What did Prince Harry testify in a London court? 2:32

London (CNN) -- Sources, suspicions and speculation: This was terminology frequently explored over the past day and a half as Prince Harry testified in a London court in his lawsuit against a major British newspaper publisher over claims of historical wiretapping.

The Duke of Sussex returned to the witness stand on Wednesday, for another grueling showdown against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), which he is suing along with three other plaintiffs representing dozens of celebrities.

His appearance focused on 33 articles, covering various events over a period of about 15 years of the Duke's life, published in MGN titles: Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People. Prince Harry alleges that the publisher used illegal methods to produce stories about him and others around him.

The publisher has denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyers argue that the stories selected to be discussed at trial (out of around 140 articles) could have been obtained through legitimate means of information gathering or were already in the public domain. However, MGN previously admitted and apologized for a case of illegal information gathering nearly two decades ago.

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Prince Harry Testifies in Lawsuit Against British Publishing Group 2:02

Sitting once again in the witness dock behind several computer monitors where he could see documents being methodically reviewed, the 38-year-old royal appeared livelier Wednesday than the day before.


Under the bright lights of the simple courtroom, Prince Harry spoke largely quietly, but also seemed more confident in answering questions. At times, he also argued with Andrew Green, the attorney representing MGN. The day before he seemed more measured and took a more deviant approach with short, choppy answers.

At one point during Wednesday's proceedings, as Green questioned Harry about his time in the Armed Forces and discussed the issue of public interest, the duke replied sternly: "Are you suggesting that while I was in the army, everything was available to write?"

Prince Harry's job in court was to present specific examples of compelling evidence to back up his claims that he was the victim of a wiretap. Again, the Duke recalled being deeply affected by the numerous articles when they were first published, but he frequently could not recall specific dates when pressed by his interlocutor.

Instead, he often talked about what would make him suspicious in tabloid coverage, such as attributing quotes to unidentified sources, which would often lead Harry to believe that the information had been obtained through the illegal tapping of his cell phone or those of people close to him.

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Sources can play a key role in actual reporting. Journalists will come to them for context in a press release, a statement, in a real engagement, or to confirm or refute rumors. It is a long-accepted practice in the UK that dates back to a time when Buckingham Palace did not have an official press office. Journalists would use anonymous sources within the institution to find out or clarify what was going on. Prince Harry argued during the trial that some tabloid reporters have used the umbrella term "royal sources" to protect more nefarious practices.

Many observers pored over Prince Harry's behavior in court, but he remained calm throughout, and did not reveal any bombs that could further embarrass his family at large. Although that's not to say there weren't points that were uncomfortable to hear.

In representing MGN, Green forensically reviewed the tabloid press articles in question in excruciating detail. There were times when we learned more about fights with ex-girlfriends and nights out in clubs.

During the course of cross-examination, Green pressed for specific details from Harry about his phone hacking allegations, saying there was "not a single element of call data at any time" between the royals' phone and any Mirror Group journalists. The duke told the court he firmly believed the hacking was on an "industrial scale" in "at least three documents", before adding that it would be an "injustice" if his claim failed.

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The cost of being the first royal to testify in court in more than 130 years seemed to push Prince Harry emotionally toward the end of the process. He appeared to choke when his lawyer asked him how cross-examination had gone. Responding after a long pause, Harry admitted that "it's a lot."

"All my life, the press misled me, covered up the crime and I sat here in court knowing that (the defendants have) the evidence in front of them and that (opposition counsel) Mr. Green suggested that I am speculating... I'm not sure what to say about it," the Duke said.

Harry's cross-examination in his case against MGN is now over. But this is just one of a series of ongoing legal actions the duke is pursuing. For Harry, it's not just about highlighting the intrusive press coverage he's faced throughout his life, but it speaks to his broader mission of years to reform the media.

The court must decide whether to win the case, but after two days in the witness dock, it has once again sparked a conversation about journalistic practices and may ultimately succeed in helping to change long-term approaches.

-- CNN's Jessie Gretener, Lindsay Issac and Christian Edwards contributed to this story.

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