Monday Update: Kaduna Banditry, US Visa Hopes For Nigerians and Meghan Markle’s Explosive Revelations

Good morning.

Happy International Women’s Day.

We are leading with the banditry situation in Kaduna, renewed hopes for Nigerians seeking a US visa, and stunning revelations from Meghan Markle about the UK royal family.


A file photo of a gun seized from crime suspects in Nigeria.

Bandits in Kaduna

Bandits terrorising some parts of Kaduna State and the Northern region are still going strong but the military has said it is not giving up on taking them out.

In its latest onslaught against the bandits, the military said it conducted aerial missions over locations in Chikun and Birnin Gwari Local Government Areas of Kaduna State, killing several of the bandits.

Meanwhile, at least 12 people were kidnapped by bandits during an attack on the Junior Staff Quarters of the Kaduna International Airport on Saturday. One of the victims, who is a member of staff of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), was kidnapped along with his wife, five children, and three other persons who had visited them.

Bala Bantex: The former Deputy Governor of Kaduna State said some people are benefitting from insecurity in Nigeria and would not want it to end. He also opposed the idea of offering amnesty to bandits.

Related: Police authorities say they have arrested a 75-year-old visually-impaired man, Iskilu Wakili, who is accused of being the mastermind of series of attacks against farmers in the Ibarapa Area of Oyo State, where cases of violent attacks against farmers had been reported.


Zulum Discovers Ghost IDPs

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has discovered fake Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and about 650 ghost households at an IDP camp in Maiduguri.

The discovery was made after Zulum showed up at the camp in the early hours of Sunday, ordered the sealing of the entrance, and immediately supervised a headcount.

Out of 1,000 households on record in the camp, at least 650 were non-existent, the Governor said.

A household normally consists of at least six persons who are either related through families or chosen to stay together for the purpose of receiving aid.

Officials who were part of the midnight headcount said Governor Zulum was open to providing support to residents in need of food but will not tolerate dubious practices.

Context: Borno State is at the epicentre of an insurgency in Nigeria’s north-east that has lasted for over a decade. It has one of the highest concentrations of IDP camps in the country.


A combination of photos showing President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo taking the AstraZeneca vaccines at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 6, 2021.

Buhari ‘Normal’ After Covid Vaccine Shot

Hours after President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received the Covid vaccine jab, spokesman Garba Shehu said the President “felt normal and went about doing his job.”

“If there are side effects that follow, we will be open about that but so far there is nothing of a side effect, serious or mild on the President.,” Mr. Shehu said. “He is carrying on as normal.

“We hope this will help to send a strong message among the people, especially those grappling with hesitancy about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.”

Meanwhile, State Governors are expected to follow suit this week in receiving the vaccine.

Vaccine Finance: The National Primary Health Care Development Agency has insisted that the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) will bear the cost of transporting the vaccines to states from the nation’s capital.

CACOVID is a private sector-led organisation established to assist the Federal Government in combating the novel coronavirus.

There had been reports suggesting that the Ministry of Health, through the NPHCDA, had budgeted over N10 billion for vaccine transportation.

NCDC: Nigeria reported 269 new cases of the virus and five deaths on Sunday, the disease control agency said.


What else is happening?

Obituary: A Justice of the Supreme Court, Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta has died. The senior judge, who was preparing for his retirement, would have turned 70 on March 30.

Kayode Fayemi: The Ekiti State Governor has condemned the killing of two farmers after a clash with herders in Isaba, Ikole Local Government Area of the state.

Aso Rock: The presidency has dismissed some media reports suggesting that a fire outbreak was recorded inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja. What happened, instead, was a bush fire close to the villa, spokesman Garba Shehu said.

Yemi Osinbajo: The Vice President turns 64 today. In a Sunday tribute, President Buhari described him as “a reliable and dedicated deputy.”

Immigration: The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, has said plans are underway to address the huge backlog of visa applications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. An extended interview with the ambassador, conducted by our Foreign Affairs correspondent, Amarachi Ubani, will air later today at 7:30pm (WAT).

Blackout: Ghana suffered a nationwide power cut on Sunday, the West African country’s electricity provider GRIDCo said, as it attempted to restore power.

Royal Rumble: Meghan Markle said she contemplated suicide after marrying into the UK royal family and raised allegations of racism in the monarchy during an explosive television interview with Oprah Winfrey.


And that’s it for today. See you tomorrow.

