Buckingham Palace hopes Meghan can avoid her day in court to "spare the royals' blushes"

Naomi Gordon
·3-min read
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Chris Jackson - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

Royal aides are hoping that the Duchess of Sussex's privacy battle against Associated Newspapers later this month will not lead to a public trial.

A senior royal source has told The Sunday Times that a trial would be "deeply uncomfortable for the institution" as it will uncover the inner workings of the palace. They also suggested that it would be "traumatic for Meghan and Harry", and that it could involve the duke meeting his father-in-law Thomas Markle for the first time in a courtroom.

"A trial would be traumatic for Meghan and Harry, it will expose palace operations, members of staff would be dragged into it on the witness stands … it would be deeply uncomfortable for the institution," the royal source told the newspaper.

Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers over five articles published, two in the Mail on Sunday and three in the Mail Online, that included contents of a private letter she sent to her father in August 2018 without her permission. Her team is suing the group for breach of privacy, including copyright infringement, misuse of private information, and breach of the Data Protection Act.

Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images

According to The Sunday Times, lawyers representing the duchess "are scheduled to argue for a summary judgment in her privacy battle against Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday, negating the need for a trial".

If judge Mark Warby - who recently granted Meghan an adjournment until autumn 2021 - accepts her team's arguments for a summary judgment, the case will be closed.

If not, then the Markle v Markle in the High Court will unfold later this year. This could lead to the duke coming face-t0-face with Thomas Markle for the first time, and feature reluctant royal aides being called to testify. A royal in insider hopes that the case is dropped to protect "to protect the royal family" and Meghan's vulnerable father.

Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images

In October 2019, Harry announced that Meghan was suing the Mail on Sunday’s publisher, arguing that the British tabloid press had waged a "ruthless campaign" against his wife.

"I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces," he said.

Associated Newspapers responded by saying it would defend its actions, and rely on evidence from Thomas Markle if the case goes to trial.

In November this year, court papers revealed that Meghan had written to her father in August 2018 after receiving advice from two senior members of the royal family, "identified in some reports as Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall".

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently won an apology over invasive drone pictures of their son Archie, taken at their home in Montecito.

In happier news for the royal couple, the duke and duchess recently launched their Spotify podcast last week, with 19-month-old Archie delighting fans by making his adorable podcast debut.

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