"A line has been crossed" - Prince Harry attacks press coverage of his new relationship

A statement released by the UK Royal Family confirmed the Prince and American actress Meghan Markle are a couple

"A line has been crossed" - Prince Harry attacks press coverage of his new relationship

[Joe Giddens PA Wire/PA Images]

Prince Harry of Wales, fifth in line of succession to the British throne, has released a statement condemning the “racial undertones” of the press coverage concerning his new relationship with Meghan Markle, an American actress and humanitarian worker. In the statement, released by Kensington Palace, the 32-year-old royal says that he fears for Markle’s safety following intense media scrutiny of her over the last week.

“A line has been crossed,” the statement says, referring to articles written about the 35-year-old actress who lives in Toronto. “The smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web articles comments.”

The statement is also the first official confirmation that they are in a relationship, though the dominant message is a scathing attack on the British tabloid media by the prince.

“Prince Harry is worried about Ms Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” it reads. “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 had 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. He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving the story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done. He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he felt it necessary to speak publicly.”

The statement also condemns the press media for “substantial bribes offered” to Markle’s former boyfriend in an effort to dig up dirt on the actress, best known for roles in Suits and Fringe.

Kensington Palace also mentioned “nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; [Markle’s]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 calls to police that followed; [...] the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.”

The statement adds: “Since he was young, Prince Harry has been very aware of the warmth that has been extended to him by members of the public. He feels lucky to have so many people supporting him and knows what a fortunate and privileged life he leads. He is also aware that there is significant curiosity about his private life. He has never been comfortable with this, but he has tried to develop a thick skin about the level of media interest that comes with it. He has rarely taken formal action on the very regular publication of fictional stories that are written about him and he has worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the media, focused on his work and the issues he cares about.

“But the past week has seen a line crossed.”

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