The Duchess of Sussex, 40, sued Associated Newspapers Limited (ANL) over five articles reproducing parts of a five-page ‘personal and private’ handwritten letter sent to her father Thomas Markle, 77, in August 2018.
The High Court ruled earlier this year that ANL’s publication of the letter was illegal, rendering summary judgment for Meghan and avoiding the need for a trial.
The ANL appealed the ruling at a three-day hearing in November, arguing the case should go to trial.
Lawyers for the publisher have claimed that correspondence between Ms Markle and her then communications secretary Jason Knauf suggested the letter was written with “the potential for public consumption in mind because the plaintiff appreciated that Mr. Markle could divulge it to the media ”.
They also argued that publication of the letter was part of Mr Markle’s right of reply following a People magazine article which claimed that his daughter was “cruelly cold” as her royal wedding approached.
But three senior judges – Sir Geoffrey Vos, Dame Victoria Sharp and Lord Justice Bean – dismissed the editor’s appeal on Thursday.
Reading a summary of their decision to the Court of Appeal, Sir Geoffrey, Master of Rolls, said: “It was difficult to see what evidence could have been produced at trial that would have changed the situation.
“The judge had rightly decided that, although it might have been proportionate to publish a very small part of the letter for this purpose, it was not necessary to publish half of the contents of the letter as had been said. made Associated Newspapers. “
In a statement after the ruling, Ms Markle said: ‘This is a victory not only for me, but for anyone who has ever been afraid to stand up for what is right.
“While this victory sets a precedent, what matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel and profits from the lies and the pain they create. .
“From day one, I treated this trial as an important measure of good versus evil. The accused treated it like a game without rules.
“The longer they hung around, the more they could distort the facts and manipulate the audience (even during the call itself), making a simple case extraordinarily convoluted in order to generate more headlines and sell more newspapers – a model that rewards.” chaos above the truth.
“For almost three years since this began, I have shown patience in the face of deception, intimidation and calculated attacks.
“Today the courts have ruled in my favor – again – cementing that Sunday mail, owned by Lord Jonathan Rothermere, broke the law.