Prince Harry claims 'without doubt' that the Palace 'withheld' phone hacking details

He says he was 'conditioned to accept' the royal family's 'never complain, never explain' motto

Prince Harry
(Image credit: Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty)

While Prince Harry's possible attendance at King Charles' coronation has been widely discussed, the Duke of Sussex's unannounced return to the UK came sooner than expected as he attended the High Court in London earlier this week. 

Harry is part of a group of high-profile individuals - including Sir Elton John, Liz Hurley, Sadie Frost, Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Liberal Democrat politician Sir Simon Hughes - who are taking legal action against the publisher of the Daily Mail, Associated Newspapers Limited, alleging they are victims of 'abhorrent criminal activity' and 'gross breaches of privacy'. 

In a witness statement, which was submitted ahead of the civil claim, the Duke said he was taught to accept the royal family's 'never complain, never explain' motto whenever it came to dealing with the press, and claimed that the Palace withheld information about phone hacking as they thought a legal dispute would 'open a can of worms'. 

The case against ANL claims that between 1993 and 2011, information was unlawfully gathered in the form of private investigators placing listening devices inside homes, recording private conversations and accessing individuals' bank details. 

ANL lawyers 'firmly' deny the allegations and want the case dismissed without trial.

During the second day of the preliminary hearing, each individual's statement was shared.

Harry's read: "The institution made it clear that we did not need to know anything about phone hacking and it was made clear to me that the royal family did not sit in the witness box because that could open up a can of worms."

He claims that it wasn't until 2018 that he 'became aware that I had a claim that I could bring'. 

He continued: "The institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN’s phone hacking and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation."

Harry also added that he eventually found out that other members of the household had brought phone hacking claims against the press in 2020, adding: "There was never any centralised discussion between us about who had brought claims as each office in the institution is siloed.

"There is this misconception that we are all in constant communication with one another but that is not true."

Buckingham Palace has not yet commented. 

Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.