For more updates, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channelbit.ly/2Hb8hjx

Watch us on DSTV:420 | Sky UK: 518 | Live Stream: www.channelstv.com/live

Meghan Says She Contemplated Suicide After Marrying Harry, Alleges Royal Racism

This undated image released March 7, 2021 courtesy of Harpo Productions shows Britain's Prince Harry (L) and his wife Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex, in a conversation with US television host Oprah Winfrey.  Joe PUGLIESE / HARPO PRODUCTIONS / AFP
This undated image released March 7, 2021 courtesy of Harpo Productions shows Britain’s Prince Harry (L) and his wife Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex, in a conversation with US television host Oprah Winfrey. Joe PUGLIESE / HARPO PRODUCTIONS / AFP

 

Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle on Sunday said she contemplated taking her own life after joining the royal family, and raised allegations of racism in the monarchy during an explosive television interview.

Explaining the couple’s dramatic exit from royal life, Meghan said she was denied help during her mental health crisis, was targeted by lies, and that there was official concern about the skin color of her unborn son.

Meghan, whose father is white and mother is Black, spoke out in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that immediately became one of the most extraordinary chapters in recent royal history and was set to rock the British institution.

“I… just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought,” she told Winfrey, describing the impact of a torrent of vitriol from hostile tabloids and social media.

Asked if she had had suicidal thoughts while pregnant, Meghan replied “Yes. This was very, very clear.”

Recalling how she felt at the time, she said that “I’m scared, because this is very real.”

Meghan, 39, also told of royal “concerns” about “how dark” her son’s skin would be, saying Harry revealed to her official conversations over Archie’s appearance, as well as the security he would be entitled to, ahead of his birth on May 6, 2019.

‘How dark his skin might be’

“In those months when I was pregnant… we have in tandem the conversation of ‘he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Meghan said.

“That was relayed to me from Harry, those were conversations the family had with him,” she said.

After the couple’s surprise decision to move to North America, the former television actress has been portrayed in some British newspapers as headstrong, calculating and spoiled, and the couple reckless and selfish for quitting royal life.

The two-hour interview with the queen of US television was the biggest royal tell-all since Harry’s mother princess Diana detailed her crumbling marriage to his father Prince Charles in 1995.

Harry, 36, revealed the deep divisions within his family, saying he felt “really let down” by how his father had handled the situation.

But he also said Charles — the heir to the throne — and Harry’s older brother William were “trapped” by the conventions of the monarchy.

“They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that,” he said.

Winfrey reportedly sold the interview to US broadcaster CBS for $7-9 million, and retained the international rights to the footage, which will feed an appetite of interest about Britain’s centuries-old monarchy — and their troubles — across the globe.

Royal fans were offered a treat when the couple revealed the gender of their second child  — the first senior royal due to be born outside Britain in 100 years.

“It’s a girl!” Harry and Meghan chimed in tandem.

But it was a rare light-hearted moment in the drawn-out interview — and viewers who tuned in to see if the pair had scores to settle with Buckingham Palace were likely left shocked at how far they went.

Knives out

Taking aim squarely at senior royals, Markle flatly denied reports — feasted on by the gossip press — that she made Kate Middleton cry before her wedding to Harry, saying the reality was the opposite.

“Everyone in the institution knew it wasn’t true,” Meghan told Winfrey.

“The reverse happened,” Meghan added, saying that Kate “was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologized.”

“A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining — yes, the issue was correct — about flower girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings.”

Meghan called the claims “the beginning of a real character assassination” and “a turning point” in her relations with the royal family.

“I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family,” she said.

Ahead of Sunday’s broadcast, revelations emerged Meghan was facing an internal palace investigation into claims that she bullied royal household staff after she and Harry married in a fairytale wedding in 2018.

Further reports the couple are facing a probe into their charitable foundation have been seen as a counter-offensive in a bitter battle for public support.

Last month, when Buckingham Palace confirmed the couple would not return to their senior roles, it said they would not “continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.”

“I’m sad that what’s happened has happened, but I know… we did everything that we could to make it work,” Harry said as the interview wrapped up.

The Sunday Times said Queen Elizabeth II, 94, would not be watching the couple.

The weekly quoted unnamed courtiers as calling the situation a “circus,” and the palace would “come out swinging” if individuals were attacked.

 

AFP

Harry And Meghan’s Oprah Interview To Define Future Royal Relations

(COMBO) This combination of file pictures created on March 4, 2021 shows
Britain’s Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle at Kensington Palace in west London on November 27, 2017. (Photos by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS and Kena Betancur / AFP)

 

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s potentially bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey this weekend could shape the couple’s future relations with the British royal family, experts say.

