Crowds of people and dozens of reporters have gathered since early morning outside London’s High Court where Prince Harry appeared today for the first time in the UK since his grandmother’s funeral last September and the release of his autobiography, Spare, in January.

Prince Harry and Elton John made a surprise appearance at London’s High Court today for the trial of the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper, accused by many celebrities of collecting information for years by tapping their phones and in other, illegal ways.

However, during his four-day hearing and stay in London, he is not expected to meet with his father or his brother, Crown Prince William, while in London.

The accusations

Prince Harry has sued the Associated Newspapers group, to which they belong the Daily Mail, Mail on line and Sunday Mailalong with Elton John, his singer husband David Furnish, actresses Elizabeth Harley and Sadie Frost and Baroness Doreen Lawrence.

They all claim they were the victims of “a number of illegal actions” by the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday newspapers. Among other things, they say hackers stole text messages on their cell phones, private detectives fraudulently gained access to their medical records and their homes were broken into, according to excerpts of documents filed in court by their attorneys. This activity continued from 1993 until 2011 and, in some cases, until 2018.

The prince arrived at the courthouse by taxi, greeted reporters, entered the courtroom and sat in the background while occasionally taking notes.

In its statement, ANL Group states that it categorically denies the very serious allegations and, if necessary, will fight to dispel them. His main goal is to dismiss the indictment. He considers it an “orchestrated attempt to drag his newspapers into the wiretapping scandal for articles dating back 30 years.”

The British press was rocked almost two decades ago by the wiretapping scandal with the revelation that associates of Prince William and Harry were being monitored. The case gained momentum in 2011, when the tabloid News of the World monitored the voicemail of Millie Dowler, a missing student who was eventually found dead. The revelations led to the closure of the tabloid, which was forced to pay Dowler’s family two million pounds.

Many celebrities have taken legal action against British tabloids for being spied on but this is the first time the editor of the Daily Mail has come under fire.