While the papers and tabloids have run multiple stories now about Prince Harry's alleged relationship with Meghan Markle, the Palace has been silent...until this morning. This morning, Kensington Palace issued a long press release objecting to the treatment Ms. Markle has received since the news broke and in the process, of course, confirming their relationship.
|Meghan Markle Instagram|
Regrettably, it sounds like Meghan and some family members have been subject to a little more than the usual paparazzi attention. In the press release, the Palace refers to some disturbing behavior, including what sounds like attempted home invasions!
But the past week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public - the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments. Some of it has been hidden from the public - the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.
I haven't followed all the reports about Meghan since my last blog post. There were a lot of conflicting details running about and I figured a lot would settle into place with time. I don't know what smear piece ran about her, since the headlines and articles I did read were all very positive about the breath of fresh air she'd bring to the BRF. Certainly, the stories from disgruntled relatives and the like have made the news, which is sad.
Harry was right to press release on this, and to give details about the aggressive methods that are used to try to gain information. Legal action aside, it seems the only hope he has of leveraging public attention to stop any behavior that does not cross legal lines, but certainly should be considered infractions on unspoken societal codes. How much of an impact this PR will have is another matter. I don't think that public interest in Meghan will wane, in fact with this confirmation she becomes even more interesting. Since the public only sees the sanitized results of the actions used to gain the info in stories, I doubt it will have a measurable impact.
I think the press can do its job, gather and report on this story--which is a legitimate news item--without hounding everyone connected with Meghan Markle. I cannot imagine nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of the press or having exes bribed to share personal details to the world. Although Kate had her own microscope to contend with, I don't think these were the particular pressures with which she had to contend. She didn't have the same personal history that Meghan has and I think her living arrangements were (from the sounds of it) a little more secure. Additionally, her family and friends (for the most part) were quite united in their stance on privacy. I hope Harry is able to find a way to a little more sanity in this situation. With today's endless news cycle and the voracious appetite of the internet for more, more, more, the solution to this mess is a veritable Gordian Knot. You can read the full press release from KP here.