Identities of Meghan Markle's friends will remain secret, judge rules

Kate Middleton Meghan Markle and Prince Philip

Kate Middleton Meghan Markle and Prince Philip | ADRIAN DENNIS AFP via Getty Images

The High Court is due to give its ruling today on a bid by Meghan Markle to keep secret the identities of five friends who gave an anonymous interview to United States magazine.

Mr Rushbrooke said that the publisher had made the interviews with People relevant to the case and had "forced" the duchess to identify the names of the five friends in a court document.

He added that the decision to keep the identity of the friends anonymous was an interim one.

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A judge has ruled that the "for the time being" the duchess will be granted an order that keeps the identity of the five friends private, The Guardian reported. That is confidential information, the protection of which at this stage is necessary in the interests of the administration of justice.

Both the Mail on Sunday and the court system have their names on a confidential schedule, but for the Mail on Sunday to expose them in the public domain for no reason other than clickbait and commercial gain is vicious and poses a threat to their emotional and mental wellbeing.

As part of its defence, the paper argues that it published the letter in February 2019 after five of Meghan's friends gave anonymous interviews to the US magazine People.

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Markle previously said the Mail on Sunday was threatening to publish the names, however the newspaper has denied the claim. She says naming them would pose a threat to their "emotional and mental wellbeing". The couple recently also began court proceedings in July in Los Angeles after drones were allegedly used to take pictures of their baby boy.

The Duchess of Sussex also received public birthday wishes from the Queen, as well as her in-laws, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

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The Royal Family's official page posted a photo of Meghan with Queen Elizabeth along with the message, "Wishing The Duchess of Sussex a very happy birthday!" The birthday message was nearly identical to Kate and William's, reading, "Wishing The Duchess of Sussex a very happy birthday!"

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