The pair’s relationship with the centuries-old institution has turned increasingly acrimonious since they stepped back from the royal frontline last year.

Meghan, 39, is expected to share grievances about her treatment by the monarchy and the media, including allegations of racism, and has accused royals of “perpetuating falsehoods” about her.

The interview was filmed weeks ago but pre-broadcast clips of her comments were made available just hours after the Palace took the unusual step of confirming it would investigate newspaper claims Meghan had bullied royal staff.

The escalating war of words has fuelled fears that already frayed ties could snap completely, with every word, look and gesture likely to be picked over in endless detail.

READ ALSO: Israel, Denmark, Austria Agree Deal For Vaccine Development

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said it was “short-sighted” of Harry and Meghan not to inform the monarchy of the decision to talk to Winfrey.

That left it “blindsided” and “will almost certainly cause the royal family embarrassment”, he told AFP.

“We know the press and probably courtiers are likely to be excoriated.

“However, if they get personal and criticise other members of the royal family, it will define their relationship with them for the foreseeable future.”

– ‘Never complain, never explain’ –

Buckingham Palace announced last month that the couple had permanently ended royal duties, a year after their shock announcement to “step back” from their roles.

Since relocating to the United States — in a move dubbed “Megxit” by the British press — they have embarked on several lucrative commercial ventures alongside continuing charitable work.

The Oprah interview has echoes of the explosive 1995 tell-all by Harry’s late mother princess Diana in which she candidly discussed her failing marriage to Prince Charles and their infidelities.

Publicly discussing private matters jars with Queen Elizabeth II’s purported mantra “never complain, never explain”, to keep the royals’ unique place in British society.

Harry and Meghan are seen as media-savvy and have previously done well-received interviews but Fitzwilliams noted other family members’ rare media sit-downs have been “catastrophes”.

The queen’s second son Prince Andrew resigned from royal duties shortly after he defended his friendship with the late US financier and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein in a disastrous 2019 interview.

Harry’s father Prince Charles fared badly in a 1994 tell-all in which he admitted to committing adultery.

In contrast, Diana’s interview — watched by a record 22.8 million people — was widely seen as garnering her public sympathy.

Harry — sixth in line to the throne — and Meghan’s popularity in Britain has fallen steadily over the last three years and remains well below that of the queen, according to polling.

Omid Scobie, co-author of last year’s best-selling biography on the couple, “Finding Freedom”, said it was unlikely confiding in Oprah would change many minds.

Britons “have already picked their camp at this point”, he said.

But he predicted audiences could “at least come out of it a little bit more enlightened” as to why they left.

“This will be a place for them to share their side of the story and given that we… have spent the last three years talking about it, I’d say it’s only fair that they have a couple of hours to do the same,” he added.

– ‘Bad timing’ –

Harry, 36, has blamed press intrusion for contributing to his mother death in 1997 and told Oprah he and Meghan quit Britain in part because he was worried about “history repeating itself”.

But the timing of the broadcast, shot at their sprawling Montecito mansion in California, is awkward.

The prime time outing airs on the same day the queen and other senior royals appear on television as part of Commonwealth Day celebrations.

More problematically, the queen’s 99-year-old husband, Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip, has been in hospital for nearly three weeks and is recovering from a successful heart procedure.

Fitzwilliams said that should have prompted Harry and Meghan to ask Winfrey — a personal friend who attended their wedding — to pressure CBS to delay.

“It would be appropriate, despite the difficulties this would cause, for this interview to be postponed,” he said.

But royal expert Penny Junor told the BBC it was “just bad timing” and that a delay was highly unlikely.

“Is there ever going to be a perfect time to show… a documentary like this?” she asked. “I’m not sure there is.”

AFP

UK News Group Told To Pay £450,000 In Legal Costs To Meghan Markle

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 06, 2020 Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex speaks during a school assembly as part of a visit to Robert Clack School in Essex, on March 6, 2020, in support of International Women’s Day.  (Photo by BEN STANSALL / POOL / AFP)

 

 

The UK newspaper group that published a letter written by Meghan Markle should pay interim legal costs following her high-profile privacy claim victory last month, a judge ruled on Tuesday.

Markle, who is formally known as the Duchess of Sussex and is married to Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson Prince Harry, won a comprehensive victory in February against Associated Newspapers after extracts of the 2018 letter were published in 2019.

