Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, released a powerful statement heralding his decision to seek legal redress for the British tabloid media’s relentless bullying of his wife Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex. This news sent the British media into conniptions, eliciting a variety of mostly knee-jerk reactions devoid of consideration or reflection. Permit me to address a few issues:
Read the room, the negative reaction is mainly yours. Stop trying to tell us how unprecedented this lawsuit is, knowing full well that other royals including The Queen, The Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales have all sued the British media on privacy grounds and prevailed. Stop projecting your fears on the public, who overwhelmingly support the Prince’s decision. Don’t cry foul now that you’ve pushed him to the brink. He asked you three years ago to stand down but your greed kept you doubling down. You are not taking the news well because of your guilt. Guilt from actively participating in the long-standing harassment of the Duchess of Sussex by parroting fabricated, embellished and malicious stories about her that are usually overtly racist, misogynistic, xenophobic and classist. Guilt from silently observing your colleagues present abuse as journalism. Your failure to call them out, given the opportunity, makes you complicit. And no, your gaslighting does not absolve you of responsibility. When two of your colleagues raised objection to some of the reporting that they saw as racist, you instinctively attacked them like a mob. Take a long hard look in the mirror. Prince Harry is not overreacting. You really went too far.
Stop misinforming the public that Prince Harry went rogue, The Queen and The Prince of Wales were not consulted/ or informed about the legal action. How would you know that? The way you knew that Ms. Ragland was going to be interviewed by Oprah or that Duchess had hired a doula and was having a home birth? The same way you knew that the Queen was having a birthday tea for the Duchess of Sussex at Balmoral or how you knew that Duchess Meghan was going to be getting a dressing down from the Queen during her visit to Balmoral? or was it the way you knew that the Sussexes had a “PR problem” and needed to overhaul their team or the way you knew that, said incompetent team was also behind their Successful Southern African tour? Your narratives are incongruous and your accuracy record is dismal. Give it a rest! If you don’t know for sure, say so and stop fudging the details and facts. That is how you got here. And for those of you who like to blame your sources, your jig is up. Improve your methodology or find more reliable sources.
And all this talk about the lawsuit casting a shadow over the tour? Again, read he room. The work The Sussexes did is solid and enduring. Days after the tour, the organizations and individuals are still reflecting and tweeting about the tour. As one of your colleagues wrote in a piece, the people in South Africa don’t care that the Duke/Duchess took legal action against a tabloid, they care about the substance of tour, which remained their focus even amidst the legal breaking news. Your decision to focus solely on the legal action in lieu of the last few tour engagements, as some sort of justification of your narrative that the action hurt the tour is weak. You can walk and chew gum. The local press did. So did the Sussexes, who carried out every last engagement with aplomb. You focused on the legal news because you thrive on sensationalism. You spent your time writing inflammatory pieces, questioning the mental stability and judgement of the Duke. A man who most of you do not know personally and have never had any meaningful interaction with. You are not qualified in any way to make such judgements and it is highly unprofessional of you to tread those grounds. Showing emotion is not a flaw. It is human. As most of you appear to have sold your souls for clicks, it’s no wonder you cannot relate. What is unstable and irrational is you extrapolating your wishes and packaging them as the people’s wishes or sentiments, and constantly trying to force feed made up narratives to your readers, in the abundance of evidence to the contrary.
While on this subject, Prince Harry does not belong to you. He has agency and the free will to make his own decisions, in the way HE deems expedient. For those of you whining, I am sorry that you have not had the opportunity to experience the unconditional and unequivocal love and support of a partner or spouse, hence your failure to recognize it. The only “US” of note consists of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It appears you missed it, but the choice has already been made, Ms. Woods. Get over yourselves, you have no leverage here. You’re not the story, just report it.
Your obsession with this whole idea that, The Sussexes were getting a lot of positive press and yet filed a legal claim is dumbfounding. In case you haven’t yet come to that realization, let me ease you into it: what you call positive press is neither an act of benevolence nor a gift. It is positive because the tour was successful and that is what was there to report. It is called doing your job! The Sussexes do theirs by showing up and engaging with the organizations and people and you do yours by reporting it. It’s that simple. It is not penance for your past malpractices. There, I hope that helps.
And for those of you fixated on the timing, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the timing. As noted earlier, one can walk and chew gum. The timing might have been inconvenient for you because it put your unethical ways on the world stage. To you, it was inopportune because it forced to publicly confront your deeds after years of pointing fingers at the Sussexes. There was no blanket coverage when the Duke of Sussex won his case against Splash news agency or for the recent IPSO triumph over The SUN. We all know why. The publicity of such events exposes the underhanded dealings of the press. You know what they say about sunlight being the best disinfectant? The level of discomfort you felt from the exposure of your dubious ways pales in comparison to what you have put the couple through in the past three years, especially during the pregnancy and birth of their son. It is not lost on readers that, the few ethical journalists whose hand are clean, are able to just report on this news without casting aspersions or re-writing history.
If the Sussexes had filed the suit after the tour, you would have called them “sneaky”. There is no hiding here, just plain dealing. While you were busy pointing at the Sussexes, the rest of your fingers were pointing at you! It’s time to remove the log in your eye. Since you keep asking why now? but why now? I’ll tell you why: Because it’s the freaking day of reckoning.