The Duchess of Sussex made the claims in her latest court filings in her lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday and its publisher DMG Media. Meghan is suing the newspaper for publishing excerpts from a private letter she wrote to her father in 2018, claiming breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018. The defendant has said it stands by the story and will be defending the case “vigorously”.
In the last round of court documents submitted, Meghan’s legal team claim she was “silenced” by Kensington Palace, because of their “no comment” stance on claims made about royals in the press.
One section read: “The stance of ‘no comment’ was taken by the Kensington Palace communications team without any discussion with or approval by the Claimant, as it is standard practice for royal communications.”
Later, it added: “It was mandated by the Kensington Palace communications team that all friends and family of the Claimant should say ‘no comment’ when approached by any media outlet, despite misinformation being provided to UK tabloids about the Claimant.
“This shared frustration amongst the Claimant’s friends left everyone feeling silenced, as it appears that other so-called sources were able to disseminate false statements about the Claimant, while the people who knew her best were told that they needed to remain silent.”
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Meghan claimed she was silenced by Kensington Palace
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However, an expert has hit back at the claim the Palace never responds to any allegations, insisting that in his experience as a royal correspondent, they “frequently” respond.
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
Mr Myers claimed it “isn’t true” that royals are never allowed to respond to allegations made about them.
He said: “Anyone in my position or covers the Royal Family to the extent of being a royal correspondent, knows that the Palace will frequently give a steer or a line or steer people away.
Meghan and Harry stepped down as senior royals at the end of March
“It’s not always just a blanket ‘no comment’ and I think trying to make it a black and white issue will develop further problems, because unfortunately these issues are grey and there are a lot of blurred lines.”
He added that he felt “uncomfortable” about the claims.
Mr Myers also pointed out that some have argued Meghan wrote this letter in the full knowledge that it could one day be in the public domain.
The royal editor asserted that these issues could be a problem for the Duchess, because all the details will come out in the trial and could get rather “unsavoury”.
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Meghan’s claims were made in response to questions from the Mail on Sunday about an interview her friends gave to People magazine in February 2019, in which the letter to her father was mentioned
The newspaper claimed Meghan breached her own privacy by allowing friends to speak on her behalf.
However, Meghan’s legal team have claimed she did not know about the interview in advance and, had she known, she would “not have consented” to it.
That said, they offered an explanation for why her friends may have gone to the press behind her back, claiming they were “frustrated” by the alleged gagging order from the Palace.
The documents cited this frustration, as well as their concern around Meghan’s distress, for the reason they spoke to People magazine.
The documents read: “The Claimant believes that it is probably because of this reason, as well as concerns about the press intrusion by the UK tabloids, that a few friends chose to participate and they did so anonymously.”
Meghan’s lawyers have also claimed that her Royal Wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018 brought in £1billion in revenue from tourism.
Many believe this has been presented as a defence to criticism about public funds being spent on renovating Frogmore Cottage.
However, the £1billion figure was branded “frankly ludicrous” by Mr Myers, who added it had been “largely refuted” by experts.
He said: “Now this has been largely refuted today by industry experts, by consumer groups to say that obviously there was a massive, massive upturn, the wedding was watched around the world, the impact on tourism is largely unquantifiable…
“But again, it’s undeniable that anyone in Windsor or watching it on the TV would have seen the crowds, all the hotels would have been booked up and people were spending loads of money that weekend and indeed the week.
“However, putting a figure on it like a £1billion seems frankly ludicrous.”
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