Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have been forced to move out of their Cotswolds home after intrusive photographs were taken by a news agency, a court has heard.
Prince Harry's lawyers told a high court hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Thursday 15th May that Splash News and Picture Agency used a helicopter to take photos of Harry and Meghan's living and dining areas, including a shot 'directly into the bedroom' of their privately-rented Oxfordshire property, which the couple used as a country retreat.
A High Court judge has ruled in favour of the Duke of Sussex, and Splash has apologised for the infringement on his privacy. Prince Harry has accepted the apology and substantial damages.
Harry's solicitor, Gerrard Tyrrell, explained that the couple – who welcomed their newborn son, Archie Harrison, on 6th May – chose their Cotswolds home because of 'the high level of privacy it afforded' but, due to the invasive photographs, which were published in January, 'they are no longer able to live at the property'.
Part of the statement read by Gerrard Tyrrell on Prince Harry's behalf, explained: 'The helicopter flew over the home at a low altitude allowing Splash to take photographs of and into the living area and dining area of the home and directly into the bedroom. 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.'
Buckingham Palace has said 'The Duke of Sussex acknowledges and welcomes the formal apology from Splash News and Picture Agency as referenced in the Statement in Open Court today'.
Meanwhile, Splash said in a statement: 'Splash has always recognised that this situation represents an error of judgment and we have taken steps to ensure it will not be repeated. We apologise to the duke and duchess for the distress we have caused.'
A spokeswoman for Prince Harry said via The Guardian that the duke 'was awarded a significant sum towards damages and legal fees, which will be put towards a donation to charity and covering the duke’s legal costs'.
Meghan and Harry are currently residing at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor; their new official residence after moving out of Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace.
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