1. ITV Report

Prince Harry accepts damages after news agency took photos of his Cotswolds home from a helicopter

  • Video report by ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship

Prince Harry has accepted damages after a news agency took photographs of his Cotswolds home from a helicopter.

A High Court judge ruled in favour of the Duke of Sussex during a hearing on Thursday, in which Splash News and Picture Agency also apologised for the infringement on his privacy.

Mr Justice Warby heard a statement in open court at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Thursday in relation to Harry’s privacy and data protection complaints against Splash News and Picture Agency.

ITV News understands the damages and legal costs awarded to Harry will be donated to charity.

The duke's lawyers told Mr Justice Warby that the pictures, which were "published by the Times newspaper and elsewhere online", had "very seriously undermined the safety and security of the duke and the home".

Gerrard Tyrrell, reading a statement in open court on the duke's behalf, said Splash "has agreed to pay a substantial sum in damages and legal costs, and has apologised to the duke".

Mr Tyrrell added that the agency had given an undertaking to "cease and desist from selling, issuing, publishing or making available the photographs" and also that it "will not repeat its conduct by using any aerial means to take photographs or film footage of the duke's private home which would infringe privacy or data rights or otherwise be unlawful activity".

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said Harry "acknowledges and welcomes the formal apology from Splash News and Picture Agency".

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."

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At a hearing earlier in May, the court heard that photographs which showed “the living area, dining area and bedroom” of the property had “very seriously undermined the safety and security of the Duke” and his wife Meghan, who “felt they were no longer able to live at the property”.

Giving permission for the statement on Harry’s behalf to be read in open court, Senior Master Barbara Fontaine ruled that “the evidence supports the position” that the photographs in question “did undermine in a serious way the safety and security of the applicant and his wife”.