Today’s proceedings in Prince Harry’s court battle against the Daily Mirror publisher were spiky from the start.

Conscious he had just half a day left to question and ultimately attempt to undermine the Duke of Sussex, the paper’s barrister, Andrew Green KC (King’s Counsel), got straight to business – there was no time for pleasantries.

His first words were: “Prince Harry, we are now on the 22nd article.”

The prince interjected: “Good morning, Mr Green”.

The pair went on to spar for several hours, it was polite but prickly.

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British royalty versus the highest echelons of the British legal system – Andrew Green is a KC, a position to which senior barristers recognised for their excellence are appointed.

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This was the King’s son versus a King’s Counsel, part two.

The duke also said “good morning” to those of us waiting outside court 15 and looked relaxed as he walked in.

If he was jet-lagged from his daughter’s second birthday party followed by a flight from the US West Coast, he hid it well.

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‘I would feel some injustice’

He puffed out his cheeks as he entered the witness box today. Clearly this experience has been draining, but he was quick to smile to familiar faces in the room.

The duke, like everyone else in the room, bowed when the judge, Mr Justice Fancourt, entered. It is courtroom protocol.

Mirror lawyer exasperated

Speaking directly to the judge is not. It resulted in an exasperated Green, representing Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), saying: “Could I ask the questions?”

He would later go on to say: “Can I just repeat what I said to you yesterday. This isn’t about you asking me questions, this is about me asking you questions.”

Green took a more combative approach today, but Harry was also more assertive. In a tense exchange, Green asked the royal: “Can you accept lack of phone data suggests you were not hacked by any MGN journalist?”

The prince shook his head and defiantly replied: “Absolutely not”.

Green was quick to follow up: “If the court finds that you were not hacked by MGN, would you be relieved or disappointed?”

Harry said phone hacking was “on an industrial scale across three of the papers at the time” and that he “would feel an injustice, if it wasn’t accepted”.

Green’s follow-up was: “So you want to have been phone hacked?” Harry’s response was solemn: “Nobody wants to be phone-hacked, my lord.”

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Prince Harry leaves High Court

‘Realm of speculation’

Repeatedly over the past two days, Green has declared: “We are in the realm of speculation.”

Harry was always quick to counter – on one occasion saying: “Well no, I don’t believe my girlfriend would have given the Mirror Group her number”.

He later told the court, when answering questions from his own barrister: “For my whole life, the press misled me, covered up the wrongdoing, and sitting here in court knowing that the defence has the evidence in front of them and for Mr Green to suggest I’m speculating… I’m not sure what to say about that.”

No one enjoys talking about their ex. Prince Harry was grilled on his relationship with his, Chelsy Davy, for many hours.

Details of a visit to a strip club which led to a row between the couple was poured over. Prince Harry said Ms Davy “now has her own family and this process is as distressing for her as it is for me”.

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Special programme: Harry in court

Harry appeared weary

By coming to the witness box, Harry has had to go through each of the 33 articles one by one – you could see on his face that he found it emotionally draining.

He looked weary discussing his past relationships.

He told the court: “It was distressing going through this process and I would say more distressing sitting here having to go through it all again.”

He looked pained when saying another former girlfriend, Caroline Flack, “was no longer with us”.

On multiple occasions, Green asked Harry whose mobile phone was hacked for each of the 33 stories this case focused on.

Harry replied: “I’m not sure as the evidence has been destroyed.”

He went on to say “there was an industrial scale of destruction of evidence” by MGN.

Seven gruelling hours

It’s an allegation that is strongly denied by the publishers. He then described the “abuse, intrusion and hate” directed at himself and his wife, Meghan, more recently.

After seven gruelling hours of cross-examination by Green, Harry’s lawyer David Sherborne asked his client how he felt.

He’d been in the witness box for a day and a half, giving evidence in open court, in front of the world’s media, on his personal life.

Harry paused. “It’s a lot”, he said, with an uncomfortable smile and a flushed face.

His voice cracked when he answered the judge’s follow-up question.

The prince then left the witness box, but not the courtroom. He was eager to listen to the evidence of the next witness – Jane Kerr, former royal editor at the Mirror.

Read more:
Ex-Mirror royal journalist denies ‘closing her eyes’ to alleged unlawful activities
Who is Jane Kerr? Former Mirror royal editor giving evidence
Duke was calm on day one

Harry took a seat next to his solicitors. He puffed out his cheeks, clearly drained, and briefly puts his hands on his face.

It was now his barrister David Sherborne’s turn to question a witness for the Mirror.

Kerr’s byline is on 10 out of the 33 articles being considered by the court.

His cross-examination of Kerr had a spicy start, saying: “You didn’t want to come to court today, did you?”

She replied: “No, I didn’t.” He stated the “court ordered you to come”.

Sherborne said the reporter commissioned private investigators on 900 different occasions while working on the Mirror’s newsdesk. She insisted this was a regular part of her duties on the newspaper.

Sherborne’s questioning of the former royal editor was robust.

At one point, Andrew Green KC stood up to object to his line of questioning and described it as “an ambush”. The judge said it was “not an ambush”.

Ms Kerr will continue giving evidence tomorrow.

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While we have finished hearing from Prince Harry directly, there’s still more than a fortnight of this trial to run.

The judge will then decide, on the balance of probabilities, on an outcome.

As it’s a civil case – that could be financial, known as damages. But for Prince Harry, it’s clear – this wasn’t about money.