Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked the public when they announced on January 8 that they were leaving their position as senior members of the royal family. One of the most notable changes they’re making is to deny a group of British press outlets first access to their personal press releases after years of press coverage and editing decisions that they feel have been unfair, filled with favouritism, and aimed to turn public opinion against Meghan in particular.
Since the announcement, journalists unearthed some of the British media’s most snide and judgmental headlines about Meghan and put them next to what the same outlets—sometimes even the same authors—thought of similar situations when fellow Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton was involved.
Despite her absence, Meghan Markel is still the most talked-about royal in the UK. She seems to be the main character in everyone’s conversation, with over 74,000 articles published about her worldwide.
According to a Guardian analysis, 43% of the ‘ 843 articles in 14 print news papers’ published about Meghan between May 2018- Jan 2020 were negative and with her recent interview on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’, there is still more to be said about the Duchess of Sussex.
Rumours, gossip, hate, bullying, racism; she has faced it all. The onslaught on her character, her family and her blackness has made headline news on major British publications and, let’s not forget, social media.
Since her rise to Royal status, Meghan has been exposed to extreme bullying by the Press, who have taken liberties with their freedom to report on public figures.
And as one person once asked: “Freedom for what?” Freedom of the Press is meant to hold those in authority accountable. It is a platform for a diversity of voices to be heard. However, how does this freedom relate to the onslaught against Megan Markle?
What is this freedom for?
Is it the freedom to bully? Freedom to leak private letters to the public – irrespective of recent claims? Is it the freedom to compare a woman’s child to an animal – to a monkey? Is it the freedom to run her out of the country? Is freedom to blame her for the decision to step back from Royal duties?
The British Press is well known for its aggressive nature and its lengths to get a story – we only have to think about Princess Diana.
So it is no surprise that Meghan would find herself in the middle of all this unwanted attention when she married Prince Harry. It is the bullying by the Press that caused the Sussexes to step back from their duties.
However, this revelation has only added more fuel to the hate and aggression aimed towards Meghan.
The relationship between Meghan and the Press is toxic at worst… It is a toxic period.
And with the way things are currently, It won’t get any better.
This article was amended on 03 December 2021. An earlier version had the incorrect figures for the articles about Meghan.