It seems like nothing but bad – and sometimes entirely malicious – press has followed the Duchess of Sussex and former Hollywood actress Meghan Markle’s short tenure in the royal family. From the announcement of her dating Prince Harry all the way through her pregnancy, the Duchess has been the unfair target of UK tabloids from the very beginning.
The last few months has only seen British media buckle down harder on their tirade of attacks. Criticism has followed Meghan Markle for several unconscionable reasons including her guest editing UK Vogue’s September edition, her ‘private’ pregnancy and even her parenting skills.
Prince Harry Releases Emotional Statement
After the onslaught of abuse, Prince Harry took the opportunity to publicly condemn tabloids for their participation in what he referred to as a ‘ruthless campaign’ against his wife. The statement revealed that the Duchess will be pursuing legal action against The Mail on Sunday after the newspaper allegedly published a private letter. Prince Harry accused the newspaper of deliberately omitting paragraphs and sentences to mislead the reader – a claim that the newspaper has denied.
“In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year,” the statement read.
Prince Harry commented that he had been ‘a silent witness to her private suffering for too long’ and asserted that the tabloids had ‘vilified her almost daily for the past nine months.’ He isn’t wrong there either, it seems as though British newspapers have been adamant on painting a false image of the Duchess for reasons that seem to alternate between her increased privacy, her American nationality and possibly her biracial heritage.
The Prince compared the abuse to the same mistreatment of his late mother Princess Diana by press: “I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.” This rings even more true when remembering the ambush of paparazzi that led to her fatal car crash.
The law firm, Schillings, will be representing Meghan Markle and have announced that legal proceedings had been initiated against The Mail on Sunday and its parent company over its misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the UK’s Data Protection Act of 2018.
On the other side of things, The Mail on Sunday has stated that they will be defending its action and will be fighting the case ‘vigorously’. This isn’t the first time the newspaper has been sued by a member of the royal family. In 2006, Prince Charles won a court battle after the tabloid published extracts from his private journal.
Unfortunately, British tabloids have managed to escape justice for far too long, whether its phone hacking scandals, false stories or rampant bigotry. The Daily Mail – The Mail on Sunday’s sister company – has been subject to a wide array of criticism, from homophobia and sexism to racism. Yet, the paper remains one of the highest circulated newspapers in the United Kingdom. A wider conversation on the ethics behind British media is imminent and must be taken seriously lest this constant exploitation in the name of journalism continues.