Meghan & Harry Take Revenge on British Media, Set New Rules
The Daily Beast
January 8, 2020
With Tom Sykes
On the day they quit as senior royals, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also revealed a new strategy to deal with a media they mistrust. But how will it ensure “objective reporting?”
As part of the biggest royal “fuck you” since Edward VIII declared his love for Wallace Simpson and slipped off to a life of genteel irrelevance in Paris, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are now taking revenge on the British media.
On their new website, the couple slammed the established royal correspondents of the U.K. press, and said that they will stop cooperating with a long established rota system for journalists covering the UK royal family.
In a section on their newly live website, sussexroyal.com (which is crashing repeatedly under heavy traffic), Meghan and Harry (in a statement replete with odd capitalizations which we have faithfully reproduced) said: “Britain’s Royal Correspondents are regarded internationally as credible sources of both the work of members of The Royal Family as well as of their private lives. This misconception propels coverage that is often carried by other outlets around the world, amplifying misreporting.”
In another paragraph they said they will be adopting a “revised media approach to ensure diverse and open access to their work,” adding that they will stop working with the Royal Rota system which sees accredited journalists pool access to the royals, saying that instead they will “share information directly to the wider public via their communications channels,” “provide access to credible media outlets focused on objective news reporting” and invite “specialist” media to some engagements.
Harry and Meghan do not say who will decide what counts as “objective news reporting” about them, or what the measure of that judgment would be.
They couple adds: “Their Royal Highnesses recognize that their roles as members of the Royal Family are subject to interest, and they welcome accurate and honest media reporting, as well as being held to account if appropriate. Equally, like every member of society, they also value privacy as individuals and as a family.”
Harry and Meghan do not make it clear who would judge when it would be “appropriate” to hold them to account—although it would arguably be strange, and a violation of the principles of “objective reporting,” if that person or persons were them, or their representatives.
Harry and Meghan’s new guidelines come after the couple launched legal actions against major British media organizations late last year.
In a statement last October, Harry wrote, “There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to—I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been…
“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences—a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son.”
Harry related the treatment of Meghan to what his mother, Princess Diana, had endured.
He wrote that his “deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
In their new statement of intent published Wednesday, Harry and Meghan are seeking to ensure they call the shots in what is reported about them. How realistic—and objectivity-ensuring—a media strategy that is remains to be seen.