The Moment Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘Got Off on the Wrong Foot’ with the Media

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle might have made some missteps in the early days of their relationship that set the tone for their relationship with the media. One royal author believes they “got off on the wrong foot” and that’s done some damage along the way.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle media relationship
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Dan Istitene – Pool/Getty Images

The moment that changed everything

When Prince Harry and Markle first started dating, there was a lot of interest in the American actress and Harry nipped some of the negative commentary before the media could hurt his new love.

The author of Prince Harry: The Inside Story, Duncan Larcombe, believes that the couple may have “got off on the wrong foot,” telling LBC: “A lot of columnists were quite quick to say ‘oh look she’s an actress, she’s American, she’s got a million followers on Instagram, she’s not suitable.’”

He continued, noting: “There was even the use of the word ‘exotic’ in one column, which Harry took massively to heart. Here was a relationship that he was very serious about, and he simply didn’t want the scrutiny of the media to destroy and make it impossible.”

At the time, Prince Harry issued a statement defending Markle and asking the media to be kinder, a move that Larcombe think set the tone. He explained, “I think from that moment on he issued a very, very strongly worded statement to the media to say ‘leave her alone etc etc’, I think that almost got off on the wrong foot.”

Harry’s statement, in part, noted: “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton have handled the media differently

By comparison, Prince William and Kate Middleton have been a bit more welcoming when it comes to media coverage. Larcombe remarked, “Fast forward through when William and Kate got engaged, on the day they got engaged they held a reception for journalists.”

He continued, “Sure they didn’t want to do it but the point was they made the effort to meet the journalists, say ‘this is Kate’, talk to her, meet with her.”

Prince Harry wasn’t always so intent on privacy, as Larcombe shared: “Harry always used to do that when you were on a royal tour with him, but on their engagement day the media were shut out.”

That limited interaction with the media continued, as the author shared: “On their wedding day they were shut out. On the day that Archie was born, they were not only shut out but slightly misled on what had actually happened. Then on the christening, we’re not even allowed to know, the public aren’t allowed to know, who they chose as godparents, for the seventh in line to the throne.”

Has this limited media exposure done any harm?

While the desire for privacy seems understandable given that the couple have a new baby, some experts believe that shutting out the media could be damaging.

Daily Mirror Royal Editor Russell Myers had remarked at the time the couple held a private christening for Archie that their relationship with the media should be a “two-way street.”

Myers told ITV’s Lorraine: “The fact they went and did that and chose not to reveal the names of the godparents, not to have the cameras in to see some comings and goings of who was there. Entirely their prerogative, you might say.”

He continued: “However, it’s a two-way street with the media. My personal opinion is when they are doing their charitable endeavors, when they are on the tours, they welcome us in with open arms.”

He pointed out, however, that they “need to realize there are people out there who really do appreciate them, love the family, and want to see them enjoying celebratory times.”