Meghan Markle, Prince Harry speak out against ‘inequity and racial bigotry that still persist’ in the press
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are speaking out in support of inclusion in the news media.
On Monday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a statement on their Archewell website in support of a coalition of U.K. journalists calling for “stronger initiatives to combat the underrepresentation, inequity and racial bigotry that still persist in this important industry.”
“Archewell is a proud supporter of journalistic diversity and news media organizations that are committed to reporting the truth, uncovering untold stories and giving voice to the voiceless,” the statement read. “In every corner of the world, members of the media are using their power — and responsibility — to inform the public, teach communities, battle misinformation and inspire change.”
“We also applaud the work of independent media, nonprofit newsrooms and trusted local news collectives,” it continued. “They demonstrate the deep need for this critical profession to thrive and evolve, particularly in terms of racial equity and representation in newsgathering and newsrooms.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are in support of U.K. journalists advocating for change.
“That’s why we support groups like The PressPad Charitable Foundation (which helps young people of diverse backgrounds gain entry into the journalism industry) and URL Media (a multi-platform network focused on community media organizations that directly serve and reflect their audiences).”
This isn’t the first time that the couple has been vocal about the press. In October 2019, Harry released a statement accusing the “ruthless” British tabloids of publishing “lie after lie” almost daily at the expense of his wife.
“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,” said Harry at the time. “Because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day’s coverage is no longer tomorrow’s chip-paper.”
“For these select media this is a game, and one that we have been unwilling to play from the start,” the 36-year-old noted. “I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.”
Prince Harry has publicly defended his wife against the "ruthless" U.K. tabloids.
(Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen VAX LIVE)
In his statement, Harry compared the 39-year-old’s situation to that of his late mother, Princess Diana, who passed away in 1997 at age 36 from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash. At the time of her death, she was being pursued by the paparazzi.
“… My deepest fear is history repeating itself,” he admitted. “I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised 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 former American actress also sued Associated Newspapers for invasion of privacy and copyright infringement over five February 2019 articles in the Mail on Sunday and on the MailOnline website that reproduced large portions of a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle.
High Court judge Mark Warby ruled that the publisher had misused the duchess’s private information and infringed her copyright. He said the duchess “had a reasonable expectation that the contents of the letter would remain private” and concluded the paper’s publication of large chunks of it was “manifestly excessive and hence unlawful.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reside in California with their two children.
Markle became the Duchess of Sussex when she married the British royal in May 2018 at Windsor Castle. The couple welcomed a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in 2019.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the former “Suits” star. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, Calif.
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On June 4, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. The child is eighth in line to the British throne.
The name pays tribute to both Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and his late mother.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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