The letter to her estranged father Thomas Markle was written a few months after she married Harry, and asked him to stop talking to tabloids and making false claims about her in interviews.

At a remote hearing at the High Court in London on Tuesday, judge Mark Warby ordered Associated Newspapers to make an “interim payment” of £450,000 ($627,000, 520,000 euros) to cover legal costs.

But the figure stopped short of the £750,000 requested by Meghan’s lawyer Ian Mill.

Following the ruling, lawyers for the publishers of the Mail On Sunday weekly and MailOnline website indicated they would appeal.

Warby himself said he saw “no real prospect” of the Court of Appeal coming to a different conclusion but said the defendants had a “right to renew this application to a Court of Appeal judge”.

The legal team for the former television actress had called for a front-page apology in the Mail On Sunday to publicise last month’s decision.

Warby made an “order for publication and dissemination” but said it would be “more limited” than what had been asked for.

He also said he would not ask for Associated Newspapers to hand over any copies it had of the private letter at this stage.

Further details are due to be outlined in a later written ruling.

Warby opted to defer hearing arguments until April or early May about damages that should be paid over misuse of private information, copyright infringement and data protection breaches.

Associated Newspapers lawyer Adrian Speck argued “remedies or a judgment” on copyright could not be made before it had been “determined what the copyrights are”.

Issues of whether Jason Knauf, who at the time served as Kensington Palace’s director of communications, co-authored the letter still have to be resolved.

Markle’s lawyers said they would be happy to accept nominal damages for misuse of private information at later hearings if the court ordered the newspaper group to make public its financial gains from the copyright infringement.

Ian Mill said his client was not “looking to punish the defendants” but “intended to ensure that the defendant does not profit” from its conduct.

Meghan and Harry now live in the United States, after stepping down from frontline royal duties last year over what they said was intolerable media pressure.

They have taken legal action against a number of publications since then, alleging invasion of privacy.

An interview the couple gave to US chat show host Oprah Winfrey is due to air on Sunday.

Meghan Markle ‘Saddened’ By Palace Bullying Claims

In this file photo taken on October 2, 2019 Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex arrives at the British High Commissioner residency where she will meet with Graca Machel, widow of former South African president Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg. (Photo by Michele Spatari / AFP)

 

Meghan Markle is “saddened” by reports published Wednesday saying she faced a bullying complaint during her time living at Britain’s Kensington Palace before she stepped back from royal duties, her spokesman said.

The Times newspaper made the claims against the wife of Prince Harry, which are alleged to date back to October 2018 and involve members of the royal household staff.

The report came just days before the broadcast of an interview that Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, as she is formally known, gave to US chat show host Oprah Winfrey about their decision last year to leave frontline royal duties.

“The duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself,” her spokesman said.

“She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right.”

READ ALSO: Arsenal Boss Arteta Dismisses Barcelona Speculation

The couple said The Times was being used to “peddle a wholly false narrative” before the television interview.

There was no immediate comment from Buckingham Palace nor Kensington Palace, where Meghan and Harry lived with his older brother Prince William and his wife Kate until 2019.

Harry, who is Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson, married Meghan in a glittering wedding at Windsor Castle in 2018.

The former army officer’s marriage to the mixed race former television actress was seen as breathing new life into the centuries-old British monarchy.

But the couple announced early last year that they were stepping back from their duties, in part because of what they saw as unfair media coverage.

They moved to the United States and have since permanently quit as working royals, relinquishing their honorary titles and patronages, Buckingham Palace announced last month.

Their interview with Oprah Winfrey is due to air on Sunday. They are expected to lift the lid on life inside the royal family following their fairytale wedding and the reasons for their split.

It comes as Harry’s grandfather, the queen’s husband Prince Philip, has been in hospital for several weeks under treatment for an undisclosed infection, sparking fears for his health.

The 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh was transferred to a specialist cardiac unit on Monday for tests on a pre-existing heart condition.

Since relocating to the United States, Harry and Meghan have embarked on several commercial ventures, including lucrative tie-ups with the streaming platforms Netflix and Spotify.

They have also taken legal action against a number of media publications, alleging invasion of privacy following what they described as intolerable media pressure in Britain.

Following a comprehensive victory in February against Associated Newspapers which published a private letter written by Markle to her father, she was awarded £450,000 ($627,000, 520,000 euros) as interim payment of legal costs on Tuesday.

