So that’s them gone, then. It’s not hard to see why – the media drove them out, more than any other single factor, and their role just wasn’t worth the sacrifices.
No one does understatement and euphemism like the Queen. In the Buckingham Palace statement, her meaning is clear: “I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.”
“Intense scrutiny” means “the press made their lives hell” and “independent life” means they don’t wish to put up with it any longer. It bears repeating that the intense media interest in Diana contributed to her death in 1997 – when Harry was 12 years old. Prince Harry certainly holds the press responsible, and is plainly determined to make sure that his wife and son would not continue to be subject to that same sort of treatment. Anything else – their roles in the pecking order and all the rest of it – is secondary.
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When the Sussexes decided to sue the newspapers recently, the defence the Mail on Sunday put up for its coverage of their lives was instructive. Meghan “is a major public figure, whose fitness to perform royal duties on behalf of the Crown and to be the recipient of public money is a proper matter for public scrutiny, and whose conduct, past and present, both in public and private, including her conduct in her relationships with her family and other people, is rightly of enormous public interest”. Further, she and Harry “rely on publicity about themselves and their lives to maintain the privileged positions they hold”. Fair game, in other words.
The threat followed that they’d call Meghan’s father into court and tear chunks out of her. Anyone in any doubt about the media campaign of hate being waged against Meghan need only to reflect on those words and actions.