Meghan Markle’s ‘huge gamble’ could have ‘highlighted family divisions’ in trial

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Meghan Markle took a "huge gamble" on her privacy claim over the publication of a letter she sent to her father Thomas Markle as it could have laid bare "family divisions" during trial, a Royal expert told Daily Star.

The Duchess of Sussex has been tied up in a two-year long legal battle with Associated Newspaper Limited – the publisher of The Mail On Sunday and MailOnline – over the publication of a hand written note she wrote to her dad.

Her lawyers had argued ANL had no grounds for defending her claim for misuse of private information and asked for a "summary judgement".

On Thursday February 11, that summary judgement, which would see the case resolved without trial, was granted by Mr Justice Warby in favour of the Duchess.

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told Daily Star the case was a "sensational" win for the Duchess of Sussex but said the case seemed like a "huge gamble" when she launched the claim in 2019.

Mr Fitzwilliams said the it could have "highlighted family divisions" within the Markle family had it gone to trial and that it could have been “calamitous” for the Duchess.

He said: "This is undoubtedly a sensational victory, there’s no question because originally when Meghan announced this at the end of the trip to South Africa it seemed a huge gamble.

"It seemed a huge gamble because if you had a situation where Meghan either virtually or in person was up against her father, Thomas, with whom she’s estranged, this would have been an international catastrophe."

Mr Fitzwilliams goes on to explains it could have been a disaster because once a person appears in court, they’re unable to control the narrative and Meghan would never have known "what might or might not be discussed".

He said: "Essentially, it is a victory for the Royals and the notion that Royals don’t have a right to privacy isn’t true. Equally, royals have been so careful of court cases because once you’ve appeared in court you can’t control the narrative.

"You never know what might or might not be discussed. Had Meghan gone up against her father, it really would have been calamitous, especially for someone who seeks an image of being caring because it would have highlighted family divisions."

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Following the judgement, Meghan released a statement in which she described the very real sadness the publication of the letter caused her.

She described the decision to publish the letter as "dehumanising" and added that the damage they had done "runs deep".

Mr Fitzwilliams described Meghan's response as "powerful" and said her statement shows how "deeply she felt" about the crux of the case.

He said: "Given her statement she made after pursuing two long years of litigation, this was very important to her.

"I think it was a very powerful statement and shows how deeply she felt about it."

  • Meghan Markle

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