Watch: Harry and Meghan wed
The words Prince Harry said to Meghan Markle as she approached him at the altar to marry him have been disputed in court as part of an ongoing legal battle.
Meghan is suing the Mail On Sunday and the MailOnline after the paper and website published parts of a letter she wrote to her father after her wedding.
Associated Newspapers Ltd, the publishers of the Mail On Sunday and MailOnline, have said Meghan was speaking to the authors of the biography about the couple, Finding Freedom, and so could not have expected privacy in the letter she sent to her father, Thomas Markle Snr.
They say the information in the book, written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, could only have come via the duchess.
Meghan, 39, has long denied the claim that she co-operated with the authors of the biography, which came out last summer, and has now said in court that several parts were false, or that they came from publicly available information.
The book claimed to share the secret words which groom Harry had for his wife-to-be and for his father, after Charles walked Meghan some of the way down the aisle.
But in court on Tuesday, as the duchess’s team applied to have the case heard in a summary judgment instead of in a full trial, her team said the book was wrong about what Harry told her.
Justin Rushbrooke, a lawyer on Meghan’s team, said the section about the words they exchanged at the altar was “most egregious example” of the authors relying on information which was already in the public domain.
Several newspapers and websites used lipreading experts on the day of the wedding to see what Prince Harry, now 36, had told Meghan, with the reports including him saying “you look amazing, I’m so lucky, I love you”.
The Mail’s report suggested he said: “You look amazing. I missed you.”
But in court, Rushbrooke said the book was “not a correct account of what he (Harry) said”.
He added: “Much worse, this was information that was in the public domain, available to Mr Scobie, and who put it into the public domain? Amongst others, the defendant.”
Rushbrooke also said: “To treat this… as evidence of the claimant sharing detailed information about her private life with the authors of the book is, frankly – I don’t want to put it too high – it’s pretty appalling.”
ANL’s lawyers have claimed the biography’s authors must have had a copy of the letter Meghan wrote to her father because some of it was included in the book.
But Meghan’s team refutes this, and says the parts which occur in the book were taken from the MailOnline article.
Scobie, who has provided a witness statement to the court, denied having access to the letter and said he published the extracts having read them from the newspaper and website.
Another of Meghan’s lawyers, Jenny Afia, previously detailed other parts of the book which they say are not true or which came from publicly available information and don’t prove that the duchess spoke to the authors.
In papers which were filed in the same case last year, Afia said she understood details of what the couple ate and drank on their first date, including beer for Harry and a martini for Meghan, were not correct.
Nor was the biography’s account of a trip Harry and Meghan were reported to have taken to the Mena a Kwena safari camp on the edge of Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.
The papers read: “The true position is that the Claimant has never visited nor been on safari to the Makgadikgadi Pans and the Claimant and her husband have never been together to Meno A Kwena – only The Duke of Sussex has.”
The papers also said the details in the book of the prices of the safari park were simply taken from the website.
Afia’s statement disputed claims that Harry sent Prince Charles a text after the couple’s son Archie was born, citing “widely known” information that Charles does not have a mobile phone.
And it denied that Meghan bought Harry and her mother Doria Ragland sushi via delivery when they were in Los Angeles during the first meeting of Harry and Ragland.
Afia went on to say that Harry and Ragland were only in LA together when the Sussexes moved to the city in March 2020.
Meghan and her legal team are hoping they will be able to avoid a full trial, instead asking for a summary judgment which would prevent anyone having to give live evidence in court.
The application began in the High Court on Tuesday, conducted via video link.
On day one of the two day hearing, Meghan’s team set out their case for the judgment, which ANL will be able to respond to on day two.
But in written submissions from ANL, they said the case is “wholly unsuitable” for summary judgment.
The papers also claim: “There are now on the record a number of inconsistent statements made by her [the Duchess of Sussex] that she will need to explain.”
The application returns to be heard by Mr Justice Warby on Wednesday, 20 January.