Why The British Tabloids Are Responsible For Meghan Markle And Prince Harry’s Retirement
"I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces."
In case you missed it, Prince Harry and the Meghan Markle decided to call it quits on their job as “senior” royals.
The unexpected decision was announced in a statement where the pair explained that they would spend their time between the UK and the US.
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the statement read. “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”
Big announcement from Harry and Meghan this evening pic.twitter.com/roMlmsfbO3
— Victoria Murphy (@byQueenVic) January 8, 2020
The announcement not only came as a shock to the public, but even to the royal family who were a little taken aback by the news. After the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released their statement, Buckingham Palace released theirs.
The short two-sentence response said: “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.” Basically, the rest of the royals are pissed.
Stepping down from royalty is a huge move, and not a decision that would’ve been easy to make. Even Meghan and Harry said that the decision took “many months” to reach, so it’s worth looking into what could have motivated it.
A Clear Case Of History Repeating Itself
Prince Harry said what he said and I’m here to remind you. Period. pic.twitter.com/t1dyZ8Tt3A
— . (@meghanysl) January 9, 2020
Last year, Prince Harry released a statement regarding his wife’s treatment in the British media.
Not too dissimilar to the fateful story of Princess Diana, who was hounded by the press up until her death. Princess Diana, of course, infamously died in a car accident while trying to escape from paparazzi following her. In his letter to the public, Prince Harry claimed that Meghan Markle was too being targeted by the British tabloid press.
The statement explained that they would be taking legal action against the publications which “vilified [Meghan] almost daily for the past nine months.” Harry continued: “They have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave.”
Harry is referring to the smear campaign against his wife run by various British publications. From the first time Meghan, a mixed race actress, and Harry were linked, UK publications described Meghan as “(almost) straight outta Compton“. As Meghan became more involved with the royal family, the media didn’t let up.
I think Meghan Markle is an inspiration to anyone who has ever been bullied. You don’t have to put up with bullshit because it is ‘expected’ or because it is ‘part of the job’ or it ‘comes with the territory’. Live your life in accord with your own terms, not the terms of haters.
— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) January 9, 2020
While doing a charity cookbook run for the victims of Grenfell Tower, The Telegraph somehow linked the Duchess to supporting terrorism.
Later, Daily Mail reported that Meghan’s consumption of avocado was “fuelling human rights abuses, drought and murder”. Express then published an article with a headline claiming that Prince Harry was “miserable” because Meghan Markle was a “difficult person to deal with”.
It was this continued bashing of Meghan that led Harry to the decision to take legal action against the press. Prince Harry explained that this was because his mother was subject to the same treatment. “My deepest fear is history repeating itself. 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,” he wrote. “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
During the Harry and Meghan: An African Journey documentary, the pair continued to voice their concerns over their treatment in the press. Prince Harry again shared his fears in seeing “a repeat of the past” and Meghan basically said that that she wasn’t ok with what was going on around her.
Duchess Meghan also opens up in the documentary about dealing with negative press during her pregnancy:pic.twitter.com/lVCSfw05SZ
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) October 18, 2019
Kate Was Never Treated The Way Meghan Was
So, when Meghan likes avocados, they fuel human rights abuses, drought and murder. But, when Kate likes avocados, they are just a nice snack. pic.twitter.com/TfCX3akf16
— Diane Abbott MP (@HackneyAbbott) January 11, 2020
“Why it’s no surprise ‘sexual’ Meghan Markle and ‘introvert’ Kate Middleton are having a ‘royal rift’,” The Sun reported in 2018.
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex have always been pitted against each other in the press. Beyond the obvious favouritism towards Kate by the British media, the press continue to imply the pair have bad blood between them, calling their relationship “tense”.
Comparing the royals, Page Six choose to describe Kate as “demure and hardly utters a word” but called Meghan “forceful, opinionated, and go-getting.” Using a number of unverified sources, the press painted Meghan as someone headstrong who is “difficult and demanding” thanks to her past in the “tough world of LA showbiz”.
Wedding articles about tearful dress fittings and fights over emerald tiaras worked to paint Meghan as a “difficult” woman — and raised questions about class. This calculated reporting extended to Meghan’s pregnancy where she was criticised for holding her baby bump in photos.
However, comparison of the Daily Mail’s reporting of Kate doing the same thing raises questions over why Meghan received such a negative take. Apparently Kate cradling her bump was “tender” but Meghan’s hands on her belly was an act of “vanity“.
This continued treatment in the press is the exact treatment Prince Harry referenced in his statement about the vilification of his wife, and what likely convinced the pair to quit their life as royals.
And when the press treat Kate & Meghan so differently, you can’t blame him. Good on him for protecting his wife & son ❤️ pic.twitter.com/7hkpuNCavc
— SJ (@rockchick_sj) January 10, 2020
A Decision That’s Been A Long Time Coming
Here’s the thing, Meghan and Harry have been breaking royal ~rules~ from day dot. Meghan Markle, a divorced, black actress is unlike any person who’s been in the royal family before.
Following the wedding, and announcement that they were expecting their first child, Meghan and Harry made the decision to leave Kensington Palace. The pair’s 2019 move to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor begun the physical distancing away from the rest of the royal family. For Christmas the same year, Meghan and Harry decided to spend the holidays in the US away from the royals.
The pair shared that they were unhappy with Meghan’s treatment in the press for months. So much so that Prince Harry had to voice, multiple times, that he was concerned that his mother’s fate would soon be his wife’s. But despite their pleas to the public and press, Meghan continue to be attacked.
Even after their announcement that they would step away from the monarchy altogether, they were criticised for their “selfish” and “atrocious” decision.
It just makes you think that if the media had listened to their wishes, perhaps Britain would still have their Duke and Duchess.
Meghan and Harry said KEEP your MONEY and your RACISM – WE OUT. https://t.co/JymcmVOhwv
— Sylvia Obell (@SylviaObell) January 8, 2020