Prince Harry is no stranger to the British press buzzing around his personal life, but today, something in him finally snapped. Kensington Palace released an extraordinary (and unprecedented) statement shaming the tabloids for their unacceptable treatment of the Prince’s American girlfriend Meghan Markle. The Prince notes that Markle has “been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment” and says he feels “deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.” He even called out the British public for the “outright sexism and racism” expressed on social media and article comments.
Markle, who is almost certainly too good for the Prince, has written an essay on her mixed-race heritage for Elle, and the racism she has experienced as a result. Since rumours of her dating Prince Harry surfaced, the British tabloids have pounced, expressing surprise that a “brunette” (subtle!) would be Harry’s type, raking over her past relationships in great detail, scouring her showreel for sex scenes, and accusing her of not being British enough.
The Daily Mail even ran a story headlined “Harry&rsqo;s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton,” which manages to weave together a whole host of different racist stereotypes, lamenting Markle’s mother’s “gang-scarred” neighbourhood of Crenshaw, LA, and its “tatty one-storey homes”, and listing the crime stats for the area as though each and every one were personally committed by Markle in an array of Scooby Doo-esque disguises.
The Palace notes that such pieces have “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.”
Kensington Palace has issued a statement this morning about the harassment currently being experienced by Meghan Markle and her family. pic.twitter.com/EuFZ4fmUIj
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) November 8, 2016
The message is clear – Prince Harry does not tolerate your racist bullshit. Not bad for a guy who was told off for his racist language by politicians in 2009, and was running round Gloucestershire in a Nazi uniform over a decade ago. Here’s to Harry’s newfound racial awareness.