Prince Harry launches lawsuit against UK newspaper publisher

Britain's Prince Harry attends the 2021 Global Citizen Live concert at Central Park in New York, U.S., September 25, 2021. Picture taken September 25, 2021. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/File Photo

LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Prince Harry is suing Associated Newspapers, one of Britain's biggest newspaper publishers, for libel over a newspaper article alleging he attempted to keep details of his legal battle to reinstate his police protection secret from the public.

Harry, Queen Elizabeth's grandson, and his American wife Meghan quit royal duties in 2020 to forge new careers in Los Angeles. The couple have since relied upon a private security team.

His legal representatives said in January that these arrangements did not give the prince the level of protection he needed while visiting Britain and he wanted to pay for police protection.

Harry is suing the Mail on Sunday over an article published on Feb. 20 alleging that he sought a confidentiality order on documents and witness statements in the case, according to a source familiar with the situation.

A spokesperson for Harry said he was suing Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. But the spokesperson provided no details about which of the titles is being sued or why.

Associated Newspapers declined to comment.

Harry and his wife Meghan, formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, moved to California two years to lead a more independent life. Harry has previously said he stepped back from his royal duties because the "toxic" British press had been destroying his mental health.

Meghan won a claim against the Mail on Sunday last year, after it printed extracts of a handwritten letter she wrote to her estranged father in 2018.

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Jonathan Oatis

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