The story claimed that Harry did not keep in contact with the Royal Marines when he stepped down from royal duties in March and relocated to California with Markle and their son, Archie. However, the agreement between the Sussexes and the royal family permitted Harry to maintain his military links as Captain-General of the Royal Marines.
“An article on 25 October 2020 reported that Prince Harry had been accused by a top general of turning his back on the Royal Marines since withdrawing from his military roles in March and that, in an apparent snub to the Armed Forces, he had failed to reply to a letter from Lord Dannatt, a former Chief of the General Staff,” the Mail on Sunday said in a statement.
“We now understand that Harry has been in contact in a private capacity with individuals in the military including in the Royal Marines to offer informal support since March and that, whilst he did not initially receive the letter from Lord Dannatt referred to in the article due to administrative issues, he has since replied on becoming aware of it. We apologize to Prince Harry and have made a donation to (Harry’s) Invictus Games Foundation.”
However, the saga isn’t over, despite the Mail on Sunday acknowledging the error and the fact that the original article was taken down from the website. Harry’s lawsuit will still be examined by a court and a hearing is expected to take place in January.
The red-headed royal sent a legal warning to the tabloid in October, and his lawyers said the story was “false and defamatory.” Earlier this month, Harry sued the publication.
This isn’t the first time that Harry and Meghan have had a run-in with the media this year. Meghan is already suing the Mail on Sunday’s publisher, Associated Newspapers, for copyright infringement and an invasion of privacy when they published a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, in 2018. Markle filed the suit in 2019, and the judgment is scheduled for January 19.
When photos of Markle and Archie were taken in a park in Canada in January, Splash News and Picture Agency agreed not to take photos of the couple anymore after Markle made a legal complaint.
The settlement was “a clear signal that unlawful, invasive and intrusive paparazzi behavior will not be tolerated and that the couple takes these matters seriously — just as any family would,” their lawyer said.
In October, the couple also secured another injunction after X17 confessed to taking photos of Archie in their backyard with a drone. The agency promised to destroy the photos and paid some of their legal fees.
“We apologize to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son for the distress we have caused. We were wrong to offer these photographs and commit to not doing so again,” X17 wrote in a statement.
“This is a successful outcome. All families have a right, protected by law, to feel safe and secure at home,” Meghan and Harry’s lawyer Michael Kump said in the statement.