Prince Harry will no longer remain silent.
The Duke of Sussex did not hold back in a witness statement submitted as a part of his legal case against Associated Newspapers Ltd, the U.K. publishing company behind The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday. In court documents obtained by E! News, Prince Harry not only accused the publisher of "criminality" for allegedly obtaining his private information through illegal means and using it in news stories, but he also called out the royal institution.
"Following the death of my mother in 1997 when I was 12 years old and her treatment at the hands of the press, I have always had an uneasy relationship with the press," he said in reference to his mom Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash while evading the paparazzi. "However, as a member of the Institution the policy was to 'never complain, never explain.'"
He continued, "There was no alternative; I was conditioned to accept it. For the most part, I accepted the interest in my performing my public functions."
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Prince Harry noted he became "increasingly troubled by the approach of not taking action against the press in the wake of vicious persistent attacks on, harassment of and intrusive, sometimes racist articles" against Meghan Markle during the early days of their relationship. And when Markle became pregnant with the couple's son Prince Archie in 2018, Prince Harry recalled that the "situation got worse."
Elsewhere in his statement, Prince Harry claimed the royal institution withheld information from him to prevent legal action from being taken amid the News Group Newspapers phone hacking scandal back in the early aughts. Prince Harry said that, due to Palace policy, he didn't realize he could actually bring a claim to court until years later.
"The Institution made it clear that we did not need to know anything about phone hacking and it was made clear to me that the Royal Family did not sit in the witness box because that could open up a can of worms," he wrote. "The Institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN's phone hacking and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation."
The 38-year-old said "the bubble burst" when he and Markle, 41, stepped back from their roles as senior royals in 2020 and relocated to California.
"To this day, there are members of the Royal Family and friends of mine who may have been targeted by NGN and I have no idea whether they have or have not brought claims," he wrote. "There was never any centralised discussion between us about who had brought claims as each office in the Institution is siloed. There is this misconception that we are all in constant communication with one another but that is not true."
Prince Harry is suing Associated Newspapers Ltd in England's High Court over alleged unlawful practices used to gather information, including phone tapping. Several other prominent figures, including Elton John and Elizabeth Hurley, are also taking legal against against the publisher.
As seen in photos, the "Spare" author appeared in London court on March 25 and 26.
"I am bringing this claim because I love my country and I remain deeply concerned by the unchecked power, influence and criminality of Associated," Prince Harry wrote in his witness statement.t. "The British public deserve to know the full extent of this cover up and I feel it is my duty to expose it."
Associated News Ltd previously denied the allegations, with a company spokesperson telling the BBC: "We utterly and unambiguously refute these preposterous smears which appear to be nothing more than a pre-planned and orchestrated attempt to drag the Mail titles into the phone hacking scandal concerning articles up to 30 years old."
NBC News has reached out to the Buckingham Palace but hasn't receive comment. The Palace has previously said it would not comment on the on-going proceedings.