Prince Harry is applying to amend his claim against the publishers of the Sun newspaper, arguing it should include allegations it breached his privacy when he was just 10 years old.

The Duke of Sussex is suing News Groups Newspapers over allegations that the company, which also published the defunct News of the World, had used unlawful methods such as blagging and the commissioning of private investigators to gather confidential information.

At a hearing in the Rolls Building of the High Court today, the duke applied to amend his particulars of claim. For the duke, among other claimants, David Sherborne said: ‘The proposed amended case is through the period starting in 1994. The current pleading starts in 1996. In 1994 and 1995, at that stage the Duke of Sussex was 10.’

Sherborne said private information in the claim referred to ‘his welfare, his relationship with his mother, Princess Diana and her state of mind’.

The claim is already set to be taken up to 2016, but the prince also seeks to add a new allegation to his claim, relating to his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. 

Sherborne added. ‘In 2016, the defendant instructed one of its regular private investigators, “Danno” Hanks. What we say he did was obtain private information in the form of a report about the Duke of Sussex’s then new girlfriend, Meghan Markle. He obtained further information for publication in the Sun.’

Sherborne said the claimants had previously provided the amended particulars of claim on 6 October 2022, but that ‘without warning’ News Group had launched a strike out application.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry seeks to add a new allegation to his claim, relating to his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex

Prince Harry’s phone-hacking claim against the Sun was struck out as out of time, because he knew he had been hacked by the News of the World by September 2013, but  issued his claim form six years later.

But his claim about blagging of his confidential information and the commissioning of private investigators to do other alleged unlawful acts, was allowed to proceed because it was arguable he did not know enough about those activities to have issued a claim in 2013.

In a written response, NGN said the new claims brought forward by the prince lacked ‘a sufficient evidential basis’.

Regarding the 2016 claim concerning Meghan, it said the law of England and Wales did not apply as it was about a Sun journalist, James Beal, based in New York, instructing Hanks, based in California, to obtain a report about Meghan, also based in California. 

Anthony Hudson KC wrote: ‘NGN submits that, in US law, a claim in respect of the matters alleged has no real prospect of success’.