Duchess Meghan sought advice from senior royals before writing letter to father

LONDON (Reuters) – Meghan, Britain’s Duchess of Sussex, sought advice from two senior members of the royal family before writing a letter to her father which is at the centre of a privacy lawsuit against a tabloid newspaper, court documents show.

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Meghan, the wife of Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Prince Harry, is suing Associated Newspapers over articles in the Mail on Sunday that included parts of the handwritten letter she had sent to her estranged father Thomas Markle in August 2018.

She says the publication of the letter was a misuse of private information and breached her copyright, and her lawyers are seeking aggravated damages.

In her latest submission to London’s High Court, her legal team rejected the Mail’s claim that the letter was part of a media strategy and that it had followed guidance from two unnamed senior royals.

“Given the claimant’s level of distress surrounding the form, frequency and content of the media coverage concerning her father, and as the newest member of the Royal Family who wanted to follow protocol, the claimant sought advice from two senior members of the Royal Family on how best to address the situation,” her lawyers said.

“In accordance with the advice that she had received from the two members of the Royal Family, the claimant decided … to write a private letter to her father in an attempt to get him to stop talking to the press.”

Meghan created a draft on her iPhone over several weeks, sharing it with Harry and her “trusted” Communications Secretary Jason Knauf, who gave general feedback but no actual wording, the document said.

“The Claimant, and the Claimant alone, created the Electronic Draft, which she then transcribed by hand to her father as the Letter,” her lawyers said, a rebuttal to the Mail’s suggestion it had been created by her press team.

Her lawyers also disclosed that Meghan had passed some personal information to be passed via a third party to authors of a biography of the couple, although they said neither she nor Harry had cooperated with the book.

“The claimant was concerned that her father’s narrative in the media that she had abandoned him and had not even tried to contact him (which was false) would be repeated,” the document said.

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