Prince Harry has accepted “substantial damages” and an apology from a picture agency that used a helicopter to take photos of the home he shared with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Buckingham Palace said Thursday.
Harry and Meghan were forced to leave their home after the photos were published in outlets including The Times newspaper, a royal source familiar with the case has told CNN.
Splash News chartered a helicopter in January to take images of the couple’s private home in the Cotswolds region of England, which Buckingham Palace said put the pair’s safety at risk.
“The syndication and publication of the photographs very seriously undermined the safety and security of the Duke and the home to the extent that they are no longer able to live at the property,” the palace said in a statement.
“The helicopter flew over the home at a low altitude allowing Splash to take photographs of and into the living area and dining area of the home and directly into the bedroom,” it added.
“The Duke of Sussex acknowledges and welcomes the formal apology from Splash News and Picture Agency.”
Harry and Meghan’s official residence is Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, near London.
The couple, who welcomed their first baby earlier this month, have asked for privacy from the British press on numerous occasions.
In 2016, Kensington Palace released a rare statement on Harry’s behalf criticizing media coverage of the couple and noting that “his girlfriend Meghan Markle has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment.”
In a statement sent to Britain’s Press Association news agency, Splash said it has “always recognised that this situation represents an error of judgement and we have taken steps to ensure it will not be repeated. We apologise to the Duke and Duchess for the distress we have caused.”