The payment is only a portion of the $2 million the Duchess of Sussex wants from the tabloid, which published her private letter to her father, Thomas Markle, in a series of articles in 2019. According to People, Judge Mark Warby ordered Associated Newspapers to pay 90 percent of what Prince Harry’s wife requested, which means that the tabloid still owes her over a million in damages.
Aside from the payment, Meghan is also asking Daily Mail to publish a front-page apology, as well as handover or destroy copies of her father’s letter and the notes corresponding to it, according to Hello! The Duchess of Sussex’s legal team hailed the order as a “comprehensive win” especially after the judge also threw out the publication’s appeal.
Warby ruled in February 2021 that Daily Mail and its publication committed misuse of private information by publishing the letter. The judge said that Meghan had every right to expect that its contents would remain private but publishing part of it in a national circulation “interfered with that reasonable expectation.”
The ruling meant that Meghan and the defendants will no longer have to go on trial in the fall of 2021. A spokesperson from Daily Mail said that they are disappointed with the judge’s decision because a full-blown trial would give them “real prospects” of winning the case against the Duchess of Sussex.
However, Warby has yet to rule on Meghan’s copyright claims. Under this law, Prince Harry’s wife said that she is the author of the letter thus her permission is required before it’s published.
The judge said that the hearing for the copyright claims will proceed in October in the U.K. The legal team of the publisher hopes to cross-examine members of the royal staff to confirm if they helped Meghan craft the letter to establish real authorship.
Meanwhile, Meghan said in statement that the tabloid has been using “illegal and dehumanizing practices” that impact “real life, real relationships” with “real sadness.” She said that the damage this publication has done to her runs deep.
Since the letter was published, Meghan and Thomas have been estranged from each other. Thomas has not personally met his grandson, Archie, and learned everything about him only in the news.