Queen Elizabeth II is used to being in the public eye. In fact, it’s the only life that she knows. She’s probably grown accustomed to having all of her decisions scrutinized, cameras following her everywhere she goes, and sharing her life with the public. But that doesn’t mean she likes it.
Recently, the British tabloids have taken to focusing on the Queen’s grandson, Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle. And though the monarch surely knew that Markle would face criticism when marrying into the royal family, her heart is going out to her granddaughter-in-law as she deals with all of this scrutiny.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry vs. the British Tabloids
Before Markle married Prince Harry, her friends warned her that the British tabloids would come for her if she went forward with the relationship.
“In all fairness, I had no idea, which probably sounds difficult to understand and hear,” the Duchess of Sussex told Tom Bradby in the new ITV documentary Harry and Meghan: An African Journey. “But when I first met my now-husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy but my British friends said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great but you shouldn’t do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life.'”
Even after the warnings, Markle couldn’t believe that the tabloids would become such a big part of her life.
“And I very naively — I’m American. We don’t have that there — [I said], ‘What are you talking about? That doesn’t make any sense. I’m not in any tabloids,'” she continued. “I didn’t get it. So it’s been, yeah, it’s been complicated.”
Since marrying Harry, Markle has been relentlessly hounded in the media. For Prince Harry, this treatment is all too reminiscent of the tabloid’s treatment of his mother, Princess Diana.
“My mum clearly taught me a certain set of values of which I will always try and uphold despite the role and the job that sometimes that entails, if you know what I mean,” Harry said in the documentary. “But I think, I will always protect my family and now I have a family to protect.”
Unfortunately for Diana, the paparazzi stalking led to her untimely death.
“So everything that she went through and what happened to her is incredibly raw every single day and that’s not me being paranoid that’s just me not wanting a repeat of the past,” Harry said. “And if anybody else knew what I knew, be it a father, be it a husband, be it anyone, you’d probably be doing exactly what I’m doing as well.”
How does the Queen feel about Meghan Markle’s treatment?
Markle recently came out and revealed that she is really struggling under the media pressure. Though the Queen has not publicly given any statements regarding the issue, she certainly is sympathetic towards Markle.
“The Queen has always said, ‘Never wear private grief on a public sleeve.’ She is very much duty first because she’s looking at the institution of monarchy, not the individual players,” royal commenter Victoria Arbiter told Entertainment Tonight. “While I do think she will be sympathetic to what Harry and Megan are going through, I think she would like to offer support from behind the scenes, without airing too much for public appetite.”