Meghan Markle Used to Set up Paparazzi Photos Before She Met Prince Harry

These days, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex doesn’t exactly have the warmest relationship with the media and press. Though the U.S. press has been much more welcoming and fair to the former actor, her experience with the British media undoubtedly put a sour taste in her mouth.

While the British royal family’s relationship with the press and tabloids seems to be reactionary at best, now that they are no longer royal royals, Meghan and Prince Harry have taken a defensive approach. Already, the couple is suing paparazzi for shopping photos of their young son, Archie, planning in their backyard.

Yet, the duchess didn’t always have such a tumultuous relationship with the media, press, and paparazzi. In fact, before her romance with Prince Harry bloomed, Meghan used the paparazzi to her advantage.

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Meghan Markle used to have a very different relationship with the media

In 2010, Meghan was a struggling actress with only a few dollars in her bank account. However, in 2011, when she snagged the starring role as Rachel Zane on USA’s Suits, her fame skyrocketed.

In order to raise her profile and cultivate her image, Meghan used the press to her advantage. The Mail on Sunday’s Showbusiness editor Katie Hind wrote about meeting Markle in 2013. She said,

It soon became clear that Meghan was determined to raise her profile – even if it was with an inconsequential 80-word piece tagged on to the end of my weekly column. She was softly spoken, kind and eager to chat. Pouring me some of the venue’s house prosecco into a plastic champagne flute, I sensed an eagerness to make me her friend. Clearly, networking was something at which she excelled. Either she didn’t realise she was doing it or – more likely in my view – she had it down to a fine art. At the time, she just seemed like a normal woman.

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The British media is terrified of Meghan Markle

That all changed in 2016 when the duchess met Prince Harry. She was happy to discuss her work, but any inklings of her relationship or suddenly off-limits. The British media was immediately offended. “Had contempt hidden behind the hugs on that rooftop bar six years ago?” Hinds wrote, “Did her smiles really mask a snarl of disgust? Or is it that, as the Duchess of Sussex, she no longer needs the gossip column coverage that plain Meghan Markle once craved?”

Since Meghan was so ruthless protective of her personal life, the British media went on the defensive. However, the duchess refused to back down. As a result, Prince Harry believes the British tabloids are terrified of his wife. He said,

From the moment that I found a wife that was strong enough to be able to stand up for what we believe in together, has basically scared them so much that they’ve now come out incredibly angry, they’ve come out fighting, and all they will try and do now is try and destroy our reputation and try and, you know, sink us. But what they don’t understand is the battle we are fighting against them is far more than just us.

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Meghan Markle used to set up paparazzi photos

As the duchess’ status changed, so did her relationship with the press. However, the press doesn’t want to let her live that down.

“While Meghan, before she met Harry, had occasionally set up a paparazzi photo here and there or let info slip out to the press, she did everything in her power to protect the privacy of her relationship with the prince,” royal correspondents Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand write in their book,  Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family.

In fact, when news broke in the fall of 2016 of her relationship with Prince Harry, the duchess’ main concern became her safety and privacy.