Prince Harry, Meghan Markle Issue Warning Over Paparazzi Harassment In Canada

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have issued a stern warning against photographers in Canada after paparazzi photos of Markle were leaked.

The Duchess of Sussex had photos taken of her while on a stroll with baby Archie in a public park on Vancouver Island, according to Sky News.

Per Sky’s reports, cited by Reuters, the couple’s lawyers claim the photos were taken without Markle’s permission, and that the photographer in question was spying on her while hiding in the bushes.

Attempts were also reportedly made to photograph them using long-range lenses while they were inside their home. Sky News reports that photographers were permanently camped out outside their house. (As of this writing, it’s unclear if the paparazzi are still there.)

READ MORE: Prince Harry joins Meghan Markle, baby Archie on Vancouver Island

As yet, there is no information on what will happen if the warnings are not heeded, but this isn’t the first time the couple has gone after intrusive media.

In October, they launched a lawsuit against U.K. newspaper the Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers.

The royals claim the paper committed a misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 when it printed a private letter reportedly written by Meghan to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

Shortly after, Prince Harry launched another formal legal claim against two other U.K. tabloids over alleged phone hacking.

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Vancouver lawyer Rose Keith told Global News recently that U.K. processes are different than those in Canada, but she predicts a number of factors would affect the outcome of the suit, regardless of location.

“One of them is whether the person [Meghan was communicating with] is in a position of trust,” she said. “If I were communicating with my parents, I would have an expectation of privacy in that situation.”

Were this the argument made by Harry and Meghan’s legal counsel, the defense may argue that “[Meghan] would have no expectation of privacy in those circumstances because she’s estranged from her father,” said Keith.

Meghan Markle’s status as a public figure of interest could also come into play.

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The warning comes less than 24 hours after Prince Harry landed in Victoria on Tuesday morning, just ten hours after he completed his final engagement as an official royal.

He spoke at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in Greenwich, South East London, where he broke his silence about stepping away from royalty. Harry described the choice as a “leap of faith,” adding that “there really was no other option.”

“It brings me great sadness that it has come to this,” he said at the event, lamenting that he didn’t want to step away from his royal role or his military appointments, but it was the only viable choice.

Buckingham Palace announced on Saturday that Harry and Markle, 38, would no longer be working royals and would forfeit their rights to use their “Royal Highness” titles.

READ MORE: The biggest lawsuits filed by the royal family — from planted cameras to leaked nudes

Additionally, the Sussex couple announced that they’d be financially supporting themselves, living primarily in Canada and paying back British taxpayers for the multi-million dollar renovations on their Windsor home of Frogmore Cottage.

When in the U.K., they will also be paying rent for the use of the cottage, which was their first family home.

Harry and Markle will maintain their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles.

The duchess returned to Canada on Jan. 10 to reunite with baby Archie, with whom she’s since been pictured walking around their new hometown.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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