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The Independent Press Standards Organisation has sided with The Mail on Sunday after receiving a complaint from Prince Harry over the publication's coverage of wildlife photos posted to his Instagram account back in April 2019.
About nine months ago, the outlet published an article titled "Drugged and tethered... what Harry didn't tell you about those awe-inspiring wildlife photos." The piece came shortly after the Duke of Sussex posted a series of photos he had taken for Earth Day. The article described the pictures—which included shots of a rhino, an elephant and a lion—as "spectacular photographs of African wildlife," but claimed they "don't quite tell the full story."
The publication reported "all three animals had been stunned by a tranquilizer" and that the elephant had been tethered so the creatures could be relocated as part of conservation projects. However, the outlet argued the royal "notably avoided explaining the circumstances in which the images were taken." It also claimed Harry's Instagram followers were unable to see the rope tied to the elephant's hind legs because the photo was "edited."
"A spokesman for the Duke declined to discuss the photos, though sources denied the rope was deliberately edited out of the elephant picture, claiming instead that 'it was due to Instagram's format,'" the article read.
In his complaint, which was filed back in August 2019, Harry accused The Mail on Sunday of breaching clause one (accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice. Harry argued he didn't mislead the public by not explaining the circumstances in which the photo of the elephant was taken. In addition, he claimed the article was inaccurate as it allegedly suggested that—because Harry had shared the edited picture and not stated the animals had been tranquilized and tethered—he had intended to mislead his followers and give the impression he was a "superior photographer" who had taken the pictures in dangerous situations, the ruling noted.