For anyone who has followed the royal family, there is an eerie familiarity between the relationship Meghan Markle has with the British tabloids, and the one in which her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana shared with the paparazzi. Since the day Markle began dating Prince Harry, she has been hounded by the media: Her face has covered tabloid magazines and her most intimate feelings have been shared in newspapers and distributed online.
The media scrutiny has intensified to the point where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have chosen to take legal action. With lawsuits against three major magazines, the couple is standing up and telling the world, “this is not okay.” The pair recently opened up in a rare interview and shared just how hard the past few years have been.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s lawsuit against British tabloids
Earlier this month, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan announced they would be suing Mail on Sunday for infringement of copyright and misuse of private information. They announced the suit just prior to concluding their tour of Africa.
For the media, this announcement was viewed as a “sour note” to end a rather successful trip. But for the royal couple, the legal action was a necessity.
The suit revolves around the newspaper’s use of Markle’s private letter to her father shortly after her wedding. The letter, which was only intended for her father, included personal details about her disappointment in the deterioration of their relationship.
As we now know, Thomas Markle shared the now infamous letter with The Daily Mail. He defended his actions stating that he had to defend his reputation after Duchess Meghan’s friends discussed it with People Magazine.
Prince Harry believes that the release of the statement was not only a violation of privacy but a malicious attack. In an official statement, the Duke of Sussex wrote that the contents of the letter were published in an “intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader.”
He went on to say: “There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives.”
Meghan Markle emotionally admits she’s not okay
For months, the duke and duchess have been silent amid the endless media scrutiny. For onlookers, it’s been hard to tell just how much media attention has affected them. But recently, the couple opened up about just how hard it all has been.
During their tour of Africa, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan sat down with journalist Tom Bradby to discuss their tour and their life as a family. Almost nothing was off-limits: The couple discussed the lawsuit, Prince Harry’s relationship with the media after his mother’s passing, and even the rumored strain between Prince Harry and Prince William.
But perhaps one of the most revealing moments of the interview was a one-on-one talk between Bradby and the duchess. The discussion revolved around one simple question, “Are you okay?”
The response was raw and a revealing look at how much the duchess has struggled. Markle told Bradby that it has been difficult to deal with everything as she tries to be a new mom and a new wife. She opened up, telling the journalist how she has told her husband how life should be more than just surviving.
In the end, Bradby asked the duchess whether it was a fair assessment to say, no, she’s not okay, that it’s “really been a struggle.” Markle had just one word: yes.
The clip is powerful and royal fans are viewing it as Markle’s cry for help as she emotionally admits she’s been struggling. It has also opened up a discourse about mental health, especially how it does not discriminate between the privileged and the non-privileged.
Prince Harry is struggling as well
Prince Harry has been open about his relationship with the media. In the past, he has made statements about their aggression in the way they treat his wife.
Bradby asked the duke whether he is able to cope with the loss of his mother, or whether it’s a “wound that still festers.” Prince Harry responded that at times, it is a wound that still festers.
He opened up: “Every time I hear a click, every time I see a flash, it takes me straight back.” The feeling, he notes, is not him “being paranoid,” but rather a fear of history repeating itself.