Prince Harry has landed himself in hot water as he was dealt a hefty legal bill and ordered to find key evidence he’s been accused of “deliberately destroying”, in his latest row with Britain’s biggest tabloids. 

Prince Harry has been warned against writing a second tell-all memoir as it could damage any hope of a future reconciliation with him and his family.

It comes as there is still some sensitivity around whether or not the Duke of Sussex would make public any further information about the Royal Family.

The Daily Mirror’s Royal Editor Russell Myers said whilst he might not have the appetite to do a new book straight away, who knows what will happen in the future.

“I think definitely the music from the family and from his own kin has been very much if you want a relationship with the rest of the family, you’ve got to take the sting out of the tail, and you’ve got to stop criticising them,” Mr Myers said.

“So I think that would probably be the best advice for Harry moving forward.”

The Duke of Sussex, 39, was on Thursday whacked with a hefty legal bill of £60,000 and ordered by a judge to carry out wider searches for the emails, text messages and other material in the case where he seeks to sue News Group Newspapers (NGN).

The lawsuit, also brought on by 40 other people, accuses NGN journalists and private investigators working for the UK’s The Sun and the now-obsolete News of the World of alleged phone hacking and other illegal activity from the mid-1990s through mid-2010s.

Prince Harry has been accused of “deliberately destroying” communications with the ghostwriter of his shock memoir Spare. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Ahead of the trial for these claims, slated for January, NGN’s lawyers sought an order to force Harry, his lawyers or the royal household to disclose any possessed relevant information which would indicate how he knew about the alleged unlawful behaviour before 2013.

Judge Timothy Fancourt in Thursday’s preliminary case hearing said it was troubling all communications between the ex-working royal and his ghostwriter J.R. Moehringer over messaging app Signal, along with drafts of bestselling memoir Spare, were destroyed.

“I have real concerns that the issue of disclosure related to the ‘knowledge issue’ has not been dealt with adequately by the claimants’ solicitors (lawyers),” Fancourt said.

“The position is not transparently clear about what happened.”   

He referred to Moehringer saying he and Harry had been “texting round the clock” and said it was likely the pair would have chatted about issues related to alleged unlawful behaviour by the newspapers.

The judge also deemed it inappropriate most of the seeking and selection of relevant documents appeared to have been carried out by the Duke himself, up until very recently.

Prince Harry may be forced to settle a lawsuit against The Sun because of “impossible” legal costs.

The Duke of Sussex may face pressure to resolve his High Court claim against The Sun’s publisher due to “impossible” legal costs, according to his barrister.

This comes after British actor Hugh Grant agreed to a deal and settled his case against the publisher due to the hefty legal bill he could be left with if he rejected their offer.

Royal commentator Kara Kennedy says it looks like Prince Harry will be the next one to “back down”.

“This is bad for Harry,” Ms Kennedy told Sky News Digital Presenter Gabriella Power.

NGN’s attorney Anthony Hudson earlier told the High Court Harry had created an “obstacle course” to disclosing relevant documents and emails in litigation.

Hudson said the surfacing of information had been highly unsatisfactory, adding “we’ve had to drag those out of the claimant kicking and screaming”.

But Harry’s lawyer David Sherborne responded by accusing Hudson of carrying out a fishing expedition and trying to “get a headline” with his language use.

“NGN’s tactical and sluggish approach to disclosure wholly undermines the deliberately sensational assertion that the claimant (Harry) has not properly carried out the disclosure exercise,” Sherborne said in court papers.

“This is untrue. In fact, the claimant has already made clear that he has conducted extensive searches, going above and beyond his obligations.”

He also said the notion Harry was deliberately withholding or destroying information was the “height of hypocrisy” as he claimed NGN intentionally deleted millions of emails to hide incriminating evidence.

The Sun, using time limitation defence in the trial, is the seeking the communications to show Harry was aware of allegations newspapers used illegal methods of unearthing information before 2013 — six years before he sued in 2019.

The hearing is the latest in Harry’s legal battle against British tabloids. Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images

Older communications and even those up to the 2023 publication of his memoir could provide evidence he was aware of the unlawful information gathering years earlier – effectively throwing out the case on the grounds it was filed too late.

The hearing is the latest in Harry’s legal battle against the tabloids over allegations they unlawfully hacked his phone and hired private investigators to intercept voicemails, tap phones and bug cars to dig up dirt on the Duke.

The lawsuit erupted from a 2011 phone hacking scandal at News of the World, which led to the publication closing its doors.

NGN issued an apology to victims of News of the World’s voicemail interception.

It has settled 1,300 claims for its newspapers, but The Sun has never accepted liability.

The trial will begin in January.