Harry and Meghan receive apology over ‘illegal’ drone photos of baby Archie
Written by on 8 October 2020
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have received an apology from a news agency that used drones to take “intrusive and illegal” pictures of their son Archie, the couple’s lawyer has said.
In their lawsuit, the couple said an individual had photographed Archie, then 14 months old, at their home during the coronavirus lockdown.
On Thursday, their lawyer Michael Kump said the agency responsible, X17, had apologised and agreed a “reimbursement of legal fees”.
He added: “Over the summer, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took action against intrusive and illegal paparazzi photos taken of their family at a private residence.
“Today, the agency responsible for those photos – X17 – apologised and agreed to a permanent injunction and reimbursement of legal fees.
“This is a successful outcome. All families have a right, protected by law, to feel safe and secure at home.”
The photos in question were of Archie and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, according to court documents from the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
X17 has agreed to turn over the photos to Harry and Meghan and destroy any copies in its archives or databases.
It has also pledged to never again traffic in any photos of the couple or their son taken by drone, zoom or telephoto lenses “in any private residence or the surrounding private grounds”.
Harry and Meghan claimed in their lawsuit that they lived “unmolested” in North Saanich, Canada, for six weeks before the media published their new location.
They said the published photos prompted “up to 40 paparazzi and media organisations descending on this peaceful community from hundreds of miles away”.
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The couple claimed drones had been flown 20ft above their house as often as three times a day and that some pictures of Archie were sold.
Helicopters also flew over the residence as early as 5.30am and as late as 7pm, which legal papers state had the effect of “waking neighbours and their son, day after day”.
Photographers allegedly cut holes into the security fence, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit states that the former royal couple want to do what is “necessary to protect their children from this manufactured feeding frenzy”.
Harry and Meghan, who announced they were stepping down as senior royals in March, claim they “seek no special treatment whatsoever” and just want the right to privacy.
Meghan is also suing Associated Newspapers – publisher of The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline – over articles which published parts of a “private and confidential” letter from the duchess to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.