Harry and Meghan threaten legal action over paparazzi photos

A letter addressed to the media says photographers are tracking the prince's and Meghan's every move.

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By Rachel Elbaum

LONDON — Prince Harry's plans for a "peaceful life" are getting off to a rocky start as he joined his wife, Meghan, and their son, Archie, in Canada after coming to an agreement with the royal family to step back from his royal role.

A day after Harry landed on Vancouver Island, lawyers acting on the couple's behalf sent a letter warning British news outlets that "action will be taken" if they buy and/or publish any photographs taken by photographers trailing them under circumstances the letter describes as "harassment."

The letter said paparazzi have permanently camped outside the couple's home and have tried to photograph them using long-range lenses.

"There are serious safety concerns about how the paparazzi are driving and the risk to life they pose," the letter read.

Harry's mother, Princess Diana, died in a car accident in 1997 while trying to escape paparazzi in Paris.

Photos of Meghan walking with her two dogs and carrying Archie in a sling were published in outlets such as The Sun newspaper on Tuesday and aired on NBC's "TODAY" show. News websites also carried photos of Harry landing in Canada.

The letter from the law firm Schillings said a photographer took the shots of Meghan on Monday after hiding in the bushes and spying on her. Despite her smile in the photos, the letter stated that she did not agree to have her photo taken.

The prince, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, has struck against media attention since the beginning of his relationship with Meghan Markle. In November 2016, he put out a statement saying that "a line had been crossed" and that she had been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment.

Then, last October, the couple revealed a lawsuit against The Mail on Sunday, a major U.K. tabloid, for misuse of private information, among other claims. At the time, Harry released a scathing statement accusing the tabloid press of a "ruthless campaign" against his wife.

"I've seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized 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 wrote.

The paper and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, are contesting the claims and said there is a "huge and legitimate" public interest in the "personal relationships" of members of the royal family.

Weeks after filing the lawsuit, the couple decided to take a six-week break from their royal duties. On their return to the U.K., they made the bombshell announcement that they planned to step back from their royal roles.