Prince Harry is taking legal action against the owners of the UK tabloids the Sun, the Mirror, and the now-defunct News of the World, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, an escalation of his fight with the tabloid press that began with charges filed against the Mail on Sunday earlier this week.
The lawsuits were prompted by "the illegal interception of voicemail messages," the Palace in a statement Friday. The BBC reported earlier in the day that the phone-hacking allegations against News Group Newspapers (NGN) predate 2010.
A spokesperson for NGN — the publishers of the Sun and former publishers of News of the World, which shuttered in 2011 — confirmed to BuzzFeed News that a legal claim had been issued by Harry's representatives. A spokesperson for the Mirror declined to comment.
If the BBC report is correct, these allegations likely relate to the phone-hacking investigations of the 2000s, which revealed that employees of NGN accessed voicemails of royals and celebrities by using a default factory-set PIN number. Legal action and public outcry over this lead to the resignation of News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch.
News of the lawsuits, which was first reported by Byline Investigates, comes three days after Harry announced that he and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, were suing the Mail on Sunday for publishing excerpts of a private letter she sent her father.
In the blistering statement announcing that lawsuit Tuesday, Harry accused the "British tabloid press" of "[waging] campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences."
"There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face — as so many of you can relate to — I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been. Because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe."