The Duke of Sussex has settled the remaining parts of his phone hacking claim against Mirror Group Newspapers.
Following a trial last June, in which the duke became the first royal to step inside the witness box, the judge found that 15 out of 33 articles under consideration had been the product of unlawful information gathering.
They included articles about his relationship with former girlfriend Chelsy Davy, a discussion with his brother about meeting with Princess Diana’s former butler and allegations that he had smoked cannabis.
A further 115 articles were in his claim, which may have been the subject of a further trial. However, the duke’s lawyer David Sherborne confirmed on Friday that a settlement had been reached, with the publisher due to make an interim payment of £400,000.
It was also found that phone hacking became “widespread and habitual” at Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) titles in the late 1990s and was practised “even to some extent” during the Leveson Inquiry into press standards in 2011.
In the latest ruling on Friday, Mr Justice Fancourt said the publisher should pay so-called “generic” legal costs to the more than 100 people currently involved in the legal action.
The judge said: “On the generic issues, there can be little doubt that the claimants were successful. In this unusual case, justice is only done by awarding the claimants their costs of the generic issues.”
The duke, 39, said his partially successful case against MGN was “a great day for truth, as well as accountability” and called on the police to investigate the publisher of the Daily and Sunday Mirror and The People.
The latest development in Harry’s ongoing legal battle against the tabloid media comes just days after his flying visit to the UK to see King Charles, who announced his cancer diagnosis on Monday.
He enjoyed a 45-minute meeting with his father on Tuesday after travelling from Los Angeles to London, and returned on Wednesday without seeing his estranged brother Prince William.
The two have a well-publicised fractured relationship following Harry and his wife Meghan’s decision to leave for the US, as well as multiple grievances shared by the couple as to their alleged treatment at the hands of the royal family.
At a hearing last month, the High Court in London heard that the group of people who sued the Mirror publisher were seeking payment of £1,976,660 from MGN towards the legal costs of bringing “generic” allegations to court.
David Sherborne, for the group, said decisions about the costs in Harry’s case against the publisher are reserved until the rest of his claim is determined.
Last month, he threatened to pursue a second trial regarding the further 115 articles which form part of his claim, after only a sample of 33 were selected for the trial last year.
Roger Mallalieu KC, for MGN, told the court the publisher made offers to settle with Harry but the terms were confidential.
The barrister said in written submissions that the group suing the publisher had only seen “partial success on the trial issues” and those who lost their claims should pay their “respective share” of the so-called “generic” costs.
Harry’s case was heard alongside similar claims brought by actor Michael Turner, who is known professionally as Michael Le Vell and is most famous for playing Kevin Webster in Coronation Street, actress Nikki Sanderson and Fiona Wightman, the ex-wife of comedian Paul Whitehouse.
Claims brought by Ms Sanderson and Ms Wightman were dismissed by Mr Justice Fancourt because they were made too late, despite the judge finding that some of their complaints were proved.
An MGN spokesperson said: “We welcomed December’s judgment that gave the business the necessary clarity to move forward from events that took place many years ago.
“Where historical wrongdoing took place, we apologise unreservedly, have taken full responsibility and paid compensation.”