Prince Harry has released a statement as part of his lawsuit against a news agency. The Duke has accepted damages and an apology from the agency which took photographs of his home, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday.
In January, Harry and Meghan’s country home in the Cotswolds was photographed from a helicopter. The photos were then printed in a newspaper and prompted the couple to move out after they feared for their “safety and security”.
Splash News, a celebrity news agency, hired the aircraft to take photos and videos of Harry and Meghan’s property on January 9 2019.
Prince Harry took legal action claiming the intrusion of privacy meant they could “no longer” live at the house.
The lawyer who represented him said the “well-known paparazzi agency” misused private information, breached the Duke’s right to privacy, GDPR laws and the Data Protection Act.
The palace also released a short statement that read: “The Duke of Sussex acknowledges and welcomes the formal apology from Splash News and Picture Agency as referenced in the Statement in Open Court today.”
The court statement read out by Harry’s solicitor, Gerrard Tyrrell, noted: “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 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.
“The helicopter flew over the home at a low altitude allowing Splash to take photographs of and into the living area and dining area of the home and directly into the bedroom… 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.”
Splash said in a statement: “Splash has always recognised that this situation represents an error of judgment and we have taken steps to ensure it will not be repeated. We apologise to the Duke and Duchess for the distress we have caused.”
Harry and Meghan moved into Frogmore Cottage at Windsor earlier this year after it was refurbished. The couple were previously based at Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace, London. However, the couple would withdraw to their quieter country home in the Cotswolds.