Prince Harry lashes out at Royal Family in phone hacking trial, says he was 'conditioned' to accept 'never complain' policy

Prince Harry has hit out at the Royal family in testimony saying they kept silent on him being a victim of phone hacking in case it might "open up a can of worms".

Speaking on the second day of the trial brought against Associated Newspapers in the UK High Court, Harry's witness statement revealed it was only when he began dating Meghan Markle that he "started to become increasingly troubled by the approach of not taking action against the press".

He has flown from the US to appear in a lawsuit taken against the publisher of the Daily Mail paper over years of alleged phone-tapping and privacy breaches.

The Duke of Sussex claimed he was forced to adopt the family policy of "never complain, never explain" when it came to dealing with the media and their accusations.

"Following the death of my mother in 1997 when I was 12 years old and her treatment at the hands of the press, I have always had an uneasy relationship with the press," he said.

"However, as a member of the Institution the policy was to 'never complain, never explain'. There was no alternative; I was conditioned to accept it. For the most part, I accepted the interest in my performing my public functions."

But Harry said he became "increasingly troubled by the approach of not taking action against the press in the wake of vicious persistent attacks on, harassment of and intrusive, sometimes racist articles concerning Meghan" when the pair began seeing each other.

He said in 2018 it became clearer to him he had a potential claim against News Group Newspapers over alleged phone hacking.

"The Institution was without a doubt withholding information from me for a long time about NGN's phone hacking and that has only become clear in recent years as I have pursued my own claim with different legal advice and representation," he said.

"It is not an exaggeration to say that the bubble burst in terms of what I knew in 2020 when I moved out of the United Kingdom.

"I am bringing this claim because I love my country and I remain deeply concerned by the unchecked power, influence and criminality of Associated.

"The evidence I have seen shows that Associated's journalists are criminals with journalistic powers which should concern every single one of us. The British public deserve to know the full extent of this cover up and I feel it is my duty to expose it."

Associated Newspapers has said the case is "unjust" and should be thrown out, while denying the allegation.

The case is expected to last four days.