Prince Harry has issued an unprecedented public statement about his new girlfriend Meghan Markle, warning some parts of the media and members of the public that they have crossed a line in their treatment of her.
For weeks, tabloids have hounded the Suits actor, penning lengthy articles about her divorce, her age (she is 35 – and, as such, a few years older than the prince), and her race (she has a black mother and a white father).
Now the Prince, 32, has spoken out against the “wave of abuse and harassment” he has seen Markle subjected to, and called upon the media and members of the public to stop and consider their actions.
It reads: “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.”
The statement continues to detail how worried Prince Harry is for Markle’s safety – and issues a strong response to everyone who insists that this treatment is “the price she has to pay” for dating a member of the Royal Family.
“This is not a game,” it reads. “It is her life and his.”
The statement can be read in full below:
The statement ends with a plea for the tabloids to “pause and reflect before any further damage is done.”
It finishes: “[Harry] 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.”