The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has scored another significant victory in her ongoing legal fight against the publisher of a British newspaper.
The saga all started back in February 2019, when the Mail on Sunday published extracts of a letter that Meghan had written to her father, Thomas Markle, which she claimed was a breach of privacy and copyright laws.
In February of this year, a judge ruled in favor of the Duchess, stating that Meghan “had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private” and that “the Mail articles interfered with that reasonable expectation.”
The Mail on Sunday has lost its appeal against Meghan Markle
Associated Newspapers, the parent company of the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online, appealed the decision, but the Court of Appeal rejected their arguments at a hearing on Thursday morning, ending the prospect of a trial.
According to the BBC, the three judges who dismissed the appeal stated that the letter written to Thomas Markle in August 2018 was clearly “deeply personal” and “self-evidently was intended to be kept private.”
The judges added that the letter did not contain anything of “legitimate public interest” and that a trial would not bring about any evidence to the contrary.
It was conceded that it may have been “proportionate” to publish a small part of the letter, but the newspaper had exceeded what was lawful by printing approximately half of the letter, 585 words out of 1250.
Meghan Markle calls it ‘a victory not just for me’
Meghan Markle released a statement after the verdict: “This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right.”
Associated Newspapers had argued that they were not at fault because Meghan had sent the letter knowing it could be leaked to the press. The Duchess’s former communications secretary, Jason Knauf, had indeed warned Meghan that the letter might end up in the hands of the media.
Associated Newspapers also argued that Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, was entitled to publish the letter to counter the negative press he was receiving in the media.
It’s approaching two years since Meghan and Harry escaped their royal duties and set up in California, but recent reports have suggested that the pair were struggling to find a role in America and were finding life on their own “quite hard.”
The prospect of a looming court case hanging over Meghan, which might have led to embarrassing details being revealed in court, would likely have added to their stress. The Duchess will likely feel a weight has now been lifted from her shoulders.