Queen Vowed to Go After Murdoch Press But Charles Called Her Off newsusface

Prince Harry has launched an explosive attack on his father less than two weeks before the king’s coronation, saying the then-Prince Charles stopped his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, from taking legal action over phone hacking so the media would stay “onside” and support Charles’ “long-term strategy” to make Camilla queen.

Harry made the astonishing claims in court papers released on Tuesday as part of his legal action against News Group Newspapers (NGN), the Rupert Murdoch-owned company that publishes the London Times and U.K tabloid The Sun, the Guardian reported.

In his witness statement, released on the opening day of a three-day hearing in London’s high court, Harry alleged that the queen personally intervened in the matter, threatening senior executives at Rupert Murdoch’s media company with legal proceedings over the hacking, but she was persuaded to back down by a fearful Charles.

Harry alleged that Charles was “incredibly nervous” of a rerun of the so-called tampon-gate affair, in which he was recorded engaging in unusual fantasies with his then mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles.

So Charles personally ordered his son to drop legal cases he had filed against British media outlets to keep the press “onside,” Harry alleged.

He said in his written statement: “I was summoned to Buckingham Palace and specifically told to drop the legal actions because they have an ‘effect on all the family’….[this was] a direct request (or rather demand) from my father.”

Harry said that while tabloid journalism had ruined his mental health, it had driven others to suicide and asked, “How much more blood will stain their typing fingers before someone can put a stop to this madness?”

In 2017, the Guardian reports, Harry spoke to Queen Elizabeth II and William about his plan to seek an apology from NGN.

His witness statement said: “I remember speaking to my brother and saying something along the lines of ‘enough of this, I want to get permission to push for a resolution to our phone-hacking claims and a formal apology from Murdoch before any of his people are allowed anywhere near the wedding [to Meghan in 2018]’ or words to that effect.

“I felt very angry about his newspapers’ appalling treatment of my wife and frustrated that nothing had been resolved on the phone-hacking front during the previous 12 months, and I thought (naively perhaps) that this might prove the perfect opportunity to air our grievances and force a resolution to our phone-hacking claims that had, up to that point, been denied to us on account of the secret agreement that had been reached between the institution and senior executives at NGN [News Group Newspapers] … and, of course, to force an apology from Murdoch.

“William was very understanding and supportive and agreed that we needed to do it. He therefore suggested that I seek permission from ‘granny’.

“I spoke to her shortly afterwards and said something along the lines of ‘are you happy for me to push this forward, do I have your permission?’ and she said ‘yes.’

“Unfortunately, despite … best efforts, both Robert Thomson and Rebekah Brooks [of News Corporation and News UK] continued to ignore our requests but then, shortly before the wedding, we were informed by [royal lawyer] Gerrard Tyrrell that nothing could be done as NGN were not in a position to apologize to Her Majesty the Queen and the rest of the royal family at that stage on account of the fact that, if they did so, they would have to admit that not only was the News of the World involved in phone hacking but also the Sun and that was something that they couldn’t afford to do until the end of the litigation because it would seriously undermine their settlement strategy across all the other claims.”

The Guardian reports that Harry wrote that his father then intervened. He wrote: “With hindsight, I now understand why staff at Clarence House [representing Charles and Camilla] were being so unhelpful and were seemingly blocking our every move, as they had a specific long-term strategy to keep the media (including NGN) onside in order to smooth the way for my stepmother (and father) to be accepted by the British public as queen consort (and king respectively) when the time came, and anything that might upset the applecart in this regard (including the suggestion of resolution of our phone hacking claims) was to be avoided at all costs.

“This was all because of the secret agreement which had been reached between NGN and the institution that there would be no actions until the end of the litigation. Indeed, when I did actually issue my hacking claims against both MGN and NGN in October 2019, I was summoned to Buckingham Palace and specifically told to drop the legal actions because they have an ‘effect on all the family’. This was a direct request (or rather demand) from my father, Edward Young [private secretary to the queen] and my father’s private secretary, Clive Alderton.”

In 2018, Sally Osman, Queen Elizabeth II’s secretary, wrote to Harry explicitly stating that the monarch was prepared to threaten legal action. Osman wrote: “The queen has given her consent to send a further note, by email, to Robert Thomson, CEO of News Corporation and Rebekah Brooks, CEO of News UK. Her Majesty has approved the wording, which essentially says there is increasing frustration at their lack of response and engagement and, while we’ve tried to settle without involving lawyers, we will need to reconsider our stance unless we receive a viable proposal.”

However, Harry says that despite no apology being forthcoming, legal action was not pursued because of Charles’ wishes.

Harry also alleged that William was paid a “huge sum of money” by NGN as part of the deal.

Harry has said he is willing to go to trial in an attempt to prove there was wrongdoing by the Sun. Tuesday’s court hearings concern NGN’s attempts to get the case dismissed.

In the paperwork, Harry also said press intrusion into the life of his mother was “[o]ne of the reasons she insisted on not having any protection after the divorce,” fearing stories would be sold about her. He said: “If she’d had police protection with her in August 1997, she’d probably still be alive today. People who abuse their power like this need to face the consequences of their actions, otherwise it says that we can all behave like this.”

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