Prince Harry’s win against the Mirror Group newspapers over phone hacking has sent shock waves round the tabloid press. He is regarded as a man on a mission with other cases aimed at different media groups still to come. The damages were small compared to what was asked and he was only proved correct in half of the 33 instances his lawyers produced. Lame claims dismissed include some when he was 12 before he even had a mobile phone, and others where the information came from Palace briefings. See
But the legal costs could be huge for the media groups and it could lead to more restrictions. The red tops undoubtedly acted badly and hacking Milly Dowler, a murder victim’s phone was the final straw in 2011 which closed down Murdoch’s News of the World and led to the Leveson Inquiry.
It is a contentious area with concern about SLAPP litigations (strategic legal actions against public participation) which aim to prevent investigations and discussions about matters of public interest. The government defines them as “an abuse of the legal process, where the primary objective is to harass, intimidate and financially and psychologically exhaust one’s opponent via improper means”.
Hacked Off, a campaign group founded on the back of the furore on 5 July 2011, which numbers Hugh Grant amongst their front line members has been accused of being a “secretive pressure group … of wealthy and powerful individuals and celebrities … which has successfully campaigned for state control of the media”.
Finding a balance in the middle of this minefield is not easy.
Hacked Off does look cheered by this win with its Jupiter in Taurus exactly on its Jupiter return. It has a Sun Venus in self-protective Cancer opposition Pluto square Saturn opposition Uranus – so is both revolutionary and controlling. Keen to upset the status quo, break the old mould and be in charge.
IPSO, the press standards body, 8 September 2014, is making plaintive noises about the risks of landing more restrictions on the media. They have a Virgo Sun and Venus opposition Neptune Moon which isn’t too robust; with a maybe downtrodden Saturn Mars in Scorpio which is being rattled up through next year.
The Mirror Group is only one outfit in Harry’s crosshairs and is suffering all the woes anyway of a falling market for newspapers. It is sagging badly in 2025/26.
Piers Morgan who went off on a typical whing-ding at the court result is insisting only one of Harry’s claims were during his tenure as editor and were not the result of hacking and he was not called as a witness despite which the judge deemed him to be in the know and Leveson had previously made a few scathing comments about his ‘unpersuasive’ testimony.
Although his past beef has been with Meghan Markle for treating him as a useful media leg up until she met Harry and then ghosted him, he looks more aggrieved with Harry ahead. Morgan, 30 March 1965, is a pro-active, resilient Sun Venus in Aries with a volcanic Mars, Uranus, Pluto in Virgo opposition Saturn (Moon) in Pisces. His stormy Mars Uranus Pluto falls in Harry’s 8th close to Harry’s Mercury and square Harry’s Uranus Mars in Sagittarius so it is a combustible mix. Their relationship chart is pretty locked together and worsening through 2024, more so in 2025/26.
Prince Harry looks mildly cheered by this result with tr Jupiter trine his Mercury and his Solar Arc square his 9th house (legal maters) Saturn this year. But in general he’s not looking great ahead with several mountains to climb of setbacks etc over the next two years which may not be all media court cases.
The tabloids did this to themselves but there are principles above and beyond amoral gutter journalists and spoilt celebrities who only want PR puffs printed about them. Or in Harry’s case want the freedom to trash others himself but not keen to be on the receiving end.