Britain's Prince Harry wins damages over aerial pictures of his pvt home

Britains Prince Harry wins damages   over aerial pictures of his pvt home

London: Britain's Prince Harry on Thursday settled for "substantial damages" and an apology from a news agency that hovered over his home in a helicopter, taking photos directly into his living room and bedroom earlier this year.

Lawyers for the Duke of Sussex told the UK High Court that the photographs showed the Oxfordshire home's interior and "very seriously undermined" his safety.

The images, which were taken in January and published in UK newspapers and online, showed the living area, dining area and "directly into the bedroom".

Justice Warby heard a statement in open court at the Royal Courts of Justice in London in relation to Harry's privacy and data protection complaints and ruled in favour of the royal.

"The syndication and publication of the photographs very seriously undermined the safety and security of the Duke and the home to the extent that they are no longer able to live at the property, Barrister Gerrard Tyrrell told the court.

"The property had been chosen by the Duke for himself and his wife given the high level of privacy it afforded given its position in a secluded area surrounded by private farmland away from any areas to which photographers have access," he said.

Tyrrell, who read a statement in court on Prince Harry's behalf, said the couple had subsequently felt unable to live at the home near the Cotswolds village of Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire.

The news agency Splash News admitted an "error in judgment" and apologised to the 34-year-old royal.

"We apologise to the Duke and Duchess for the distress we have caused," it said in a statement.

The agency has promised to "cease and desist from selling, issuing, publishing or making available the photographs. It also said it will not repeat its conduct by using any aerial means to take photographs or film footage of the Duke's private home, which would infringe privacy or data rights or otherwise be unlawful activity.

Buckingham Palace said Prince Harry "acknowledges and welcomes the formal apology from Splash News and Picture Agency".

Prince Harry and 37-year-old Meghan Markle, who recently became parents to new-born son Archie, have since moved into their family home at Frogmore Cottage on Queen Elizabeth II's Windsor Castle estate.



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