Prince Harry wins damages from Mail on Sunday over claims he 'turned his back' on military

Prince Harry has settled his dispute with the publishers of the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online over an article which claimed he had “turned his back” on the armed forces.

Lawyers acting for the Duke of Sussex called the story a “personal attack” and said Harry was awarding the damages to the Invictus Games Foundation, which he founded.

On 25 October, the Mail on Sunday wrote an article with the headline: “Top general accuses Harry of turning his back on the Marines”.

The story claimed that since he had left the UK for his new life in the US, the Duke had “snubbed” the Armed Forces and ignored a letter from Lord Dannatt, a former Head of the Army.

The Mail on Sunday story claimed Harry had turned his back on the armed forces. Credit: PA

In a statement read before Mr Justice Nicklin in a virtual session of the High Court this morning, Harry’s lawyers said that he had made “repeated and concerted efforts to continue to support the Royal Marines and other members of the Armed Forces” despite being required to “step back from his formal military roles” after he and Meghan quit their roles as working royals last year.

The High Court was told that Harry “is proud to have served in the British Armed Forces for ten years in Her Majesty's name”.

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He wanted his lawyer to read a statement in court to affirm that Prince Harry’s “commitment to the men and women who have put their lives on the line, to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and to military families, is steadfast and unquestionable.”

The Mail published an apology in December, which Harry believes did not match the prominence of the original story and used wording which he claimed “significantly underplayed the seriousness of the accusations made against him.”

Previously, the legal team for the Duke had claimed that the article was so serious, it could have led to members of the Armed Forces or veterans committing suicide.

Associated Newspapers which publishes the Mail on Sunday and the Mail Online had offered to make a donation the Invictus Games Foundation – the tournament for injured and sick military personnel and veterans.

But Harry wanted the publisher to pay the money to him so that he could “bequest” the damages to the Invictus Games Foundation himself so he could “feel something good had come out of the situation.”

After today’s hearing, Harry now considers the matter closed but the amount of the damages has not been disclosed.