Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s struggle with the press has not been a silent one. The couple have issued multiple statements about what they describe as “bullying” by the tabloids, and are in the middle of multiple privacy lawsuits, one with the publisher of the Mail on Sunday, and another which claims that drones and helicopters have been used to take pictures of baby Archie.
“There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives,” wrote Harry in an emotional open letter published in October of last year. “Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level. We won’t and can’t believe in a world where there is no accountability for this.”
And now, a forthcoming biography of the Sussexes by reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand offers novel insight into how the royals have dealt with the scrutiny behind the scenes. A new excerpt from Finding Freedom published this weekend in the Times details Meghan’s heartache over paparazzi photos of her mother making headlines.
Not long after Harry and Meghan’s relationship became public in the fall of 2016, a British tabloid published photos of her mother, Doria Ragland, at a laundromat.
“Meghan’s mother, Doria, was under constant siege,” write authors Scobie and Durand. “When a tabloid published a set of unflattering photos showing her on her way to the laundromat, pushing the narrative of a struggling woman in a rough part of LA, Meghan remained silent publicly. But behind the scenes she was in tears. Worried he might lose her, [Harry] frantically tried to protect her.”
Shortly after this incident, Prince Harry released a statement asking the press to back off.”He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done,” reads the memo issued from his communications secretary.
“He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly.”