Coverage of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Is Drastically Different in the U.S. Versus the U.K.
Since news of their relationship first came to light in July 2017 — all eyes have been on Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry. Since his birth and certainly throughout his wild teen years, Prince Harry has been an object of much fascination.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, for her part had a decent following in the United States and in Canada for her role in the beloved drama series, Suits. However, her romance, engagement and eventual marriage to the prince elevated her to new heights.
Being in the spotlight is one thing — but the fishbowl existence and the constant scrutiny, bullying, offensive language, racism and made up stories about Markle by the British press have proven to be too much. Following their six-week holiday hiatus — the Sussexes have announced their resignation as senior royals. The difference in how the U.K. vs the U.S. is covering this news is drastic.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will no longer be senior members of the British royal family
Though their unhappiness in their royal roles was palpable –both in their emotionally charged ITV documentary, Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, as well as in their decision to sue several U. K. publications– the Sussexes resignation announcement went off like a bombshell.
On Jan. 8 they announced their intent to not just step away from royal life, but to also split their time between North America and the U.K. “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,” they stated. “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. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”
Queen Elizabeth is supporting Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s choice to resign
Though there have been rumors that the queen was furious with the Sussexes, that couldn’t be further from the truth. “Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family, “ the queen said in a statement.
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family. Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”
The U.S. and the U.K. are covering Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s exit very differently
The U.S. newspapers and tabloids seemed much more concerned with Markle’s state of mind, especially considering the racism and bullying that she’s enured.
In contrast, the British papers seem to shove the blame on the decision to exit solely on the duchess. One of the sole outliers has been Afua Hirsch’s incisive essay “Black Britons Know Why Meghan Wants Out”. Even that was published in the New York Times.
Still, a YouGov poll of 1,327 U.K. residents found that 50-percent Britons polled do support the Sussexes. After all, the memory of Princess Diana’s harassment from the press which led to tragic death is still haunting.