Prince Harry releases powerful statement defending Duchess Meghan and Archie’s privacy

By Meaghan Wray

Last summer, Prince Harry and Meghan decided to relocate to the quaint Cotswolds region to enjoy the season out of the limelight during their first summer as a married couple. But in January, a photo agency chartered a helicopter and snapped and published photos of the inside of the $4.3 million home.

On Thursday (May 16), Harry accepted damages and an apology from the agency. The amount of the damages was not disclosed, according to The Associated Press.

MORE: Meghan and Harry have escaped to their ‘very remote’ country home in the Cotswolds

“The syndication and publication of the photographs very seriously undermined the safety and security of The Duke and the home to the extent that they are no longer able to live at the property,” a Buckingham Palace statement read in court by lawyer Gerrard Tyrell read, according to CNN.

“The helicopter flew over the home at a low altitude allowing Splash to take photographs of and into the living area and dining area of the home and directly into the bedroom,” the statement continued. “The Duke of Sussex acknowledges and welcomes the formal apology from Splash News and Picture Agency.”

Many will remember the duo were forced to move out of the rural home due to the publishing of these images, and ended their two-year lease early because of the photos, according to the Daily Mail.

The Costwolds region in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire is a stunning green getaway. Photo: © Tim Graham/Getty Images

“The property had been chosen by The Duke for himself and his wife given the high level of privacy it afforded given its position in a secluded area surrounded by private farmland away from any areas to which photographers have access," the statement also read.

MORE: Former royal bodyguard opens up about how Harry and Meghan's son Archie will be protected

In its own statement, Splash apologized and said it would not make such a move again. “Splash has always recognised that this situation represents an error of judgment and we have taken steps to ensure it will not be repeated,” it said. “We apologise to the Duke and Duchess for the distress we have caused.”

Meghan made her royal debut at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. Photo: © Getty Images

This isn’t the first time Harry has had to come to Meghan’s defence. The hype around the couple has been intense since they started dating in late 2016. That November, the prince issued a lengthy appeal on behalf of his then-girlfriend. In the rare statement, he asked the privacy of his American love be respected.

MORE: Prince Harry confirms relationship with Meghan and asks for privacy in heartfelt statement

Harry released the statement via his communications secretary in response to what he said was “harassment” and “outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments” that had been directed at Meghan. In the heartfelt post, Harry acknowledged that there is “significant curiosity about his private life” but appealed to fair-minded people to respect Meghan’s privacy. He also said he was “worried” and “deeply disappointed” he had not been able to protect the now-former actress.

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