Prince Harry Instagram complaint about Mail on Sunday article rejected by press regulator

The Duke of Sussex attends the UK-Africa Investment Summit at the Intercontinental Hotel London.

A press regulator has rejected Prince Harry's complaint against the Mail on Sunday after he claimed it had misled readers about his Instagram photos.

The Duke of Sussex, who is also set to take the paper to court over its publication of Meghan Markle's letter to her father last year , complained to IPSO that its April 2019 article called "Drugged and tethered... what Harry didn't tell you about those awe-inspiring wildlife photos" was inaccurate.

The piece reported on wildlife pictures uploaded to Harry's Instagram account, which, the newspaper said, "don't quite tell the full story" and "avoided explaining the circumstances in which the images were taken".

It said a picture of an elephant had been edited so that viewers could not see the animal had its hind legs roped.

The paper reported that sources had denied the picture was deliberately edited to crop out the tethering.

Prince Harry complained to IPSO that the article was inaccurate because, by reporting the account had not clearly stated that the elephant had been tethered and other animals in the images had been tranquillised, the paper had suggested the duke was intentionally misleading the public into thinking he was a superior wildlife photographer capable of capturing pictures in dangerous circumstances.

He told IPSO he had uploaded the photos to promote awareness of Earth Day, not to show off his talent as a photographer, and that the caption had made it clear the animals were being relocated in a conservation effort.

Harry said he had not misled the public, adding that the full uncropped image has been publicly available since 2016 and was uploaded to the Royal Family website.

The Instagram post had a link to the organisation which organised the conservation effort, and that organisation had explainers about the tranquillising and tethering process, Prince Harry said.

The photo which appeared cropped on Prince Harry's Instagram account was reported on by the Mail on Sunday. (via royal.uk)

He added that the elephant image was cropped to fit Instagram's settings.

The Mail on Sunday denied the article was inaccurate, and pointed to the duke not taking the opportunity to explain the circumstances behind the photo despite having the opportunity to on Instagram.

IPSO's report, published on Thursday, said: "The publication said that the (Harry's) followers could not be expected to have been aware of the explanation provided by (Harry) three years ago at the time of the publication of the photographs in 2016 or of the content of an entirely separate website; it was not misleading to report that the complainant had not told his 5.6 million Instagram followers about the circumstances in which the photographs had been taken or the 'whole story'."

View this post on Instagram

Today is #earthday - an opportunity to learn about, celebrate and continue to safeguard our planet, our home. The above, Their Royal Highnesses in Rotorua, New Zealand. Of the 170 different species originally planted in the early 1900’s, only a handful of species, including these majestic Redwoods, remain today. Next, we invite you to scroll through a series of 8 photos taken by The Duke of Sussex©️DOS sharing his environmental POV including: Africa’s Unicorn, the rhino. These magnificent animals have survived ice ages and giant crocodiles, amongst other things! They have adapted to earth’s changing climate continually for over 30 million years. Yet here we are in 2019 where their biggest threat is us. A critical ecosystem, Botswana’s Okavango Delta sustains millions of people and an abundance of wildlife. Huge bush fires, predominantly started by humans, are altering the entire river system; the ash kills the fish as the flood comes in and the trees that don’t burn become next year’s kindling. Desert lions are critically endangered due partly to human wildlife conflict, habitat encroachment and climate change. 96% of mammals on our 🌍 are either livestock or humans, meaning only 4% remaining are wild animals. Orca and Humpback whale populations are recovering in Norway thanks to the protection of their fisheries. Proof that fishing sustainably can benefit us all. Roughly 3/4 of Guyana is forested, its forests are highly diverse with 1,263 known species of wildlife and 6,409 species of plants. Many countries continue to try and deforest there for the global demand for timber. We all now know the damage plastics are causing to our oceans. Micro plastics are also ending up in our food source, creating not just environmental problems for our planet but medical problems for ourselves too. When a fenced area passes its carrying capacity for elephants, they start to encroach into farmland causing havoc for communities. Here @AfricanParksNetwork relocated 500 Elephants to another park within Malawi to reduce the pressure on human wildlife conflict and create more dispersed tourism. Every one of us can make a difference, not just today but every day. #earthday

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

The Mail on Sunday also disputed the claim the image had to be cropped and added that it had included the duke's explanation for the cropping.

IPSO found that there was no inaccuracy and did not uphold the duke's complaint.

IPSO's findings state: "In these circumstances, (IPSO) did not consider that it was significantly misleading to report that the photographs posted on the complainant's Instagram account did not quite tell the full story and that the complainant had not explained the circumstances in which the photographs had been taken."

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The Duke of Sussex with children playing rugby in the Buckingham Palace gardens, London, as he hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will take place from October 23rd through to November 27th, 2021 in 17 cities across England. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex gestures during the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 at Buckingham Palace in London on January 16, 2019. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JEREMY SELWYN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex gestures as he chats to school children prior to the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 at Buckingham Palace in London on January 16, 2019. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JEREMY SELWYN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will take place from October 23rd through to November 27th, 2021 in 17 cities across England. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex in the Buckingham Palace gardens, London, as he hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex with children playing rugby in the Buckingham Palace gardens, London, as he hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives to watch children play rugby league prior to the draw for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 at Buckingham Palace in London on January 16, 2019. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League hosts the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will take place from October 23rd through to November 27th, 2021 in 17 cities across England. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League poses with children from a local school after watching them play rugby league in the Buckingham Palace gardens before the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League talks to children from a local school after watching them play rugby league in the Buckingham Palace gardens before the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Kids play rugby ahead of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the Patron of the Rugby Football League visit to host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on January 16, 2020 in London, England. The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will take place from October 23rd through to November 27th, 2021 in 17 cities across England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
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