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DAN WOOTTON: Prince Harry being the first royal in 130 years to give evidence could backfire


He was warned by his father King Charles that attempting to silence the British media is a suicide mission, while his estranged brother Prince William made it clear that he was taking a very different path.

But it still hasn’t occurred to Harry, the prince of hypocrisy, that he shouldn’t be entitled to the usual special treatment of a kid’s glove when he becomes the first senior royal to testify under oath in court since the 19th century in a historic phone. hacking civil case vs Mirror Group newspapers.

That became apparent when he failed to show up to the Supreme Court as requested this morning, enraging the paper’s KC and surprising the judge.

His regretful excuse that he couldn’t possibly make it on time, given that he’d only flown into the country late last night—on a private jet or first class, no doubt—because he had to be in Montecito for his daughter Lilibet’s second birthday, was the first illustration that we are not dealing with a man anchored in reality.

Prince Harry has been living in a post-true world ever since he met shape-shifting actress Meghan Markle.

The facts don’t matter, only their feelings.

Prince Harry (pictured at the King’s coronation) failed to show up at the High Court as requested this morning, enraging the newspaper’s KC and surprising the judge

Prince Harry is represented by David Sherborne (left) in landmark civil phone hacking case against Mirror Group Newspapers

Prince Harry is represented by David Sherborne (left) in landmark civil phone hacking case against Mirror Group Newspapers

Indeed, that was the bizarre excuse their weird hagiographer Omid Scobie gave when he tried to justify why the Sussexes had wound up the world with yet another pigtail about their “near catastrophic” chase in New York that wasn’t last month.

Until now, Harry’s public appearances have only been for their best media buddies Oprah Winfrey, Tom Bradby and Anderson Cooper.

That means Oprah nodded when Meghan and Harry made false claims that there is a racist in the royal family (there wasn’t) and that they secretly married before their Windsor Castle ceremony (they didn’t), without a relevant follow up on question.

Similarly, Bradby accepted Harry’s ludicrous argument that “no part of the things I’ve said is damning to any member of my family, especially my stepmother,” despite calling Queen Camilla “dangerous” and a “bad guy.”

There was no one to tell him that his experiences are clearly distorted and do not reflect the reality of many situations.

No cross-examination.

Perhaps that’s no surprise.

When his father and brother asked tough questions in private, they were eventually brutally dished out, before their most personal laundry was blurted out for the whole world to consume.

Pictured: David Sherborne, a member of Prince Harry's legal team, outside the Rolls Building of the High Court in London

Pictured: David Sherborne, a member of Prince Harry’s legal team, outside the Rolls Building of the High Court in London

That’s another big problem with this case. In the court of public opinion, Harry has already lost for his gross hypocrisy in complaining about invasions of his privacy for years before invading his family’s privacy in the most intimate ways that journalists wouldn’t even consider, such as revealing details of the future king’s private quarters.

But tomorrow everything changes; the cross-examination will be swift, furious and dissected around the world.

Harry will face off against Andrew Green KC, who acts for the Mirror group, whose job is to literally expose him as a purveyor of untruths – and the first signs are that he won’t hold back when his questionable credibility is tested .

In court today, he complained that it is “absolutely extraordinary that we were only told yesterday that he is not available for the first day of his trial.”

And he later added to the ‘fantastic’ claims themselves: ‘There is no evidence to support the finding that any mobile phone owned or used by the Duke of Sussex had been hacked. Zilch, Zero, Nil, De Nada, Niente, Nothing.’

Harry can therefore no longer rely on ‘his truth’ or he risks perjury.

There is only one complex of facts.

And while I’m not in court every day, there seems to be very little evidence to prove Harry’s hacking claims.

I know how these things work.

The celebrity lawyers try to argue that virtually every article about their client must have been created illegally, disregarding the reality that 99.99 percent of reporters obtain stories through real journalism, including leaks straight from the palaces or credible royal sources.

Of course, such a matter is complicated by the unshakable principle of all journalists to protect their confidential sources.

So while I think Harry’s decision to testify might backfire spectacularly tomorrow, my bigger concern in all of this is what pursuing a life dominated by courtrooms and lawyers charging hundreds of pounds an hour has to say about Harry’s mindset.

I’ve been dragged through court against my will before, trying to silence my journalism, and it really is hell.

There’s nothing fun about it; it’s a corrosive experience that eats you away over time.

That is not to say that I condone every illegal activity that has taken place in British tabloid newspapers in the past. I’m not – it was wrong, but it stopped over a decade ago.

The mindset of a man who ostensibly wants to spend his life settling scores of the past is worrying.

What happened to the peaceful California utopia Harry and Meghan assured us they intended to create with their young family when they left the UK?

The past three years have shown us that Harry’s existence is not rooted in the real world.

I fear that tomorrow his testimony will be an unpleasant shock if his account of victimization clashes with the facts.

But the greatest sadness is that Harry now believes that the success of his once-promising life of service must be dominated by such a phony money-making legal pursuit.

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