Royal insiders were ‘shocked’ by Duchess Meghan’s summary judgment victory

The Sunday Times had an interesting (paywalled) article about the Duchess of Sussex’s summary judgment victory last week, just about one full week ago. Justice Warby handed down his judgment that the Mail absolutely violated Meghan’s copyright and they did so without good reason. Not only that, they wildly misrepresented the actual text and context of Meghan’s letter to her father. While the Mail has made some noise about appealing the judgment, there’s definitely a strange vibe around all of this since the summary judgment went Meghan’s way. Personally, I believe Buckingham Palace leaned on some powerful people to ensure that the lawsuit would just go away, because they see the whole thing as embarrassing. Plus, Prince Charles and Prince William’s staff were getting dragged into it and we can’t have that! Which is what makes this Sunday Times story so bizarre. According to their unnamed sources, “royal insiders” are “shocked” by the judgment and there were people in the palace looking forward to testifying… or something. It’s very odd.

Royal insiders were “shocked” by Meghan Markle’s court win, it is claimed – with four key palace aides prevented from “shedding light” on the case. The Duchess of Sussex found out on Thursday that her court action against the publishers of The Mail on Sunday had been successful, and would not proceed to a trial. It meant key aides to Harry and Meghan, known as the “palace four” were denied their day in court.

The newspaper published extracts from a letter she sent to her dad Thomas, with Lord Justice Warby ruling it was a breach of her privacy and copyright. If a trial had gone ahead, Meghan could have been cross-examined and might have had to face off with her estranged dad, who has not met Harry or son Archie. Associated Newspapers had been set to argue that the Duchess knew her letter would end up in the public domain – but this will not be tested in court.

Jason Knauf, Harry and Meghan’s former communications secretary, who reportedly “contributed” to a draft of her letter to Thomas, 76, was among those likely to have testified. The couple’s former private secretary Samantha Cohen, their ex-communications secretary Sara Latham and Christian Jones, who was their deputy communications secretary, were also poised to shed light on the case.

After Thursday’s ruling, an insider told the Sunday Times : “It’s like the judge decided the evidence was irrelevant.” The source said the four aides were not “duty-bound to sit here and be silent”.

Another said they were “shocked” by the ruling as a letter from the palace four’s legal team described them as “credible” and said they could “shed some light” on the creation of the letter. It is claimed they could give insight into whether Meghan expected the letter to become public, and whether she helped the authors of biography Finding Freedom, which gave a favourable impression of the Sussexes.

An Associated Newspapers source said: “We are astonished that the judge doesn’t want to hear evidence from the palace four when they say they are willing to give evidence and can shed light on the creation of the letter and whether she anticipated it would become public.” The newspaper group is reportedly “carefully considering” an appeal.

[From The Daily Mirror]

The wording is so curious, right? This sh-t originated in the Sunday Times, a legit news outlet which breaks stories about the royals all the time, but the wording in the original story was bizarre too. The basic claim is that “royal sources” think the Palace Four are mad that they don’t get to testify AGAINST Meghan and “shed some light” on the writing of the letter and whether or not Meghan… knew her father would eventually sell the letter to the Mail. From where I sit, none of the Palace Four wanted to testify at all. It was the Mail and their lawyers who were eager to draw this out. So why are “royal sources” taking the position of the Mail? Also: as Justice Warby wrote in his decision, if there are still questions about who owns the copyright for the letter, there’s still room to adjudicate that in March. It will be up to Jason Knauf and the rest of the Palace Four to testify if they want to claim that the copyright belongs to them as well.

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