A law firm acting for some members of the group announced the action on Thursday against Associated Newspapers.
The action claims the individuals “have become aware of compelling and highly distressing evidence” they have been “victims of abhorrent criminal activity” and “gross breaches of privacy by Associated Newspapers”.
The statement released by law firm Hamlims claims breaches of privacy by the publisher, including placing listening devices inside people’s cars and homes as well as commissioning the bugging of live, private telephone calls.
Also in the group is Baroness Doreen Lawrence, David Furnish, Elizabeth Hurley and Sadie Frost, the statement added.
Prince Harry and Sadie Frost are being represented by Hamlins LLP while Sir Elton John and Baroness Doreen Lawrence – the mother of murder victim Stephen Lawrence – are represented by gunnercooke.
The allegations include the commissioning of individuals to “surreptitiously listen into and record people’s live, private telephone calls whilst they were taking place” and the impersonation of individuals to obtain medical information from private hospitals, clinics, and treatment centres by deception.
Additional claims include the accessing of bank accounts, credit histories and financial transactions through illicit means and manipulation.
“These individuals have been the subject of public interest during the course of their careers and personal lives. They are united in their desire to live in a world where the press operates freely, yet responsibly. A press that represents truth, is sourced in fact and can be trusted to operate ethically and in the interests of the British public,” the statement said.
Prince Harry successfully sued Associated Newspapers in the past, with a judge ruling in July that parts of an article in The Mail On Sunday were defamatory.
And in 2021 he accepted an apology and “substantial damages” over false claims he snubbed the Royal Marines after stepping down as a senior royal.
This summer the Duke of Sussex launched a legal challenge against the Home Office over a decision to withdraw his permanent security team amid “tensions” around his exit from the royal family,
His legal counsel argued the decision was unfair because Prince Harry did not know details of how it was made and was not given the opportunity to make representations to the board involved.
A representative previously said that he wants to bring his children to visit from the US, but he and his family are “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous. In February 2020, the Executive Committee for the Protection of Royalty and Public Figures (known as Ravec) announced that the duke, his wife and children would no longer be automatically granted police protection on visits to the UK.
The High Court was told that the duke did not know the committee existed, or that members of the royal household were involved, and believed that its decisions were “independent”.
Meghan Markle also won damages following a three-year legal battle against Associated Newspapers for printing parts of a letter to her father.