British publication The Sun published a formal apology today to Prince Harry for a story they wrote in October 2016 in which said the Prince had described iHat investigations and prosecutions as ‘a joke’. The story was published despite vehement denials by a Kensington Palace spokesperson that Harry had made any comments.
The full apology from The Sun website:
We published a front page story on 17th October 2016 headed ‘Harry: Heroes Probes a Joke’ stating that Prince Harry described iHat investigations and prosecutions as ‘a joke’, despite categorical denials as to its truth from a Kensington Palace spokesman before publication.
We now accept that the story was untrue and that we were misinformed by our source.
We apologise to Prince Harry and his staff.
In the initial story, The Sun claimed Prince Harry had ‘blasted the war crime witch-hunt’ against British troops by telling campaigners he ‘wants more support for heroes facing prosecution’.
In response, Harry – who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan – issued an unprecedented statement to deny the claims saying he had not expressed views on the issue as the paper suggested.
The Kensington Palace statement said: ‘Prince Harry was painted positively by the paper in this story, but thinks it’s only fair that people know the facts.
‘He has not expressed views on this topic to anyone, and he does not believe it would have been appropriate for a member of The Royal Family to have done so.
‘Prince Harry does not comment on issues like this because to do so would actually undermine his ability to support veterans both in the UK and overseas.
‘The Sun front page carries a story claiming Prince Harry had told ‘pals’ that he had strong views about a government policy issue around prosecutions of soldiers.
‘Prince Harry is passionate about work to support veterans, and it will be a cause he champions for the rest of his life.
‘He will always have been proud to have worn an Army uniform and knows first-hand the sacrifices servicemen and women make to protect their country.’
Today’s apology will no doubt have provided welcome vindication for Prince Harry and Kensington Palace.