celebrity

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have released a letter to the British tabloids, calling out their 'lies'.

On Sunday night, London time, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wrote to a number of British tabloids, promising never to work with them again.

According to the Financial Times, the letter was sent to the editors of four major tabloids – Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Express and The Sun.

In the letter, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have since moved to Los Angeles, shared that they are implementing a “new media relations policy” as they will no longer “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion.”

The couple also reiterated that they will no longer engage with the four tabloids, as they fundamentally disagree with the “style of reporting” of the four publications.

“It has been said that journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex agree wholeheartedly,” the letter said.

“It is gravely concerning that an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print – even when they know it to be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason,” the letter continued.

“When power is enjoyed without responsibility, the trust we all place in this much-needed industry is degraded.

“There is a real human cost to this way of doing business and it affects every corner of society.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have watched people they know – as well as complete strangers – have their lives completely pulled apart for no good reason, other than the fact that salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue.”

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The new guidelines mean that the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Express and The Sun will be allowed to report on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, however, they will no longer receive updates or photographs from the couple.

According to the Financial Times, the four British tabloids may also be prevented from attending the Duke and Duchess’ media events.

In an interview in October 2019, Meghan Markle admitted that she was struggling behind the scenes. Post continues below.

On the other hand, the couple will continue to engage with other UK broadcasters and publications, including ITV, BBC, The Guardian, and Financial Times, to name a few.

“This policy is not about avoiding criticism. It’s not about shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting. Media have every right to report on and indeed have an opinion on The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, good or bad. But it can’t be based on a lie,” the letter read.

“They also wanted to be very clear: this is not in any way a blanket policy for all media.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to working with journalists and media organisations all over the world, engaging with grassroots media, regional and local media, and young, up-and-coming journalists, to spotlight issues and causes that so desperately need acknowledging. And they look forward to doing whatever they can to help further opportunity for more diverse and underrepresented voices, who are needed now more than ever.

“What they won’t do is offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion.”

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The announcement comes after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ended their official royal duties in March, following their decision to step down as senior members of the British Royal Family.

Amid announcing their decision to step down, the couple also shared their new “working model”, including how they planned to change their relationship with the media by leaving the royal rota system.

The royal rota system is a pool of journalists from British newspapers which was established more than 40 years ago to give UK media access to the Royal Family. Publications that are part of the royal rota include: Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Evening Standard, The Telegraph, The Times, and The Sun.

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud, Mamamia’s podcast with what women are talking about this week. Post continues below.

By leaving the royal rota system, Meghan and Harry shared that they hope to “enhance access and give The Duke and Duchess the ability to share information more freely with members of the public.”

In recent years, both Harry and Meghan have had a difficult relationship with the British tabloids.

In October 2019, just hours before the end of their South Africa tour, Prince Harry announced that Meghan was suing the Mail on Sunday for publishing a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle.

The civil lawsuit, which is against the newspaper and its parent company, accused the publication of copyright infringement and misuse of private information.

“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,” Harry wrote in a statement at the time.

“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.”

According to the BBC, a court date has not yet been scheduled for the case.

Feature Image: Getty.

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