“Not in the same league as Diana”: British media responds to Prince Harry’s scathing attack
The British media has responded to Prince Harry’s scathing statement regarding media coverage of his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, which he compared to his mother Princess Diana’s battle with the paparazzi in the months before her death.
On Tuesday, Prince Harry unleashed a stinging tirade against the press, revealing that the couple are pursuing legal action against the Mail on Sunday’s owners for publishing a letter Meghan wrote to her father, Thomas Markle.
Currently wrapping up their Africa tour, the Duke and Duchess have received nothing but positive coverage lately, but Harry said he could not “begin to describe how painful it has been” to see his wife “vilified almost daily” in recent months and they would not stand for the “bullying” they had received.
“Though this action may not be a safe on, it is the right one,” he said. “Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. 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 sheer force of the emotional statement, which is believed to be unsanctioned by palace advisers, sent shockwaves throughout the country and sparked a conversation on whether or not the decision to take on the media was a smart one.
The harshest critique came from Daily Mail columnist Piers Morgan, who is known to take aim at the Sussexes ever since he was “ghosted” by Meghan on an early visit to London.
He described Prince Harry’s statement as “one of the most extraordinary rants I’ve ever read from anyone in the royal family”.
“Why petrol-bomb glowingly positive end-of-tour reports with a furnace of negative fury?” he said. “Not for the first time, I don’t understand what the hell Harry and Meghan are thinking.”
He then touched on Princess Diana’s death, saying: “I understand why Harry dislikes the press after what happened to his mother, truly I do. Her death must have been incredibly hard for him to take as a 12-year-old boy.
“But let’s be very clear – the press didn’t kill Diana, a speeding drunk-driver killed Diana.
“And if she hadn’t recklessly abandoned her usual royal protection officers and drivers, she’d probably still be alive today.”
The ITV morning show host agreed that Princess Diana had been at the forefront of “huge press attention” but claimed she “played the media game just as ruthlessly as we played it with her.”
“She was the biggest star in the world, and would happily and regularly collude with the papers when it suited her – just as Meghan happily and regularly colludes with magazines like People and Vogue when it suits her.”
“But with all due respect to Ms Markle, she’s not in the same league as Diana in terms of fame,” he said.