It came as no surprise that those in the British media fraternity would stick up for their colleagues at The Mail on Sunday and its owners Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), by turning Prince Harry’s statement in defence of his wife around and chose to play the victim. His statement concerns the relentless abuse she has endured throughout their marriage, but more particularly during her pregnancy even when she kept out of the public eye. It occurs to me that they are all suffering from some form of amnesia and have forgotten what their colleagues in the tabloid print and visual media put this couple through.
They claim they cannot understand the timing of the release of the statement especially as the Royal couple have had a very “successful tour” of Southern Africa and this was good PR for them to get “the public back on their side”. This narrative is a tactic the media likes to use to absolve themselves of any culpability when, in fact, it is rather they that need the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to show them favours. Their fair reportage of this trip changed because they were able to see Archie; take photos of the couple on ROYAL DUTY and even interview them. The tabloid press got into a spat with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when the Royal couple stated that they wanted privacy, which is a fundamental human right of EVERY HUMAN BEING, whether you are a member of the Royal Family or not. The media has always peddled the lie to the public that Royals are not entitled to any privacy because the “taxpayers pay for their upkeep, clothes, food, lifestyle, etc”. Therefore, whenever the public and media make demands of them, the Royals, and in particular the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, must oblige.
It would appear this is how other Royals may have played the game. This year a photographer was on the premise of Balmoral, providing photos of royals engaging in daily activities. Giving access to the tabloids in exchange for low profile reporting on Prince Andrew’s use of private jets and his association with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. One seldom hears about the work Prince Andrew does, yet the media, on a daily basis have lambasted Duchess Meghan for guest editing British Vogue, something which other Royals have done in the past, in addition to also appearing on the cover of magazines, something which Duchess Meghan has not done.
In an interview on Good Morning Britain, Duncan Larcombe, stated that the question needed to be asked is should the taxpayers absorb the GBP 2.4 million pounds spent on renovating an old, vacant property, which will always belong to the state, for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to live in.
Over the years, the tabloid media have been left unchecked in how they report and this has led them to becoming so powerful, a law onto themselves. They have re-written their own code of conduct which includes prying into people’s personal lives printing mistruths and lies that go unchecked. Most people do not institute lawsuits as it is time consuming, emotionally draining, very expensive and quite frankly, their very private and personal lives will be open to even more public scrutiny that most people decide it’s really not worth it. However, Prince Harry says, “No more.” They have decided to take a route which may not be a “safe one” but is the right thing to do. Going unchecked for so many years has given the press an open road for them to go wherever they dare to go, unchallenged. Again, Prince Harry says no more and so do we their supporters. (See article on bylinetimes.com – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Standing up to the British Media Protects us all from press abuse: Brian Cathcart 2nd October 2019)
On 1st October 2019, Prince Harry issued a statement saying he and the Duchess have had enough and showed up the media to be hypocritical in their reporting of his wife. His stated that his wife is the same person he married last year but the media have chosen to report negatively about her continuously and relentlessly. It was very hard to find any positive online reporting concerning what the Duchess is doing and she had done many good things for and on behalf of the Royal Family. It is for this reason that the Meghanpedia website, Sussexsquad Podcast and IG Sussex fan accounts were started to rebuff the negative press.
To deal with their surprise at the release of the statement, the media went into overdrive stating this is “unprecedented” for a Royal. Let me therefore remind them of the following “unprecedented” suits against the media by other Royals:
The stories that made the Royal Family sue, 12:01AM GMT 19 Nov 2005
Via The Telegraph:
- Although it is rare, members of the Royal Family have had to take legal action to protect their privacy in the past. Indeed, the law of confidence originated 150 years ago in a case brought by Prince Albert, who won an injunction against a publisher, William Strange, for trying to sell family etchings of the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and their favourite dogs.
- In recent years, both the Queen and the Prince of Wales have won injunctions. In November 2003, the Queen won a permanent injunction against the Daily Mirror, stopping it from publishing more details about reporter Ryan Parry’s work at Buckingham Palace.
- In 1995, the Prince of Wales won a court order banning his former Highgrove housekeeper, Wendy Berry, from publishing her story in England and Scotland. Publishers in the United States defied the injunction, with the book selling 100,000 copies in America. The prince then obtained a further court order giving him Mrs Berry’s royalties, but was unable to claim them because she had fled to the US. In 2000 she returned to Britain, aged 70, but the Prince took no action against her.
- In 1993, Diana, Princess of Wales sought to bring a breach of confidence action against the Sunday Mirror after it published photographs of her exercising in a gym. The case was settled out of court.
- In the same year, the Queen sued The Sun for breach of copyright after it published a leaked copy of her Christmas broadcast. The paper settled and paid £200,000 to charity.
- In 1988, The Sun settled out of court after publishing a stolen photograph of the Royal Family that was to be used on a Christmas card from the Queen.
- The year before, The Sun made a payment to charity and apologised to the Queen after publishing a letter from her and Prince Philip about Prince Edward’s decision to leave the Royal Marines.
