Prince Harry's Bombshell Revelations Drag William Into Hacking Case and Leave Coronation Peace Hopes in Tatters
Harry claims his brother accepted a “huge sum” of money to settle phone hacking charges.
The fractured relationship between Prince Harry and Prince William may not be repaired anytime soon, according to recent reports. The brothers appeared to be thick as thieves for most of their lives – until Harry met American actress Meghan Markle. Over the next few years, their relationship when from strained to non-existent, with Harry making shocking claims about a physical altercation between the two that took place in his former home on palace grounds. While there have been hopes that the estranged brothers would reconcile during their father, King Charles' coronation in June, a new development stemming from Harry's lawsuit against the media makes a reunion unlikely.
Court Documents, Including a Statement From Prince Harry, Were Made Public
On Tuesday court documents were made public from Harry's lawsuit against News of the World and The Sun for phone hacking. In the documents, Harry claims that his brother received a secret payment from the publication's owner, Rupert Murdoch.
"My brother appeared to know an awful lot more than I did on the subject of phone hacking although he did not tell me if that was the case," Harry wrote. The papers state that William received a "huge sum" as part of his private settlement. According to The Telegraph, the payment was around £1 million. The Telegraph also maintains that Harry says in his witness statement that his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, "was personally involved in the secret pact but later gave him permission to bring his own case against the publisher."
Harry Says His Family Agreed Not to Pursue Litigation
In the witness statement, Hartry says that his family had agreed not to pursue litigation over phone hacking until other outstanding cases had been settled and at a later date, there would be an apology issued. "The reason for this was to avoid the situation where a member of the Royal family would have to sit in the witness box and recount the specific details of the private and highly sensitive voicemails that had been intercepted by Clive Goodman [the former royal correspondent of the News of the World who admitted hacking]," he alleged.
Prince William Is Blindsided By His Brother's Statement
The paper also maintains that Prince William was blindsided by his brother's testimony, just learning about it on Tuesday, less than two weeks before the Coronation.
While NGN and other royal sources deny any secret agreement, Harry alleges that "NGN still settled [the Prince of Wales'] claim for a huge sum of money in 2020." NGN is attempting to get the case thrown out, stating that it surpasses the six-year deadline.
Harry Says a Secret Agreement Was Made
"The rationale behind this was that a secret agreement had been reached between the institution and senior executives at NGN whereby members of the Royal family would bring phone hacking claims only at the conclusion of the mobile telephone voicemail interception litigation and at that stage the claims would be admitted or settled with an apology," says Harry.
He added that Clarence House, King Charles' household prior to taking the thrown, blocked his "every move" as part of a "specific long-term strategy" to control the media. "Anything that might upset the applecart in this regard (including the suggestion of resolution of our phone hacking claims) was to be avoided at all costs," he claimed.