Prince Harry arrives at UK court for rare royal appearance

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walks outside the Rolls Building of the High Court in London, Britain June 6, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Prince Harry arrived at London's High Court on Tuesday where he will give evidence in his lawsuit against the publisher of British tabloid the Daily Mirror, which he accuses of phone hacking and other unlawful acts.

Harry, King Charles' younger son, failed to appear in court as expected on Monday, but will enter the witness box on Tuesday, becoming the first senior British royal to give evidence in court in 130 years.

He is one of more than 100 high-profile figures suing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), the publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, for alleged wrongdoing between 1991 and 2011.

MGN, now owned by Reach, apologised at the start of the trial for one admitted occasion that the Sunday People had unlawfully sought information about Harry, accepting he was entitled to compensation.

But it has rejected his other allegations, saying he had no evidence for his claims. Buckingham Palace is likely to feature prominently in Harry's cross-examination, with MGN arguing that some information had come from royal aides.

The trial began last month, as lawyers representing Harry and three other test claimants attempted to prove that unlawful information gathering was carried out with the knowledge and approval of senior editors and executives.

Harry's lawyer told the court on Monday that the lawsuit was not part of a vendetta against the press but intended to focus attention on alleged unlawful activities.

David Sherborne said some 2,500 articles about Harry's private life had appeared in the MGN titles during the period the allegations covered, with nothing being "sacrosanct or out of bounds" and "no protection" from these unlawful information-gathering methods.

Harry had been expected to be in court on Monday but Sherborne said he had flown from his home in Los Angeles on Sunday evening, after attending his daughter Lilibet's second birthday, and his travel and security arrangements were a bit "tricky".

Judge, Timothy Fancourt said he was "surprised" by Harry's absence while MGN's lawyer Andrew Green said it was "absolutely extraordinary".

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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