It’s been nearly a year since “Megxit” rocked the British royal family, a move that was perhaps foreshadowed by the October 2019 news that Meghan Markle had filed suit against Associated Newspapers, publisher of the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail and The Mail. The suit alleged a breach of privacy—including copyright infringement, misuse of private information, and breach of the Data Protection Act—after the contents of letters from the duchess to her estranged father, Thomas Markle were published without permission by the tabloids, amid what Prince Harry characterized as a “ruthless campaign” against his wife.
In the months since, the case has “taken a series of hair-raising turns,” according to the Sunday Times, with Markle’s attorneys now scheduled to argue for a summary judgment, which, if accepted, will effectively end the suit before it goes to trial. This is the hope of at least one senior royal source who spoke to the Times, voicing concerns that a trial would be “deeply uncomfortable for the institution” of the royal family, as well as for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex themselves.
“A trial would be traumatic for Meghan and Harry, it will expose palace operations, members of staff would be dragged into it on the witness stands,” the source told the newspaper.
The Times notes that a trial could also necessitate a contentious courtroom reunion between Markle and her father, whom the Times quotes as previously (and somewhat menacingly) stating: “I’ll see Meghan in court.” If so, it might also mean a first face-to-face encounter between Harry and his father-in-law, who famously pulled out of attending the couple’s 2018 nuptials at the last moment after infamously joining forces with the paparazzi.
Another figure in this legal drama—not to be confused with Markle’s former TV series, Suits, is “one of the royal family’s most trusted lawyers,” Gerrard Tyrrell. Giving further insight into the events that led up to Megxit, the Times reports:
Tyrrell is understood to have joined several senior Sussex aides in advising against Meghan’s suit, but the couple turned to Schillings, a firm known for its aggressive tactics on behalf of celebrity clients upset with the media.
“Before Harry and Meghan pulled the trigger, we wanted to walk them through what it would look like if it went all the way [to trial] and to face up to that,” a royal source said.
But the advice fell on deaf ears; the Sussexes went on to quit royal life in the UK in favour of a “progressive new role” in America.
That progressive new role has included a number of public and increasingly personal appearances, solidifying the couple’s departure from the protocol of senior royals. After inking a multimillion-dollar development deal with Netflix and settling into a new compound in Montecito, Calif. with son Archie, last week, the couple launched their new podcast on Spotify. A decision on Markle’s case is expected this month.