Can Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Really Change the Media?

Prince Harry has never been shy about his disdain for the British media. The younger prince has been open about his theory that the media directly led to his mother’s tragic death in a car accident. Now married with a child of his own, the prince wants to ensure disaster doesn’t befall his family once again at the hands of the media, and he’s striking back in a big way. He has filed suit against a British paper for the publication of private correspondence, and in doing so, is hoping to send the message that his family is off-limits.

Prince Harry filed a lawsuit against the press

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are striking back against the British press. In a bold move, the young prince and his bride have announced that they will be suing The Daily Mail for publishing a personal letter Markle had penned to her father.

Prince Harry announces the birth of his first child
Prince Harry | STEVE PARSONS/AFP/Getty Images

According to NBC News, Prince Harry and Markle are accusing the publication of publishing the letter with entire paragraphs removed in an attempt to paint the duchess in a negative light. The couple alleges the famed tabloid were malicious in their intent when publishing the private correspondence.

Princess Diana arrives for a performance two months before her death
Princess Diana | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

In an official statement, the prince said, “There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to – I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been.” He also reminded the public how the press contributed to his mother’s untimely death in a 1997 car crash. Prince Harry is hoping to prevent a similar tragedy by filing a lawsuit.

How did the  British media contribute to Princess Diana’s death?

Princess Diana died in a car accident more than 20 years ago. The world mourned the loss along with her young sons, then only 15 and 12 years old. The media was directly blamed for the princess’s death, as they were allegedly pursuing her car at a high rate of speed when it crashed in Paris.

Princess Diana had a complicated relationship with the media. She used it to become a superstar, and in many ways, it served her well. Eventually, though, the People’s Princess was done with the show and wanted a private life. The media, however, would not allow that to happen. The Washington Post noted that the only thing people love more than a fairytale is a fairytale gone awry. Princess Diana’s divorce from Prince Charles was the very definition of a fairytale gone wrong.

Prince Harry (R) and Meghan Markle, attend a reception for Women's Empowerment at the Royal Aeronautical Society i
Prince Harry (R) and Meghan Markle | CHRIS JACKSON/AFP/Getty Images

Now, years after her death, Prince Harry is neither ready to forgive the press nor forget what happened. In an attempt to protect his family, he’s waging war against the press, but will he really bring about change?

Can the prince really change the way the media interacts with his family?

While Prince Harry and Markle have taken aim at the Daily Mail most recently, it isn’t the only publication that they’ve taken issue with. The pair filed a complaint against The Sun recently, as well. According to Harper’s Bazaar, The Sun was forced to issue an apology after they ran a story about a parking ban near Frogmore Cottage, the home that the prince shares with his bride and their son.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit a boarding house in the town of Asni
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex | Tim Rooke – Pool/Getty Images

The attack on the media might seem counterintuitive. The press has been malicious towards Markle in particular, and one could assume a lawsuit will only enrage them further. The prince doesn’t care if he angers the media, however. He merely wants them to leave his family alone. If a lawsuit makes tabloids think twice about what they are publishing, it will have done what the prince set out to do, and that may enough for Prince Harry and Markle. According to Esquire, the pair are paying for the lawsuit out of private funds and plan to donate any money earned from the suit to anti-bullying charities.