Prince Harry watched his mother fall apart under media scrutiny and now he’s watching his wife fall prey to the same forces. Understandably, he’s had enough and is taking a stand. But his attack on the media shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Harry gave them plenty of warnings before taking legal action, which was mostly ignored. In the future, we may see a huge change around media coverage for the royals, and it doesn’t look good for traditional media outlets.
Prince Harry warned the media
When Harry began dating Meghan Markle in 2016, the media quickly jumped on the new couple with headlines like, Harry’s Girl is (Almost) Straight Outta Compton. The damaging reports and what was perceived as “sexism and racism” were soon called out by the prince.
In an unprecedented move, Kensington Palace issued a statement warning the press to back off. It began by stating that Harry was aware of his privilege and the interest that surrounds him. “He feels lucky to have so many people supporting him and knows what a fortunate and privileged life he leads.”
However, it continued by stating that the media had been unfair in their coverage about Markle. It accused them of writing “defamatory stories,” and harassing Markle’s family and friends. “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” the statement read.
Once the statement was released, it created a conversation in the media but seemed to change little about their coverage.
Prince Harry is going after the media
Little has changed since Harry warned the media back in 2016, so now he’s taking legal action to protect his wife. At the beginning of October, Harry issued a statement announcing his claim against Associated Newspapers for releasing a private letter, which he claims is an infringement of copyright and a breach of the Data Protection Act of 2018.
In his passionate statement, Harry reminded the public of the damage his mother suffered from the media’s abuse and stated that he can no longer be just a silent witness to the suffering of those he loves. “There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behavior because it destroys people and destroys lives,” he wrote.
Later, it was announced that Harry is also suing the owners of The Sun and The Daily Mirror for illegally accessing voicemail messages. This is most likely related to the phone-hacking scandal that became public in 2011.
Prince Harry plans to change how information is released to the public
With all the drama and chaos caused by the media for Harry and his family, it’s understandable that they’ve become disgruntled towards the entire organization. However, they still understand how important it is to stay connected to the British people.
Luckily, media is changing and there’s now another way for the royals to control their image — social media.
Just as Donald Trump prefers to speak directly to the public through Twitter, rumor has it that the royal family is looking toward social media as the future of public relations. This would allow them to have much more control over their image, and cut out the unnecessary middle man.
A source for Vanity Fair claimed that even before everything began with Markle, Harry had plans to phase out the royal reporters and photographers by taking control of his image through social media.
Harry has clearly been working toward those plans since most updates that we’re hearing from the palace are now done through their Instagram account.
For example, the Sussexes relied heavily on Instagram during their time in Africa to keep the public up to date on their travels. And when their son Archie was born, the announcement was also made through Instagram. With over 9.7 million follows on the official Sussex Instagram account, why would they bother contacting the dinosaur media with a big announcement?
Old media may be in trouble. The royals are able to speak directly to the public with social media, and now after Harry’s legal actions, we’ll likely see a big change in how news is handled in the future. Eventually, it may not include traditional outlets at all.