A Royal Suit: The Duchess of Sussex defends her rights against Associated Newspapers

Since it was announced to the world that Prince Harry was dating the American actress and human rights activist Meghan Markle, the UK press has been printing up a frenzy analysing the prospect of this coupling. As a result, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex (‘the Duchess’) have had to address the need for the press to respect her privacy. Nevertheless, the ‘Mail on Sunday’ newspaper has released to the public domain, the contents of a private letter written by the Duchess.

On 1 October 2019, Meghan Markle filed a claim with the UK High Court against the publishers of the Mail on Sunday, Associated Newspapers. The Duchess has alleged that the misuse of her private information has resulted in a breach of her rights under the Data Protection Act 2018 (s.2(1)(a)). This breach resulted from copyright infringement (the publishing of her private letter without consent).

Whilst we await to see the legal outcome of this claim, tensions have been brought to an all-time high between the UK press and this royal couple. As Prince Harry is the son of the late Princess Diana, he is very familiar with the negative effects of the press and is keen to prevent them from affecting his new marriage. However, considering their royal and celebrity statuses, only time will tell if the law is a strong enough force to stand against the press.


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