Meghan Markle has won the latest stage of her legal battle against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday.

The Court of Appeal has rejected Associated Newspapers’ call for a trial over publication of a personal letter to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

The Duchess of Sussex, 39, previously sued Associated Newspapers Ltd (ANL), the publisher of MailOnline and Mail On Sunday for breach of copyright, infringement of her privacy and breaches of the Data Protection Act.

The case relates to articles which showed parts of a letter she had written to her father in August 2018.

Court of Appeal reject calls for a trial in Meghan Markle’s privacy fight

In a ruling on Thursday,  Sir Geoffrey Vos, Dame Victoria Sharp and Lord Justice Bean dismissed the appeal.

Giving a summary of the Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss Associated Newspapers’ appeal, Sir Geoffrey Vos said: “The Court of Appeal upheld the judge’s decision that the duchess had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter.

“Those contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest.

“The articles in the Mail on Sunday interfered with the duchess’ reasonable expectation of privacy and were not a justified or proportionate means of correcting inaccuracies about the letter.”

Reading a summary of their decision, Sir Geoffrey added: “It was hard to see what evidence could have been adduced at trial that would have altered the situation.

“The judge had been in as good a position as any trial judge to look at the article in People magazine, the letter and The Mail On Sunday articles to decide if publication of the contents of the letter was appropriate to rebut the allegations against Mr Markle.

“The judge had correctly decided that, whilst it might have been proportionate to publish a very small part of the letter for that purpose, it was not necessary to publish half the contents of the letter as ANL had done.”

Meghan Markle issues statment after court ruling

In a statement after the ruling, Meghan said: “This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right.

“While this win is precedent setting, what matters most is that we are now collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel and profits from the lies and pain that they create.

“From day one, I have treated this lawsuit as an important measure of right versus wrong. The defendant has treated it as a game with no rules.

“The longer they dragged it out, the more they could twist facts and manipulate the public (even during the appeal itself), making a straightforward case extraordinarily convoluted in order to generate more headlines and sell more newspapers — a model that rewards chaos above truth.

“In the nearly three years since this began, I have been patient in the face of deception, intimidation and calculated attacks.

“Today, the courts ruled in my favour — again — cementing that The Mail on Sunday, owned by Lord Jonathan Rothermere, has broken the law.”