Enough is Enough: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Cut Ties With 4 British Tabloids
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have severed ties with UK tabloids, in their latest move against some British publications. In a letter sent on Sunday night to the editors of the Mail, the Sun, the Express, and the Mirror, the couple announced that they will not be engaging with the four British tabloids.
“There will be no corroboration and zero engagement. This is also a policy being instated for their communications team, in order to protect that team from the side of the industry that readers never see,” the letter wrote.
It explained that while “the Duke and Duchess of Sussex believe that a free press is a cornerstone to any democracy”, they found it gravely concerning that “an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print—even when they know it to be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason.”
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have watched people they know—as well as complete strangers—have their lives completely pulled apart for no good reason, other than the fact that salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue.”
Clarifying that “this is not in any way a blanket policy for all media”, the letter wrote that Harry and Meghan are “looking forward to working with journalists and media organisations all over the world” and “doing whatever they can to help further opportunities for more diverse and underrepresented voices”.
“What they won’t do is offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion.”
It’s no secret that Harry and Meghan share a tumultuous relationship with British tabloids, with the seeds sown back in 1997 when Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana died in a car crash while escaping from paparazzi at high speed (an investigation in 1999 revealed that the driver Henri Paul had lost control of the car while intoxicated and under the effects of prescription drugs).
These seeds were sown deeper when he announced his engagement with Meghan Markle and the American actress quickly became a frequent target of the British media. Since becoming Duchess of Sussex, Meghan has had to deal with intense public scrutiny over her personal life, as well as discrimination for being one of the very few women of colour in British royalty. Harry has described this as a “ruthless campaign” against his wife in a personal statement.
This pressure from the media is speculated to be one of the reasons the couple decided to leave their roles as “senior royals”.
(Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Bid Farewell to Royal Life With Instagram Post)
In October last year, Meghan filed a lawsuit against the Mail and its publisher DMG Media (formerly Associated Newspapers) for publishing a private letter sent from the Duchess to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
Just days after, Harry himself took legal action against the publishers of the Sun and the Mirror for alleged phone-hacking via the illegal interception of voicemail messages.
The preliminary hearing for Meghan’s case against the DMG Media will be conducted remotely this Friday, on April 24.