AFP

UK’s Prince Harry To Lose All Honorary Titles

In this file photo taken on March 07, 2020, Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend The Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Britain’s Prince Harry will relinquish his honorary military appointments and patronages after confirming to Queen Elizabeth II that he and his wife Meghan Markle will not return as working royals, Buckingham Palace announced on February 19, 2021.

 

Britain’s Prince Harry will relinquish his honorary military appointments and patronages after confirming to Queen Elizabeth II that he and his wife Meghan Markle will not return as working royals, Buckingham Palace announced on Friday.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they are formally known, rocked the British monarchy when they quit frontline royal duties a year ago.

They have since embarked on a new life involving several commercial ventures in the United States, and now live in California.

Under the initial terms of their departure thrashed out at an emergency summit with the queen in early 2020, Harry had agreed to review the decision a year on.

READ ALSO: Chinese Govt Confirms Four Died In June Clash On India border

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

“The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.

“The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.”

Prince Harry, a former soldier, holds several honorary military titles, as well as Commonwealth appointments and some other patronages.

Meghan was also handed several honorary roles after she wed Harry in a fairytale ceremony at Windsor Castle in May, 2018.

The couple, who are expecting their second child, are poised to give an “intimate” interview about their lives with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey.

AFP

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle Expecting Second Child

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle PHOTO: @misanharriman

 

Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are expecting their second child, the couple revealed in a Valentine’s Day announcement, the first senior royal due to be born outside Britain in 100 years.

The couple released a black and white image of themselves under a tree, all smiles, with Markle holding her baby bump.

“We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother,” the spokesman said, referring to the couple’s son. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child.”

Meghan and Harry, who is Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson, quit frontline royal duties in March last year and now live in California.

READ ALSO: Meghan Markle Wins Privacy Claim Against UK News Group

The baby will be “something of a first” for the immediate royal family because it will have US and British citizenship and is likely to be the first to be born outside of Britain since Prince Philip 100 years ago.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “Her Majesty, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, and the entire family are delighted and wish them well.”

The photograph was taken by friend of the couple Misan Harriman. In a tweet addressed to Meghan, she said: “Meg, I was there at your wedding to witness this love story begin, and my friend, I am honoured to capture it grow. Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on this joyous news!”

 

– ‘Build bridges’ –

Royal commentator Victoria Murphy told AFP that the baby’s dual nationality would be “something of a first” for a senior royal, although the new arrival is not destined to become a member of the inner circle given the parents’ controversial decision to step back from frontline duties.

“I think this royal baby might not see some of his or her royal relatives for several months,” she added.

Robert Jobson, the royal editor at London’s Evening Standard, said he hoped the pregnancy would allow Meghan and Harry to “build bridges” after “a lot of negativity”.

Their departure last year — dubbed “Megxit” by the British press — was a far cry from 2018, when they married in a fairytale wedding at Windsor Castle watched around the world.

They left amid acrimony and a reported rift with Harry’s brother Prince William, who is second in line to the throne.

Since leaving, they have launched several legal cases against news outlets alleging invasion of privacy — including one that ended on Thursday with a victory against Associated Newspapers in the UK.

Pressure from tabloids has dogged Harry throughout his life, and he blames them for the death of his mother Princess Diana.

Despite the strained relationship, the tabloid press mostly welcomed the news on Monday with the Daily Mail carrying the headline “MEGnificent” and The Sun celebrating “Sussexes’ Valentine’s Day joy” on its front page.

But the Daily Star splashed “Publicity-shy woman tells 7.67bn people: ‘I’m pregnant'” on its cover, taking aim at the couple’s demands for privacy despite launching a range of commercial ventures.

 

– Multi-million dollar contracts –

Last year the pair launched a wide-ranging non-profit organisation, Archewell, after giving up their “Sussex Royal” brand as part of the terms of their departure from frontline monarchy duties.

They have started other creative ventures, including signing a deal with Spotify to produce podcasts that tell “uplifting and entertaining stories”.

The couple also signed a multi-year contract, reportedly worth tens of millions of dollars, with streaming giant Netflix to produce “impactful” films and series.

As well complaining about invasion of her privacy, Markle, a former television actress, has also described past trolling of her as “almost unsurvivable”.

AFP

Meghan Markle Wins Privacy Claim Against UK News Group

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 06, 2020 Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex speaks during a school assembly as part of a visit to Robert Clack School in Essex, on March 6, 2020, in support of International Women’s Day.(Photo by BEN STANSALL / POOL / AFP) 

 

 

Meghan Markle on Thursday won her high-profile privacy claim against a British newspaper group for publishing a private letter that she wrote to her estranged father.

