In the last few weeks, it has been difficult to avoid the media coverage that has been given to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The couple recently announced their plans to remove themselves of senior official royal duties, instead choosing to “work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” according to a post on Instagram.
The couple plans to split their time between North America and the United Kingdom while raising their son, Archie. The post included information about their plans to start a new charity and also work on projects with the Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William.
According to an article in Vogue, the media in the UK and the US have treated the decision differently. Some tabloids in the UK have come after Meghan, and the royals’ announcement drew the nickname, “Megxit,” comparing the move to the United Kingdom’s vote to withdraw from the European Union in 2016. Many British tabloids have also focused on the Queen’s response to the move, and deemed it disrespectful of the couple to step back from their roles. On January 9, The Daily Mirror published the headline, “They Didn’t Even Tell the Queen.”
There has been a steady flow of anti-Meghan coverage of the new couple, which prompted Harry to speak out against the ill-treatment of his wife earlier last year. In addition to filing a lawsuit against the Sun and the Daily Mirror, Harry compared the treatment to that of the media’s abuse of his mother, Princess Diana. He published a statement on sussexoffial.uk, writing:
“My deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized 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.”
The public citizens of the U.K. seem to be somewhat less aligned with many of the tabloids’ harsh judgment of the couple. In a YouGov poll conducted on January 9, 50 percent of 1,327 U.K. residents supported Harry and Meghan’s decision.
Americans, on the other hand, have been increasingly interested in Meghan since she wed Prince Harry, which is not surprising as she fills the role of a real-life American princess. However, the American tabloids and critics have also been vocal in their opinions about the couples’ decision. According to Vogue, “other American coverage focused more directly on the couple themselves, speculating about their relationship dynamic and state of mind.”
Family drama and royal intrigue will always be easy fodder for gossip magazines, but it’s important to remember that no matter what title a person holds, they are still a human being. At the end of the day, a husband and wife must make the right decision for their family and place the wellbeing of their spouse above all else.