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UPDATE 1-Meghan Markle files legal claim against newspaper over letter publication

By Costas Pitas

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By Costas Pitas

LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Meghan Markle, the wife of Britain's Prince Harry, has started legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday newspaper over the publication of a private letter that her lawyers said was "unlawful".

Schillings, the law firm, described the publication as part of a "campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband.

"...We have issued proceedings to redress this breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and the aforementioned media agenda."

A spokesman for the Mail on Sunday was not immediately available for comment on the claim.

Schillings said the case was being paid for privately by Prince Harry and Megan, who are also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

In a lengthy statement released alongside the announcement of legal action, Prince Harry said his wife had "become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences."

"I've seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces," he added.

Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 after being followed through the streets by photographers. She became one of the most photographed women on Earth after she married into the British royal family.

Prince Harry and Meghan have been touring southern Africa together with their baby son, Archie. (Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Mike Collett-White)