The Duchess of Sussex, who is married to Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson Prince Harry, brought the case against Associated Newspapers after extracts of the 2018 letter appeared in 2019.

Judge Mark Warby ruled that Meghan had a “reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private”.

The letter to Thomas Markle was written a few months after Meghan married Harry, and asked her father to stop talking to tabloids and making false claims about her in interviews.

The judge called it “a personal and private letter” about Meghan’s own behaviour, her feelings of anguish about her father’s behaviour — as she saw it — and the resulting rift”.

The newspaper group’s defence team argued the publication was to correct inaccuracies in a previous article in the US magazine People.

But the judge said the extracts published were “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful”.

Meghan, 39, welcomed the ruling, and thanked the court for holding Associated to account for what she said were “illegal and dehumanising practices”.

She accused the Mail on Sunday weekly, its daily sister title the Daily Mail and the MailOnline website of exploiting individuals like “a game”.

“For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep,” she added.

“The world needs reliable, fact-checked, high-quality news. What the Mail On Sunday and its partner publications do is the opposite.”

– ‘Very big win’ –
Lawyer Mark Stephens, who specialises in reputation management, told AFP that “this is a very big win for the Duchess of Sussex”.

“Essentially she will be able to turn round now and say she’s been vindicated, that the letter was private and should never have been published,” he said.

The amount of damages that Meghan will receive has not been disclosed.

The judge also granted summary judgment in relation to most of a claim by the Duchess over copyright.

But he said the “minor” issue raised by the defence of whether Meghan owned the full copyright of the letter or was a co-author should go to a limited trial, after claims that royal officials helped Meghan to draft it.

Warby said suggestions that she was not the sole author of the letter, and that the Crown could share the copyright, “cannot be described as fanciful”. They warranted further investigation, he said.

It was not immediately clear if that meant Meghan would have to give evidence.

The judge said a March 2 hearing would discuss costs and the remaining copyright issues.

– ‘Self-evidently private’ –
Associated had called for the privacy case to go to a full trial but Meghan’s lawyers argued the claim had no realistic prospect of success.

The news group said it was “very surprised” by the judgment and “disappointed at being denied the chance to have all the evidence heard and tested in open court at a full trial”.

A decision on whether to appeal was being considered, it added.

Mark Stephens told AFP that Associated Newspapers was “almost bound to appeal” against the ruling over the issue of whether the letter was in any way “public-facing”.

If the ruling is overturned, this would lead to a full trial, he said.

The newspaper publishers had argued that witnesses were needed to “shed light” on whether Meghan was planning for the letter to be made public as part of a “media strategy”.

But Meghan’s lawyers described the letter as “self-evidently private” and denied she intended the letter to be made public at any point.

They also denied she collaborated with the authors of a recent biography on her life with Harry, which also contained partial extracts of the letter.

Meghan and Harry quit frontline royal duties in March last year and now live in California.

They have launched a number of legal cases against news outlets alleging invasion of privacy, including over paparazzi shots of their son Archie.

This has attracted criticism from some, as the couple are also launching themselves into the public eye with high-profile projects such as a Spotify podcast in which Archie made a brief appearance.

Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Quit Social Media

Prince Harry and Meghan. PHOTO: JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP.

 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have quit social media after growing disillusioned by the “hate” they have found on sites like Facebook and Twitter, a UK newspaper reported on Sunday.

The couple were rejecting social media in both a personal and professional capacity as part of their new “progressive role” in the United States, the Sunday Times said.

A source close to the couple told the newspaper they had “no plans” to use social media for their new Archewell Foundation and were “very unlikely” to restart utilising platforms personally.

READ ALSO: Schwarzenegger Compares Capitol Attack To Nazi Violence

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who moved to California last year after abruptly resigning from British royal duties, have previously had prominent presences online.

They amassed more than 10 million Instagram followers to their Sussex Royal account while they were working royals.

But the couple have also previously complained about their treatment on social media, as well as in the British press.

Meghan described past trolling of her as “almost unsurvivable” while Harry issued an unprecedented statement in 2016 denouncing “the racial undertones of comment pieces” and “the sexism and racism of social media trolls”.

Last year they launched a wide-ranging non-profit organisation, Archewell, after giving up their “Sussex Royal” brand as part of the terms of their departure from frontline monarchy duties.

They have started other creative ventures, including signing a deal with Spotify to produce podcasts that tell “uplifting and entertaining stories”.

