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Prince Harry Goes Public over Meghan Markle ‘Press Attacks’

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 20:  Actress Meghan Markle attends ELLE's 6th Annual Women In Television Dinner at Sunset Tower Hotel on January 20, 2016 in West Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 08:  Actress Meghan Markle attends the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014 at Lincoln Center on February 8, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz) *** Local Caption *** Meghan Markle

Actress Meghan Markle attends the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014 at Lincoln Center on February 8, 2014 in New York City | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Prince Harry, 30, has issued an unprecedented statement confirming the identity of her new girlfriend, U.S. actress Meghan Markle and condemning her treatment following intense media coverage of their fledgling romance. He said the past week had “seen a line crossed”. Saturated coverage of his burgeoning romance had indeed filled the tabloid press, online news websites and social media.

In the press release issued by his communications secretary Jason Knauf, Kensington Palace acknowledged the prince’s well-documented tensions with the press stating: “He has rarely taken formal action on the very regular publication of fictional stories that are written about him and he has worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the media, focused on his work and the issues he cares about.”

He has had a history of unflattering tabloid coverage when he dressed as a Nazi captain at a fancy dress party and in 2012 when he was photographed naked during a debauched party in Las Vegas. There has also been various skirmishes outside popular night spots with paparazzi in the intervening years. However, the uneasy relationship with the media following the death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales in a Paris underpass after a paparazzi high speed chase seemed to have settled down.

His various humanitarian projects – the Invictus Games and Sentebale a charity for orphan children in Lesotho – have generated favourable column inches in the British media. Even his break-up with longstanding girlfriends – Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas – did not seem to have attract ed adverse coverage and the usual vitriolic comments about his private life.

Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.KENSINGTON PALACE STATEMENT

But his new girlfriend Markle, 35, who plays Rachel Zane in television drama Suits seemed to have spark a media free-for-all which has riled the Prince who expressed his helplessness at shielding her from the media storm. The statement continued: “His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.

Prince Harry hosting Michelle Obama to tea when she visited Kensington Palace

“Some of it has been hidden from the public – the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.

“Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his. He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done. He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have reached a ‘truce’ with the media when it comes to the coverage of their private life and that of their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte. They regularly release photographs of their children as they mark various milestones, but Prince Harry, considered one of the world’s most eligible bachelors has remained ‘fair game’. Media commentators, however, do not hold much hope the coverage will ease, especially considering the showbiz pedigree of his new flame and the multi-faceted media platforms that now exist in this era far from the reach of media regulators.

The full Kensington Palace statement

Since he was young, Prince Harry has been very aware of the warmth that has been extended to him by members of the public. He feels lucky to have so many people supporting him and knows what a fortunate and privileged life he leads.

He is also aware that there is significant curiosity about his private life. He has never been comfortable with this, but he has tried to develop a thick skin about the level of media interest that comes with it. He has rarely taken formal action on the very regular publication of fictional stories that are written about him and he has worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the media, focused on his work and the issues he cares about.

But the past week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments. Some of it has been hidden from the public – the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.

Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his. He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done. He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly.

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