Here's Why British Tabloids Are Furious with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's shift in royal protocol isn't welcome by all.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are hardly the tradition-abiding royal couple that Prince William and Kate Middleton have long epitomized. This perception was amplified last week when Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would not be unveiling Baby Sussex outside the hospital of his or her birth, as has been protocol for decades (a tradition that marked Harry’s birth as well). Instead, they will clue the public in after they have “had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.”
British tabloids haven’t taken the news well, with The Sun even arguing that this decision ran counter to “our royal rights," according to a New York Times report.
“Keeping the nation in the dark over details, even after the birth, is a bad look for the royal couple,” the newspaper said. “The public has a right to know about the lives of those largely funded by their taxes. You can accept that, or be private citizens. Not both.”
Of course, considering the negativity that has filtered through much of the tabloid reporting about Harry and Meghan in recent months (read: every month since their relationship went public), it’s no wonder that the couple is taking a voluntary step back during one of the most pivotal times in their shared life.
The Sun, in particular, has made a habit of treating the royal family as a commercial mark rather than a living, breathing group of people.
In Tina Brown’s The Diana Chronicles she writes that while Kelvin MacKenzie was the editor between 1981 and 1994, he “saw the Royal Family as a vaudeville show, a gallery of papier-mâché gargoyles that existed purely for daily target practice.”
“The Sun's photographers referred to the Royals as ‘The Germans’ and described taking their pictures as ‘whacking the Germans,’” she continued. “According to the media commentator Roy Greenslade, who was one of MacKenzie's features executives at The Sun in the early eighties, Kelvin would assume a shocked look and say, ‘I'm afraid we've upset the Palace. How can we do it today?’”
As echoed by palace staffers, Harry’s demeanor has changed recently, no doubt due to the media’s treatment of his wife.
“It’s the way Harry is at the moment, he’s just got this bee in his bonnet that all the media are to be ignored,” Arthur Edwards, a longtime photographer for The Sun who used to photograph Princess Diana, told The New York Times. “Harry used to be the best of all of them,” he went on. “We’d get together in a pub and we’d talk about everything, get it off our plate. It would be frank and open, and you never reported it. Now, it’s not even ‘Good morning.’ Nothing. He treats us just like telegraph poles now.”
Being a Prince and all, a total avoidance of media is out of the question, but Harry and Meghan (who’s rumored to personally run the couple’s official Instagram account) have certainly assumed control when it comes to the media’s harsh glare.