The Duchess of Sussex filed a lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday and its parent company DMG Media in October for publishing excerpts from a private letter she wrote to her father in 2018. She is suing the company for breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018, but the publisher has said it stands by the story and will be defending the case “vigorously”. In the latest round of court documents released to the public, Meghan’s legal team have described her as “unprotected by the Institution and prohibited from defending herself” while she was pregnant.
They claim Kensington Palace told her that all friends and family should say “no comment” when contacted by the media, which made everyone feel “silenced”.
The documents also made the separate claim that public funds used for Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding were “far outweighed by the tourism revenue of over £1billion that was generated” from the event.
The Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family will be “devastated” by Meghan’s claims, according to a royal expert on the podcast Pod Save the Queen.
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
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Queen Elizabeth II and other senior royals will be
Meghan and Harry on their last official royal engagement
In the episode this week, Mr Myers claimed he has sources in the Palace who said senior royals are “devastated” and branded the claims a “power play” by Meghan and her lawyers.
He said: “When we think back to the Queen’s statements when they were preparing to leave the Royal Family, I always thought they were very, very heartfelt.
“I’ve spoken before about how the word family was used eight times, the Queen said how impressed she’d been with Meghan, how she’d welcomed her into the family ‒ I think we’d seen that when they were on their first ever engagement together in Chester.
“And I know from speaking to people at the Palace that the senior royals are going to be absolutely devastated by this.
Meghan’s father Thomas Markle
“This is a massive power play by Meghan and her lawyers.
“And it seems as though she’s particularly unhappy at the way she was treated and especially the way in which she was not allowed to respond publicly to certain articles that were appearing in certain newspapers to do with her father speaking out.”
However this is not the first time Meghan has implied she was not supported by the Royal Family.
In an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby for the documentary ‘Harry & Meghan: An African Journey’, she thanked him for asking about her wellbeing.
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Meghan speaking to ITV’s Tom Bradby
The Duchess claimed “not many people have asked me if I’m OK” in what many interpreted to be a veiled attack on The Firm.
However, Mr Myers insisted that, to his knowledge, the Royal Family were very fond of Meghan and very welcoming.
He said: “I mean, Meghan is putting it in court documents and will no doubt be prepared to say this in court, if it is in these submissions, that’s her feeling towards the Royal Family.
“But anyone that I have spoken to has said that Meghan was liked by the family, she was welcomed within it ‒ Charles was particularly fond of her.
“Certainly the boys have had their issues, Kate and Meghan are completely different people… but anyone else in senior members of the family was very, very fond of her and I think that they will be absolutely dismayed by these headlines this morning and the details coming out in these court documents.”
Meghan’s latest court filings were in response to several questions from the defendant, many about an interview Meghan’s friends gave to People magazine in February 2019, in which the letter was mentioned.
The Mail on Sunday claimed Meghan breached her own privacy by allowing friends to speak about the letter on her behalf.
Meghan’s legal team repeated her position that she did not know about the interview in advance and did not know that the contents of the letter might be revealed.
They insisted that, had she known, she “would not have consented to this”.
That said, the documents did express her frustration at being told not to respond to any claims about her.
One section read: “It was mandated by the Kensington Palace communications team that all friends and family of the Claimant should say ‘no comment’ when approached by any media outlet, despite misinformation being provided to the UK tabloids about the Claimant.
“This shared frustration amongst the Claimant’s friends left everyone feeling silenced, as it appeared that other so-called sources were able to disseminate false statements about the Claimant, while the people who knew her best were told that they needed to remain silent.
“The Claimant believes that is probably because of this reason, as well as concerns about the press intrusion by the UK tabloids, that a few friends chose to participate and they did so anonymously.”
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