The couple also signed a multi-year contract, reportedly worth tens of millions of dollars, with streaming giant Netflix to produce “impactful” films and series.

Meanwhile, Markle, a former television actress, narrated a wildlife documentary on Disney+ in 2020.

AFP

Harry And Meghan’s Son Reveals ‘American Accent’ On Podcast

Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R), and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose for a photo with their newborn baby son in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London/ AFP

 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s toddler son Archie was heard speaking for the first time Tuesday, as the couple released their first podcast, with British media seizing on his “American” accent.

Archie, born in May 2019, giggles and wishes listeners “Happy New Year” at the end of the couple’s debut on the Spotify audio streaming platform.

The Daily Mail’s royal editor Rebecca English tweeted that “he very much has an American accent,” while The Sun tabloid wrote: “Baby Archie has an American accent.”

The appearance of 18-month-old Archie comes after the couple have launched a spate of legal actions against the media over alleged breaches of their privacy, while revealing aspects of their private life in ways they control.

Markle earlier this month settled a claim against a news agency that took photographs of her and Archie in a Canadian park.

She wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times in November revealing that she miscarried the couple’s second baby.

This was the first episode after the couple earlier this month announced a deal with Spotify to record “uplifting and entertaining stories”.

Since ceasing royal duties and moving to California this year, the couple have launched various creative ventures, including a deal with the streaming giant Netflix.

For the podcast, they asked famous friends including the singer Elton John, television presenter James Corden, and New Age guru Deepak Chopra to make recordings talking about their experiences coping with the pandemic and hopes for next year.

“Our collective mental health has been at the forefront of people’s minds, and rightly so,” says Harry, who along with Markle narrates and links the items.

“It’s been an awful time for people. I hope we can heal in 2021,” says Elton John, who described 2020 as “the worst year I’ve ever known, and I’m 73.”

 

 

“Cheers to that, Elton,” says Harry.

The couple also talk about their feelings for each other.

“Trust us when we say: love wins,” Meghan says.

“Love always wins,” Harry chimes in.

The podcast ends with a gospel song played at the couple’s wedding: “This Little Light of Mine.”

Meghan Markle Reveals She Had A Miscarriage In July

In this file photo taken on October 2, 2019 Meghan arrives at the British High Commissioner residency where she will meet with Graca Machel, widow of former South African president Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg. (Photo by Michele Spatari / AFP)

 

Meghan Markle has revealed she suffered a miscarriage in July this year, writing in The New York Times on Wednesday of the deep grief and loss she endured with her husband Prince Harry.

The Duchess of Sussex, who married the British prince in 2018, had the couple’s first child, Archie, the following year.

In the piece in the Times, the 39-year-old wrote that she had just changed her son’s diaper when she felt a sharp cramp and fell to the ground.

“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” she wrote.

Writing of the “unbearable grief” of miscarrying a child, Markle said it was a conversation that remained “taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”

 In this file photo taken on November 27, 2017 Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancée US actress Meghan Markle pose for a photograph in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace in west London, following the announcement of their engagement.(Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

 

Touching on the coronavirus, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the recent turbulent presidential election, the Duchess of Sussex nevertheless offered a message of hope.

“For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another.”

Markle — whose mother is Black — also wrote of the death of Breonna Taylor, as well as the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African American who died in police custody.

“Loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020, in moments both fraught and debilitating,” she said.

– Withdrawal from public –
Markle’s highly personal piece comes as she and her husband wage an increasingly public war with some media outlets over their right to privacy.

It echoes the story of a previous royal bride — Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Pressure from tabloids has dogged the British prince throughout his life, and he blames them for the death of his mother.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 Hit UK Announces Plan To Slash Foreign Aid

Diana, whose treatment by the royals is shown in the fourth season of Netflix’s hugely popular “The Crown,” also reportedly suffered a miscarriage in 1983 at Balmoral.

Harry and Markle shocked the British establishment when they announced they were retiring from royal life.

Their withdrawal in March came after reports Markle was deeply unhappy with life inside the royal family and fed up with media intrusion.

The couple, who live with their young son in California, signed an exclusive production deal with Netflix for an undisclosed fee earlier this year.

– ‘Are you OK?’ –
Markle wrote that in July she realized — as she was comforted by Harry in hospital following the miscarriage — that “the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, ‘Are you OK?'”

Between 10 and 15 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to the US mother and childcare non-profit March of Dimes.

“Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same,” Markle said.

