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(London) Prince Harry’s lawyers asked a judge on Friday to rule that a tabloid defamed him with a story about his quest for police protection when he and his family traveled to the UK.

Harry is suing the Mail on Sunday publisher over an article alleging he tried to cover up his separate legal challenge over the UK government’s refusal to let him pay for police security.

At a hearing in the High Court in London, Harry’s lead solicitor asked Judge Matthew Nickin to either strike out the publisher’s defense or give summary judgment, which would be a decision in favor of the prince without go through the trial.

Attorney Justin Rushbrooke said the facts did not support the publisher’s “pleading defense on the merits” that the article expressed an “honest opinion”.

Harry was not in court for the hearing. The prince, also known as the Duke of Sussex, and his wife, Meghan, lost their state-funded British police protection when they retired from the royal family and moved to North America in 2020.

Harry’s lawyers said the prince was reluctant to bring the couple’s children – Prince Archie, who is almost 4, and Princess Lilibet, who is almost 2 – to his homeland due to security concerns.

The 38-year-old prince would like to personally pay for police security when he comes to the UK, but the government has said that is not possible. Last year, a judge cleared Harry to sue the government. This case has not yet been tried.

Harry sued the Associated Newspapers over a February 2022 Mail on Sunday article. The article says the prince tried to keep his dispute with the government over police protection secret. The tabloid also accuses the prince of wanting to put a different spin on the story when it finally came out in the media.

Harry claims the newspaper libeled when it suggested the prince lied in his first public statements about the lawsuit against the government.

In July, Judge Nicklin ruled the article was defamatory, allowing the case to continue. The judge has yet to consider issues such as the accuracy of the story or the public interest.

Harry, the youngest son of King Charles III, and former actress Meghan Markle married at Windsor Castle in 2018 but stepped down from the Royal Family in 2020, citing unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes in the UK media.

Harry’s anger at the British press is on display in his autobiography, Spare, published in January. He blames an overly aggressive press for the 1997 death of his mother, Princess Diana, and accuses the media of stalking Meghan in the same way.