'Invasive and intrusive': Meghan Markle settles with news agency over long lens pictures taken of Archie

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3 min read
Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie, meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu (not pictured) at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Meghan, here with Archie in South Africa in 2019, was bringing action against Splash over pictures of the pair in Canada. (Reuters)

Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry have settled a claim against a news agency for taking long lens pictures of their son, Archie.

Meghan, 39, was suing Splash News and Pictures Agency for pictures of her with Archie when she was in a park in Canada in January.

Harry, 36, brought the action with her on behalf of Archie, who is one.

At the High Court in London on Friday, a judge heard that they had settled the matter with the agency.

Splash has agreed not to take any pictures of the Duke or Duchess of Sussex or their son, should it come out of administration.

The duchess’s solicitor, Jenny Afia, explained the agency had gone into administration on 1 July. They had served a claim in March.

Mr Justice Nicklin heard details of the settlement in a remote hearing at the court.

He said: “In light of the administration, the parties have agreed to settle the claim against Splash UK.

“The administrators of Splash UK have undertaken that, should the entity come out of administration, Splash UK will not take any photographs of the duke and duchess or their son in the future.”

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Afia said the photos were taken during “a private family outing in a remote rural setting” and said there was no public interest in the pictures.

The duke and duchess said the agency had made “a full reconnaissance inspection” of the home they were staying in in Canada, noting “entry and exit points and putting his camera over the fence to take photographs”.

Neil Allen, on behalf of Splash in the UK, said: “I accept all that Ms Afia has said.”

A spokesman for Schillings, Harry and Meghan’s legal representation, said: “As explained in today’s hearing, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have successfully settled a legal claim brought at the beginning of this year against the paparazzi agency Splash UK.

“This settlement is a clear signal that unlawful, invasive and intrusive paparazzi behaviour will not be tolerated and that the couple takes these matters seriously – just as any family would.

“A simultaneous and similar claim against Splash US, a sister company to Splash UK, continues to move forward in the British court system.”

The residence of Prince Harry and and his wife Meghan is seen in Deep Cove Neighborhood  from a boat on the Saanich Inlet, North Saanich, British Columbia on January 21, 2020. - The new neighbors have been spotted out hiking and down at the farmers' market, but residents of North Saanich say they will ensure privacy for Harry and Meghan at their Canadian island hideaway. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, along with their baby son Archie, are living at the scenic, wooded property of Mille Fleurs on Vancouver Island after exiting from their royal roles. (Photo by Mark GOODNOW / AFP) (Photo by MARK GOODNOW/AFP via Getty Images)
Harry, Meghan and Archie were staying in Canada at the time the picture was taken. (Mark Goodnow/AFP)

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The duke and duchess have been quick to take legal action since stepping back from their roles as senior royals, though the biggest case Meghan is fighting was launched while she was still working as a royal.

She is suing Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), the publishers of the MailOnline and the Mail On Sunday, after sections of a letter she sent to her father were printed.

ANL denies any wrongdoing. The full trial has been delayed until autumn 2021.

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