British charities helping families deal with miscarriages praised Markle for speaking out about her loss.

“I just applaud Meghan for showing the courage to share their story so beautifully and eloquently,” said Zoe Clark-Coates, head of the Mariposa Trust, which supports people who have had miscarriages or lost children.

“It gives people insight into a subject that is often not discussed and brought into the light,” said Clark-Coates, who has written books about grief and pregnancy.

Markle’s opinion piece comes after model and author Chrissy Teigen spoke candidly this year about a stillbirth that she and her husband, the singer John Legend, suffered.

Teigen published intimate pictures of the tragic moments after the infant, who they named Jack, died.

The unvarnished post attracted praise and criticism in equal measure, but Teigen was unrepentant about her decision.

“I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos aren’t for anyone but the people who have lived this or are curious enough to wonder what something like this is like,” she wrote.

“These photos are only for the people who need them.”

Markle’s use of The New York Times to speak about her miscarriage has echoes of Angelina Jolie’s 2013 op-ed in which she revealed her decision to have a preventative double mastectomy.

Jolie, who was married to fellow Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt at the time, said she chose to reveal her decision “because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience.”

AFP

Meghan Markle Reveals Miscarriage In July

(FILES) Meghan Markle has revealed she suffered a miscarriage in July this year, writing in the New York Times on November 25, 2020 of the deep grief and loss she endured with her husband Prince Harry. (Photo by BEN STANSALL / POOL / AFP)

 

Meghan Markle has revealed she suffered a miscarriage in July this year, writing in The New York Times on Wednesday of the deep grief and loss she endured with her husband Prince Harry.

The Duchess of Sussex, who married the British prince in 2018, had the couple’s first child, Archie, the following year.

In the piece in the Times, the 39-year-old wrote that she had just changed her son’s diaper when she felt a sharp cramp and fell to the ground.

“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second,” she wrote.

Writing of the “unbearable grief” of miscarrying a child, Markle said it was a conversation that remained “taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”

Touching on the coronavirus, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the recent turbulent presidential election, the Duchess of Sussex nevertheless offered a message of hope.

“For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another.”

Markle — whose mother is Black — also wrote of the death of Breonna Taylor, as well as the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African American who died in police custody.

“Loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020, in moments both fraught and debilitating,” she said.

– Withdrawal from public –
Markle’s highly personal piece comes as she and her husband wage an increasingly public war with some media outlets over their right to privacy.

It echoes the story of a previous royal bride — Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Pressure from tabloids has dogged the British prince throughout his life, and he blames them for the death of his mother.

Diana, whose treatment by the royals is shown in the fourth season of Netflix’s hugely popular “The Crown,” also reportedly suffered a miscarriage in 1983 at Balmoral.

Harry and Markle shocked the British establishment when they announced they were retiring from royal life.

Their withdrawal in March came after reports Markle was deeply unhappy with life inside the royal family and fed up with media intrusion.

The couple, who live with their young son in California, signed an exclusive production deal with Netflix for an undisclosed fee earlier this year.

– ‘Are you OK?’ –
Markle wrote that in July she realized — as she was comforted by Harry in hospital following the miscarriage — that “the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, ‘Are you OK?'”

Between 10 and 15 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to the US mother and childcare non-profit March of Dimes.

“Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same,” Markle said.

British charities helping families deal with miscarriages praised Markle for speaking out about her loss.

“I just applaud Meghan for showing the courage to share their story so beautifully and eloquently,” said Zoe Clark-Coates, head of the Mariposa Trust, which supports people who have had miscarriages or lost children.

“It gives people insight into a subject that is often not discussed and brought into the light,” said Clark-Coates, who has written books about grief and pregnancy.

Markle’s opinion piece comes after model and author Chrissy Teigen spoke candidly this year about a stillbirth that she and her husband, the singer John Legend, suffered.

Teigen published intimate pictures of the tragic moments after the infant, who they named Jack, died.

The unvarnished post attracted praise and criticism in equal measure, but Teigen was unrepentant about her decision.

“I lived it, I chose to do it, and more than anything, these photos aren’t for anyone but the people who have lived this or are curious enough to wonder what something like this is like,” she wrote.

“These photos are only for the people who need them.”

Markle’s use of The New York Times to speak about her miscarriage has echoes of Angelina Jolie’s 2013 op-ed in which she revealed her decision to have a preventative double mastectomy.

Jolie, who was married to fellow Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt at the time, said she chose to reveal her decision “because I hope that other women can benefit from my experience.”