“This led to the couple losing trust in numerous friends and experiencing undue pressure on their relationship,” Mr. Sherborne wrote. The scrutiny, he said, caused Harry “great distress and embarrassment, not least because of the concerns about security that he and his protection staff had.”
In addition to arguing that Harry waited too long to sue, the Mirror Group has cast doubt on his claim that it hacked Ms. Davy’s phone. Its lawyers said the calls were probably made to obtain comment after reports that she and Harry had split up.
Moreover, by 2009, employees of another tabloid, Mr. Murdoch’s News of the World, had received jail sentences for phone hacking. That made it unlikely, the lawyers said, that the Mirror’s journalists would have run the risk to intercept voice mail messages from either Harry or Ms. Davy.
Harry’s testimony could also shine a spotlight on Piers Morgan, a prominent British television broadcaster who was the editor of The Daily Mirror between 1995 and 2004, the period in which it was accused of phone hacking. Mr. Morgan has long denied any involvement in hacking or commissioning articles based on it, though lawyers for Harry said imagining he did not know about it was hard.
Mr. Morgan has since become a scathing critic of Harry and Meghan. When recently asked by a reporter from ITV about the trial, he said, “I am not going to take lectures on privacy invasion from Prince Harry, somebody who has spent the last three years ruthlessly and cynically invading the royal family’s privacy for vast commercial gain and told a pack of lies about them.”