None of the information supplied by him raised concerns about illegal practices, the company said, adding that it did not request Ms. Markle’s Social Security number — which is more restricted information — and did not use it for any purpose.
In Britain, legal experts said, the tabloids have moved carefully since the 2011 scandal, which forced Mr. Murdoch to shut down another of his tabloids, The News of the World, and torpedoed his takeover of a satellite broadcaster, BSkyB.
“There is, at present, no evidence that has come to light that they continued any illegal activities since 2011,” said Daniel Taylor, an expert in privacy law.
But Mr. Taylor added, speaking of the tabloids, “There would have been enormous interest in Harry and Meghan, and there is no doubt they would have turned over every stone to make sure they got a competitive edge on their rivals.”
Even as The Sun was printing its early articles about the Harry and Meghan romance, the Sunday Express and other competitors were getting scoops of their own, fanning out across America to talk to anyone remotely connected to Ms. Markle. They staked out houses; they bombarded distant relatives with phone calls; they talked to neighbors; they quoted unnamed “friends” and “pals” of the couple.
Typical of the coverage was an article in The Daily Mail that, loaded with racist innuendo, said that the biracial Ms. Markle was “(Almost) Straight Outta Compton,” and described the L.A. neighborhood where her Black mother lived as full of “tatty one-story homes” and riddled with drugs, guns, gangs and violence.
The Mail article, and the various articles in The Sun, appeared in the first week of November, 2016. Days later, Prince Harry’s office issued an extraordinary statement declaring that Ms. Markle had been “subject to a wave of abuse and harassment” and that “nearly every friend, co-worker and loved one in her life” had been pursued, and in some cases offered money for interviews, by members of the British news media.