

The newspaper has argued her own friends first brought the letter to public attention with an anonymous interview in 'People' magazine, in which it was raised for the first time.

On the question of why the five friends spoke, papers state that Meghan had been distressed by media reports, as well as an alleged Kensington Palace policy of responding "no comment" to allegations about her.

That left her friends "rightly concerned for her welfare, specifically as she was pregnant, unprotected by the institution, and prohibited from defending herself", the papers say.

Royal commentators yesterday speculated that the latest revelations would leave the family distressed, particularly by claims that Meghan felt unprotected during her pregnancy. But a source said her case would not focus on the Royal family itself.

"It was the institutional process and culture, the operational behaviour, that let her down," the source said. "It is not targeted at individuals in the family at all.

"People are missing the fact that at its heart, this is a case against a newspaper for breaching the privacy of a woman writing to her father.

"This is not a case about the wider royal family or their relationships at all."

No decision has yet been made on who to call as witnesses, but it is understood Palace staff familiar with its communications policy could be key to the case.

Meghan's team has already promised further details about her relationship with her father to come.

"The intention of the letter was to make him stop his actions," they noted in one section. "It was not an attempt at reconciliation. This will be amplified in the claimant's witness statement."

In sections outlining how the then Meghan Markle took steps to make sure her father Thomas could safely attend her wedding, and tried to "protect him from media intrusion", they say: "The claimant will explain in further detail in her witness statement."

Associated Newspapers has wholly denied all claims against it, particularly the suggestion that the letter was edited in any meaningful way.

A date for the court case against 'The Mail on Sunday' has not yet been set but is unlikely to be before next year, with further written exchanges between legal teams still to come. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent