The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have settled a privacy claim with a celebrity picture agency over images taken of Megan Markle on a walk with son Archie in January.
The couple, who moved to Canada in January 2020 before settling in California, sued Splash News and Picture Agency after pictures were taken of Markle walking with her young son, now one, in a baby sling near their Canadian home.
At the High Court on Friday, the Duchess’ lawyer Jenny Afia said the case has been settled after the picture agency’s UK branch, Splash UK, had gone into administration.
Splash UK also agreed that, if they were to come out of administration, they would not target the Sussex family again in future.
A statement read to the court said: “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.”
The disputed images, which were syndicated to British newspapers, were taken on Vancouver Island with a long lens camera as Markle took a walk near to the £10 million mansion where she was living with Prince Harry.
Afia also noted that the day before the pictures were taken, a Splash UK photographer had undertaken “a full reconnaissance inspection of the Duke and Duchess’s private home, walking around it looking to identify entry and exit points and putting his camera over the fence to take photographs.”
The Duke and Duchess sued for breach of privacy and data protection infringement, stating that capturing a “private family outing in a remote rural setting” had no public interest.
A spokesman for Schillings, the duke and duchess’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.”
Markle is also locked in another High Court battle with Associated Newspapers over the publication of a letter to her father, Thomas Markle. This case is due to be tried next year.
Meghan and Harry stepped down from their royal duties at the end of March and are now based in Los Angeles.