In a not-so surprising turn of events, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, have decided to stop engaging with specific UK tabloids after months of back and forth between the two entities.

In a statement addressed to the editors of The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express and the Daily Mirror, the royal couple revealed that there would be ‘zero engagement’ with them in the future due to the onslaught of false and invasive reports concerning the two. The four newspapers make up the UK’s biggest tabloids.

“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,” their letter said.

“With that said, please note that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be engaging with your outlet. There will be no corroboration and zero engagement.”

The strained relationship between the royal couple and the tabloid media isn’t anything new. Since the relationship came into public knowledge, the pair have been exposed to a constant stream of negative attention – particularly aimed at Meghan Markle, a biracial American former actress who married the royal in 2018.

Things came to a head late last year when Markle filed a lawsuit against Daily Mail’s sister paper Mail on Sunday after it published a private letter from Markle to her father. This week, the case will be heard at the UK High Court.

Around the same time, Prince Harry released a statement condemning the media’s treatment of Markle, comparing it to the abuse experienced by his late mother Princess Diana. The royal has addressed in the past how the media’s intrusion affected the Princess of Wales and has blamed the press for her death.

Read more: Prince Harry Hits Back at British Tabloids

The royal couple decided earlier this year to step down from their royal duties and become financially independent. They’re splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America, currently residing in Los Angeles.

Tabloid Culture

Controversy has surrounded UK tabloids a number of times, from phone-hacking scandals to sensationalist and false headlines. The UK’s tabloid culture is significantly more aggressive in its approach when compared to other western nations.

The Sun has never fully recovered from its deemed tasteless coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, with its papers still selling poorly in Liverpool.

Similarly, Daily Mail has a reputation for publishing inaccurate stories, so much so that Wikipedia cites it as an unreliable source.

It’s clear that this level of disturbing invasiveness exhibited by the media is a large incentive for the royal couple’s decisions in the last few months. However, with a long history of controversies surrounding coverage of the royals, the relationship between the media and the monarchy is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Photo credit: Newsweek

Aisha Mohamed