- In 1983 the Queen accepted an out-of-court settlement over claims that the actress Koo Stark, then Prince Andrew’s girlfriend, had regularly stayed overnight at Buckingham Palace.
- In 1911, George V sued Edward Myluis for libel over claims he had set aside an earlier marriage to marry Queen Mary. Myluis, an anti-royalist, was jailed for a year.
- In 1990, Viscount Linley became the first royal to appear in court since Edward VII, then heir to the throne, gave evidence in a slander case in the 1890s. Viscount Linley was awarded £30,000 after suing the now defunct newspaper, Today, over a report accusing him of rowdy behaviour in a pub.
In the above list of past examples of the Royal Family taking legal action we included the Queen’s acceptance in 1983 of an out-of-court settlement. We have been asked to point out that the settlement related to a breach of confidence claim over revelations made by a former royal servant including information about Koo Stark. The fact that Ms Stark had regularly stayed overnight at Buckingham Palace was never in dispute, or a matter of complaint.
The Telegraph – The stories that made the Royal Family sue
We the public are constantly told that “Duchess Meghan is no Princess Diana” and that the Duchess has been treated and reported on fairly and should be happy that she has not endured anything as near as what Princess Diana endured. I beg to differ. Princess Diana did not endure the same type of hateful reportage. None of her children were compared to a monkey, she was not accused of breaking every royal protocol, or called “Vulgar” even when she wore a strapless sleeveless dress which almost fell off her body exposing her breasts. Princess Diana was treated like a celebrity and yet Duchess Meghan is accused of being too “Hollywood” for having friends who are celebrities; friends she had before meeting Prince Harry; friends whom she met whilst she was an actress.
Princess Diana was constantly pursued by the paparazzi because during her life, some paparazzi photos fetched up to £2 million. Paparazzi photos are now worth in excess of that and it has been reported that some photos have fetched as much as $15 million. The media’s frustration of not getting photos of Archie for monetary gain has led them to print largely unsubstantiated stories from “sources” within the palace walls. If these “sources” are able to tell the media the number of staff who have allegedly left the employment of the Duke and Duchess, then these same sources should be able to report the names and breed of their dogs, where they spent their honeymoon, and the names of the godparents. Why weren’t these sources able to forewarn the media when the Duchess went into labour even though she was able to leave Frogmore Cottage, give birth and return to Frogmore Cottage? Concerning the reporting of who allegedly left the employment of the Duke and Duchess, no reason is given as to why they left. Besides, if you are Royal or not, should that exempt you from terminating people’s employment if they are unsuitable, and the same goes for the staff if they find the position unsuitable?
In his eulogy at his sister’s funeral, Earl Spencer had this to say:
On 6 September 1997, Charles Spencer, the 9th Earl Spencer and younger brother of Princess Diana, delivered a blistering eulogy on the occasion of the funeral of his sister. His words touched a nerve all across the world as he spoke of how Diana’s “particular brand of magic” needed no royal title to legitimise it. But he also had strong words for the media, particularly the tabloid press, and their treatment of Diana in what no-one could have guessed were her final days. He spoke of how Diana, in the year after her divorce from Prince Charles, had “talked endlessly” of leaving Britain, “mainly because of the treatment that she received at the hands of the newspapers. I don’t think she ever understood why her genuinely good intentions were sneered at by the media, why there appeared to be a permanent quest on their behalf to bring her down. It is baffling”.
The unspoken villain in his eulogy was the paparazzi and their sponsors on Fleet Street, the notoriously hard-nosed, intrusive tabloid newspapers that remain a staple of British life. From the Murdoch-owned Sun and its competitors the Daily Mirror and the Daily Star to their middle-market cousins the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, these newspapers offer readers a daily helping of news and sport steeped in moralism and prurience, reflecting the obsessions of a broad stripe of the country’s middle class. Celebrity news remains the stock in trade, and twenty years after her death, Diana’s “beloved boys” remain rich targets. Yet the manner in which Diana met her end did not change the way the media approached the royals, and vice versa. This is the story of how it happened.
At her funeral in September 1997, her brother Charles Spencer left mourners in no doubt who he blamed, describing his sister as “The most hunted person of the modern age. She would want us today to pledge ourselves to protecting her beloved boys William and Harry from a similar fate,” he said. “We will not allow them to suffer the anguish used regularly to drive you to tearful despair.” (SOURCE: Time)
Prince Harry may have been 12 years old when his mother died but I am sure he remembers every single thing the tabloid media put her through. Like me, he is able to do a search and read what the tabloid press wrote about his mother and also what they put her through. He can see history wanting to repeat itself, but this time he has had enough and he will neither allow them to destroy his marriage to this amazing woman, nor ruin their peace as a result of the media’s relentless harassment and negative reportage.
Rhiannon Mills reported from the South African tour that after a successful tour the fact that the Royals are now gaining respect from the public, they have to spoil it by announcing the lawsuit and the statement by Prince Harry in an untimely way. Who are you to tell the Prince when to issue his statement?
