Prince Harry has been accused of living in the “realms of total speculation” while he took the stand at his phone hacking trial.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, was hit with the statement in a heated exchange during his ongoing claim against Mirror Group Newspapers at the High Court, London, on Tuesday (06.06.23), during which the royal has argued he was portrayed as a “thicko” and “spare heir”.
Harry, who also suggested his dad King Charles, 74, may have been a victim of phone hacking, was told by Andrew Green, KC for MGN: “That’s not an answer.”
He added: “Are we not, Prince Harry, in the realms of total speculation?”
Mr Green also said information the royal claims contained details from hacked voicemails or gathered by illegal means actually came from other media outlets including the BBC, along with press releases, palace statements and public comments made by his late mum Princess Diana.
Harry suggested king Charles may have had his voicemails intercepted when questioned on an article in the Mirror headlined ‘Harry’s cocaine, ecstasy and GHB parties’, which also claimed his dad was “worried sick” about the prince.
MGN denies Harry’s claims of hacking.
Becoming the first royal questioned in a UK courtroom for 130 years, Harry has claimed phone hacking was used to find out how he had celebrate his 18th birthday and admitted calling his mum’s former butler Paul Burrell, 65, a “two faced s***” in 2003.
Giving evidence throughout Tuesday morning, Harry also stated he feared he would be “ousted” from the royal family over rumours Major James Hewitt was his real dad.
He told how he had not realised Major Hewitt only met his mum Princess Diana – who was killed in a 1997 Paris car smash aged 36 – until after he was born.
The duke said: “At the time, I wasn’t actually aware that my mother hadn’t met Major Hewitt until after I was born. This timeline is something I only learnt of in around 2014.”
Adding the rumours Major Hewitt was his biological dad instead of King Charles were “very damaging” and “very real” to him, he said: “They were hurtful, mean and cruel.”
He also said he feared the rumours would sow “doubt in the minds of the public so I might be ousted from the royal family”.
Harry noted in his court statement that as the “spare” to the “heir”, he was portrayed as “either the ‘playboy prince’, the ‘failure’, the ‘drop out’ or, in my case, the ‘thicko’, the ‘cheat’, the ‘underage drinker’, ‘irresponsible drug taker’”.
Harry has also slammed the current UK government, arguing that the Conservative Party has reached “rock bottom”.
The prince, who now lives in California with his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 41, and their two children after the couple stepped down as working royals, explained: “Our country is judged globally by the state of our press and our government – both of which I believe are at rock bottom.
“Democracy fails when your press fails to scrutinise and hold the government accountable, and instead choose to get into bed with them so they can ensure the status quo.”
Harry’s case is being heard alongside three other “representative” claims during a trial which started last month and is due to last six to seven weeks.
Post source: Female First