Prince Harry’s media lawsuits have seen a resurgence in public interest this year as he continues in his bid to hold Britain’s tabloid press to account for alleged unlawful activity. However, in 2023 the royal revealed that his legal efforts did not win the support of his father, King Charles III.

Since 2019, Harry has launched major unlawful information-gathering lawsuits against three of Britain’s top tabloid publishers, with varying degrees of success.

In June, a hearing in London was held connected with his allegations that employees of News Group Newspapers (publishers of The Sun and now defunct News of the World) committed illegal acts to gain information about his private life in the 1990s and 2010s.

This hearing placed Harry in a difficult position as a judge ordered the prince to officially explain how messages he exchanged with the ghostwriter of his 2023 memoir, Spare, had been deleted.

King Charles III and Prince Harry
King Charles III (left) in London in June 2024. Prince Harry (right) in London in May 2024. The prince’s legal battles against the U.K. press didn’t win the support of his father, according to his…  CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY IMAGES/MAX MUMBY/INDIGO/GETTY IMAGES
The tabloid publisher is believed to have wanted to see the messages and drafts of the book to establish whether Harry might have suspected he had been the victim of the alleged unlawful activity before 2013. If he had, they could build a case to have his claims dismissed from court, falling outside the six-year expiration limit for such cases.

Harry’s war against the British press has been one of the most consistent themes of his post-royal life, becoming a main talking point in interviews, documentaries and his memoir since splitting from the monarchy with his wife, Meghan Markle, in 2020.

It was in his memoir, Spare, that the prince revealed his action towards the press was not only discouraged by members of his family, but that his father Charles labeled it a “suicide mission.”

In a section of the book which drew considerable attention at the time of its publication, Harry recounted details of a private meeting he had with Charles and his older brother, Prince William, following the funeral of Prince Philip in 2021.

In what was a tense meeting which took place just weeks after the airing of Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, he told readers that his father and brother turned attention to his media lawsuits.

“I’d been walking with Willy and Pa for about half an hour, but it felt like one of those days-long marches the army put me through when I was a new soldier. I was beat,” he wrote.

“We’d reached an impasse. And we’d reached the Gothic ruin. After a circuitous route we’d arrived back where we’d begun. Pa and Willy were still claiming not to know why I’d fled Britain, still claiming not to know anything, and I was getting ready to walk away.

“Then one of them brought up the press. They asked about my hacking lawsuit. They still hadn’t asked about Meg, but they were keen to know how my lawsuit was going, because that directly affected them.”

King Charles III and Prince HarryKing Charles III (right) and Prince Harry in London in September 2022. In his memoir “Spare” Harry told readers that his father labeled his media lawsuits a “suicide mission.” LOIC VENANCE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

After telling Charles and William that he was still pursuing the legal case, he revealed Charles’ scathing assessment.

“‘Suicide mission,’ Pa mumbled,” he wrote.

“Maybe. But it’s worth it. I’d soon prove that the press were more than liars, I said. That they were lawbreakers. I was going to see some of them thrown into jail. That was why they were attacking me so viciously: they knew I had hard evidence. It wasn’t about me, it was a matter of public interest.”

Buckingham Palace did not respond to the claims made by Harry in Spare at the time of its publication.

On what he should do instead of suing, Harry revealed that his father told him to simply “endure it.”

“‘If you could just endure it, darling boy, for a little while, in a funny way they’d respect you for it,'” the king allegedly told his youngest son.

Harry has maintained that his legal cases against the tabloid press have been pursued in the greater interest of the public at large, describing in court documents his belief that the editors of newspapers have “blood” on their hands for past illegal activity.

The prince partially won his lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers in 2023 and partially settled another part.

He is currently continuing lawsuits against News Group Newspapers and Associated Newspapers Limited.