Britain’s Prince Harry is expected to return to the UK to give evidence in the latest of his legal battles against British newspaper publishers.
Harry will be in London next week for a UK High Court trial, just over a month after he attended the coronation of his father King Charles.
He will take to the witness box in the trial brought alongside other high-profile figures seeking damages from Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over alleged unlawful information gathering including phone hacking at its titles.
It is thought to be the first time a senior member of the royal family has personally appeared in court proceedings since 2002, when Princess Anne pleaded guilty to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act after her pet bit two children in Windsor Great Park.
Harry’s visit to see Charles being crowned was his first public appearance alongside the British royal family since he criticised his relatives in his controversial memoir Spare.
Within hours of the historic ceremony, Harry was on a plane back to California to be reunited with wife Meghan, daughter Lilibet and son Archie, who turned four on the day of the coronation, May 6th.
The Sussexes made headlines a short while later when a spokesperson alleged the couple and Meghan’s mother “were involved in a near-catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi”, after the trio attended an awards ceremony in New York where Meghan was honoured.
MGN, publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, is contesting claims brought by Harry and others over allegations that its journalists were linked to voicemail interception, securing information through deception and hiring private investigators for unlawful activities.
Harry is one of four representative claimants whose cases have been selected for the trial. The others are Coronation Street actors Michael Turner and Nikki Sanderson and comedian Paul Whitehouse’s ex-wife Fiona Wightman.
Harry is due to attend court for the opening of his case against MGN on Monday, and is expected to enter the witness box on Tuesday.
His relationship with the king and his brother Prince William are strained and Harry is unlikely to spend time with his relatives during what is expected to be a brief visit to London.
It is thought Harry still has use of Frogmore Cottage in Berkshire, before the Sussexes must vacate the property, but it is not known if he will use it.
Harry now lives in Montecito, California, with Meghan and their children after the couple stepped down as working royals for a life of financial independence.