All the Sussex’s tours have been hugely successful but did that stop the media from negative reportage? Duchess Meghan was in the final trimester of pregnancy during the Morocco tour but that did not stop the media and social media trolls from having a field day with negative, cruel and hurtful reports about her. Chris Ship reported how successful that tour was on Royal Rota for ITV. The Duchess travelled by helicopter to the Atlas Mountains for engagements and fulfilled her obligations and duty as was required of her.
The Forbes reported about the Morocco trip stating the following:
“Their successful visit suffered one dark cloud that was remarked repeatedly by the British media: As the royal couple spent their visit promoting female empowerment, among other activities, the mystery of the “missing princess” loomed in the background.”
Prior to the Morocco trip, the Duke and Duchess did their first tour as a married couple of Australia and Oceania and it was there that they announced their pregnancy news. There were huge crowds who wanted to catch a glimpse of them. The Duchess performed her first Royal tour with such grace and poise and she was hugely popular.
This tour was also reported as a huge success with headlines like:
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first major tour of Australia has been a right royal success.
UPDATED 27/10/2018 (SOURCE: SBC NEWS)
The South African tour is not the only successful tour they have had. Therefore, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex DID NOT NEED TO DO ANYTHING TO WIN BACK PUBLIC SUPPORT.
Following the issue of Prince Harrys statement, Royal commentators returned to spewing the same nonsense about how the public was outraged at the amount of money spent on the renovation of Frogmore Cottage, flying in private jets and then being lectured on climate change. They considered this to be hypocritical and therefore the Duke and Duchess of Sussex needs to redeem themselves. According to them, this statement has rather put a damper on the whole tour.
Of course Piers Morgan had to add his two cents worth by labeling the suit “nonsense,” “over the top,” adding that he took exception that Meghan has been bullied by the press. According to him, “She has been rightly praised and criticised depending on the things she says and her behaviour has been hypocritical.” (Source: Access Hollywood on YouTube).
Piers Morgan has spent the past three years ranting about Duchess Meghan. He has courted the father and half sister, trying to “dig some dirt” on the Duchess. This being done out of malice and not circumspective reporting. His relentless ranting feeds his vendetta against someone he met only once (so he says). He also suggests that the Duchess take lessons from the Queen.
What Piers Morgan doesn’t seem to understand is that the Queen has not had to deal with blatant disrespect from the media, her children were not compared to an animal, she has not endured the opinions of online trolls, clairvoyants, body language experts, caricature sketches depicting her as trailer trash (and yes, I do remember the caricature of the Queen in “Spitting Image”). Unlike Princess Diana, who had no one to fight with and for her against the tabloid media, she also did not have to endure online trolls, sometimes hateful arenas such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook like we do today.
The negative press coverage of the Duchess is nothing other than a vendetta to break up their marriage and perhaps ultimately destroy them. Anyone who is delusional enough to not believe this, should read some of the tabloids headlines. Like Prince Harry said, Duchess Meghan is the same person he married last year and nothing has changed. She has carried out her Royal duties with poise and great enthusiasm. Even her hard work is criticised. As a human being, the Duke and Duchess have the fundamental right to demand that their private lives remain private. This is the right of every human being which includes members of the Royal Family.
If the tabloid media still believe they have done nothing wrong, then perhaps they need to examine the number of celebrities and general public, non-Royalists, who have come out in full support of the stance the Prince is taking in defending his family. The media by trying to put a spin on the Duke’s statement as one of “being emotional,” “having had mental issues in the past,” “overreacting,” and that there will be a backlash from the “powerful forces,” better think again. Of course none of us know the outcome of the lawsuit, however, what we do know is that the Duke has had enough of his family being bullied and he is prepared to stand up and defend his family and there are a whole lot of us who will support and defend his right to do so. Being a member of the Royal family does give you privileges and a platform, which they both acknowledge, however, those privileges do not give anybody, entity, corporation or taxpayer the right to constantly abuse them for doing their duties.
If the media thinks that 1)by closing the car door, 2)guest editing a magazine, 3)going to a baby shower organised by friends (whether they are celebrities or not), 4)flying in a private jet, 5)holding her baby bump, 6)going to Wimbledon in a pair of jeans, 7)her hard work in getting the Smart Works collection to be so successful and then attributing it to “flawless Kate,” 8)her security personnel telling an intruder to remove himself from her view because of her safety, 9)a state property where the Duke and Duchess are entitled to live in gets renovated
entitles them to this barrage of abuse – I THINK NOT.
I will remind you of the success the Duchess has had in raising awareness to all her Patronages and other smaller charities of which most you and I would never have heard about.
So, well done Prince Harry for defending your wife and well done Duchess Meghan for issuing your lawsuit. Whilst one cannot tell the media what to print, we hope that by this stance, they will start reporting facts and not made up stories which have incited hatred like I have never seen before.
Last updated on July 23rd, 2020