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Mail on Sunday publisher begins appeal against High Court ruling over ‘private’ Meghan Markle letter

Written by on 9 November 2021

The publisher of the Mail On Sunday will begin its appeal later today against a High Court ruling that found the paper had breached privacy and copyright laws by printing parts of a letter the Duchess of Sussex had written to her father.

Meghan won her case on a summary judgement earlier this year after suing Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over a series of articles the paper printed quoting parts of a letter she sent to her father Thomas Markle in August 2018.

She said the five articles, published in print and online in February 2019, misused her private information, infringed her copyright, and breached the Data Protection Act.

Thomas Markle said the couple 'went way over the top' with heir interview. Pic: Good Morning Britain Image: The paper published a series of articles quoting from a letter she sent her father. Pic: Good Morning Britain

The publisher of The Mail On Sunday has been given permission to appeal. The summary judgements ruled by a judge meant that Meghan won her case without having to go to trial.

In February, Lord Justice Warby said ANL’s publication of Meghan’s letter to her father was “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful”.

He added: “It was, in short, a personal and private letter. The majority of what was published was about the claimant’s own behaviour, her feelings of anguish about her father’s behaviour, as she saw it, and the resulting rift between them. These are inherently private and personal matters.”

In a statement after the ruling, Meghan said she was grateful that Associated Newspapers and The Mail on Sunday had been “held to account for their illegal and dehumanising practices”.

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“For these outlets, it’s a game,” she said.

“For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships, and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex discussed the move during a visit to New Zealand in 2018, more than a year before they stepped back from royal duties Image: Prince Harry and Meghan now live in California after stepping back as senior royals. File pic

In response, Associated Newspapers said: “We are very surprised by today’s summary judgment and disappointed at being denied the chance to have all the evidence heard and tested in open court at a full trial.”

The appeal court hearing is scheduled to be held over the next three days.