Prince Harry has said the supposed paranoia of his late mother, Princess Diana, reflected his own fear that friends would betray him, as his Supreme Court evidence began today.
Harry said he had heard his late mother called “paranoid” but that she was actually “afraid of what was really happening to her and now I know I was the same.”
The duke, whose mother died in a car accident in Paris in 1997, also said his “acute paranoia about being constantly watched was not misplaced after all.”
Harry, who also gave evidence in court in London today, claimed that articles about him as a teenager left him constantly suspicious of those close to him – including former nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke and his friend Mark ‘Marko’ Dyer.
In his testimony, Harry said: ‘I doubted the loyalty of Tiggy and even Marko, who I really looked up to. My brother and I didn’t even speak to Marko for a long time. I can see how much of my life was wasted on this paranoia.’
He is suing Mirror Group Newspapers for damages, claiming that under the title journalists were linked to methods such as phone hacking, so-called ‘blagging’ or obtaining information by deception, and using private investigators for unlawful activities.
Princess Diana with her two sons Prince Harry (left) and Prince William (right) in April 1992
Prince Harry will arrive at the High Court in London today before giving evidence at the hearing
A court artist’s sketch of Prince Harry being examined today by Andrew Green KC
In his statement released today, Harry referred to an article in the January 5, 2003 Sunday Mirror headlined ‘Harry – I’m joining the army’.
The duke said the story “revealed details of private conversations I had with my father about my future, mainly that I didn’t want to go to university and would rather join the army.”
He said there are “surprisingly accurate details in the article”, and said he would have spoken to Mr Dyer about these conversations, which “probably would have been on the phone and in voicemails as I was still at Eton, where I boarded’.
Harry also said he “certainly didn’t speak openly to my friends, or the palace, about this sort of thing” and that it was “just some of the people I trusted the most.”
He also said, “I haven’t spoken to Harry Legge-Bourke about this, so I’m not sure why he’s even mentioned.”
Harry then claimed that articles “like this one, which claimed to have comments from people close to my life, added to the general sense of paranoia I was so used to living with, a sense of not being able to trust anyone.”
He continued, “It’s bad enough at any age, but when you look back on it, 18 years old is so young to be constantly suspicious of everyone around you.
“At various times I questioned the loyalty of Tiggy, Harry Legge-Bourke and even Marko, who I really looked up to.”
Harry claimed that he and his brother Prince William “didn’t even talk to Marko for a long time.”
He added: “It was unsettling to question someone who played such an important role in my adolescence, and I felt like I knew I could trust him, but ‘on the nose’ information that appeared in print , which only he knew, convinced us otherwise. It was so contradictory.
“It is only now that I realize what the defendant’s journalists did and how they got their information that I can see how much of my life has been wasted on this paranoia.
Harry claimed articles about him made him feel constantly suspicious of those close to him – including his friend Mark ‘Marko’ Dyer (pictured at Kensington Palace in June 2016)
Harry also said he was suspicious of his former nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke (pictured during his fainting Sovereign’s Parade at Sandhurst Military Academy on April 12, 2006)
“I’ve always heard people say my mom was paranoid, but she wasn’t. She was afraid of what was really happening to her and now I know I was the same.’
Harry also wrote in the statement that articles allegedly related to unlawful information gathering “caused an enormous amount of paranoia in my relationships.”
He continued: “I would immediately become suspicious of anyone mentioned in a story about me, whether it was Mark Dyer, Tiggy or her brother Harry, for example.
“I felt like I couldn’t trust anyone, which was a terrible feeling for me, especially at such a young age.
“As I expose the extent of MGN’s journalist and senior executives’ unlawful activity toward me, I feel somewhat relieved to know that my paranoia toward my friends and family was, in fact, misplaced, though I’m sad about how much it affected my puberty.’
He also made 118 mentions in his statement about his first serious girlfriend Chelsy Davey.
He blamed the media attention for Miss Davey dumping him, saying, “We also never could understand how private elements of our life together found their way into the tabloids, and so our circle of friends got smaller and smaller. I remember finding it very hard to trust anyone, which led to bouts of depression and paranoia.
‘Now that we know that this information has invariably been obtained illegally, these friendships have of course been lost quite needlessly, which I greatly regret.
Harry has blamed the press for his girlfriend Chelsy Davey (pictured in 2009) dumping him, saying she eventually ‘made the decision that a royal life wasn’t for her’
“Ultimately, these factors led her to make the decision that a royal life was not for her, which was incredibly shocking to me at the time.”
The Duke also said in his written evidence that he felt “physically ill” when he learned that there had been eight payments to private investigators in connection with Diana.
The duke said there were 135 separate payments relating to him, and another 154 to his associates.
He continued, “I am shocked and appalled by the sheer number of payments made by MGN titles to private investigators, who in this process are known to have used voicemail interception and other unlawful information-gathering techniques to investigate private obtain information about their goals. for private information about me and my associates over a 10-year period, from 1999, when I was still a very minor, to 2009.”
The duke added: “I now realize that my acute paranoia about being constantly watched was not misplaced after all.”
“I was upset when I discovered the amount of suspicious call records and the 13 private investigator payments for Chelsy.
“If she hadn’t been in a relationship with me, she would never have had to endure such a horrific experience at the hands of MGN’s journalists.
“In fact, eight private investigator payments have been made regarding my mother, which I only learned about since I filed my claim. It makes me physically ill.’