Prince Harry: ‘I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces’

Prince Harry's statement about Meghan Markle being bullied is heartbreaking

Since becoming a royal, Meghan Markle has suffered an endless stream of online abuse, from mum shaming and body shaming comments to being the subject of vicious rumours.

On Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex took a stand, taking legal action against the Mail on Sunday after the tabloid had published a private letter that she had written to her father, Thomas Markle.

Following the action, Prince Harry issued a public statement on his concerns for his wife and his fears of history repeating itself, with his mother Princess Diana suffering the same abuse.

‘As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting. We regard it as a cornerstone of democracy and in the current state of the world – on every level – we have never needed responsible media more,’ the statement read. ‘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.

‘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. Because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day’s coverage is no longer tomorrow’s chip-paper.

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Following our tradition of rotating the accounts we follow on a monthly basis, for the month of October we are celebrating “community.” • Over the last week on their official tour to Southern Africa, The Duke and Duchess have had a poignant reminder of the importance of community – the sense of support and togetherness that is felt from feeling like you are a part of something that respects difference but also celebrates shared values for the greater good. Please let us know the favourite organisation in your community – one you enjoy volunteering for, or that makes you proud to be a part of – one that supports you personally in your everyday life, and that defines what you feel community is all about. Based on your suggestions we will then choose our new accounts to follow for October. Thanks so much and thanks for being a part of the Sussex community! Photo ©️ High Commission

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‘Up to now, we have been unable to correct the continual misrepresentations – something that these select media outlets have been aware of and have therefore exploited on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.’

The statement continued: ‘It is for this reason we are taking legal action, a process that has been many months in the making. The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months; they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave. She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you’ve seen on this Africa tour.

‘For these select media this is a game, and one that we have been unwilling to play from the start. I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.

‘This particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media. The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question. In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year.

‘There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives. Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level. We won’t and can’t believe in a world where there is no accountability for this.

Concluding the statement, Prince Harry wrote: ‘Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised 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.

‘We thank you, the public, for your continued support. It is hugely appreciated. Although it may not seem like it, we really need it.’

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