What Prince Harry Gets Wrong In His Comparison of Meghan Markle to Princess Diana

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle followed up their successful tour of Africa with a startling revelation: The couple is suing the Mail on Sunday.

The publication is a UK-based newspaper that featured a letter ostensibly written by the Duchess of Sussex and sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle. In accompaniment to the lawsuit, Prince Harry wrote a heartfelt letter that gave the public some insight as to how he views the media’s relentless attacks on Duchess Meghan and why he takes them very personally.

What did Prince Harry’s letter detail?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit a township to learn about Youth Employment Services in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

While the lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday originated from both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the letter released on October 1st was directly from Prince Harry. In his letter, Prince Harry details how the media attacks have a “human cost” and have increased during the past year, while Markle was pregnant, and even now that their son has arrived.

Prince Harry calls the stories printed about the duchess “knowingly false and malicious” and stated that watching the stories unfold and the effect that they have had on Markle “painful.” Ultimately, Prince Harry’s letter claims that he is no longer able to sit idly by and watch while the world’s media destroys his wife.

Prince Harry goes so far as to comparing media treatment of the Duchess of Sussex to that of his late mother: Princess Diana. He stated that his deepest fear is “history repeating itself,” and went on to detail how he lost his mother, Princess Diana, to the same “powerful forces” that now threaten Markle. He ended his letter by thanking the public for their heartfelt support, saying “we really need it.”

Prince Harry’s comparison isn’t accurate

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Prince Harry’s letter was shocking on several counts. While this isn’t the first time that he has spoken out in defense of Markle — he notoriously defended her against racism in the media in 2016 — but it is the most emotionally-charged.

As everyone knows, Princess Diana died in 1997 as the result of a tragic car crash. Princess Diana was hounded by the paparazzi and some believe that her death was a direct result of her trying to elude the aggressive cameras.

His comparison of Markle to Princess Diana immediately drew fire from royal fans and critics alike. After all, Princess Diana might have been followed by paparazzi but it is well known that Princess Diana was beloved by people all over the world. She was even known as the “People’s Princess” because of how much people loved her and the unique, special relationship that she shared with her fans.

Markle has definitely not reached that elevated level of respect and love by royal watchers, although she does have a faction of fans who support her. From the very beginning of her relationship with Prince Harry, the former Suits actress has been a target for negative press coverage. And while much of it might be an exaggeration or simply rumors, the fact remains that people haven’t gravitated to Markle as they did to Princess Diana.

Meghan Markle has been the subject of heavy criticism

Markle has certainly paid tribute to Princess Diana in several ways since she stepped into the royal spotlight, but she has a long way to go before she becomes as beloved as Princess Diana. Some claim that Markle’s “lack of self-awareness” is only serving to distance herself from those who follow the royal family, and certainly she seems to invite controversy.

From the Wimbledon scandal, where her security told onlookers not to take photographs of the Duchess of Sussex, to her extravagant and decidedly non-royal baby shower, Markle has definitely been making her own rules within the royal family. And she’s been at the receiving end of disproportionate criticism. The problem is, she is reportedly causing a rift between the royals and the public whose support they need. 

It will be interesting to see how this lawsuit ultimately ends up unfolding, and whether or not the public’s perception of Markle changes as it progresses.