Harry & Meghan sheds light on the predatory and exploitative nature of the media | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

The first three episodes of the limited Netflix docuseries ‘Harry & Meghan’ just dropped, giving us their never-before-seen perspective on the growth of their relationship, the events leading up to their union, and the cause behind their eventual departure from the royal family. Rumored to somewhat ruin the image of the monarchy, much controversy has surrounded the project prior to its release, centered on public criticism of the Duke and Dutches of Sussex for even daring to put out such material. However, for the first half of the series, so far, much focus has been placed heavily on the media’s role in all of this, and their aggressive behavior which has bordered on harassment and desperation.

“If you don’t try to work out in your own mind some kind of method of existing and surviving this kind of thing, you would go mad I think.” then Prince Charles shares.

Instilled fear

Endless scrutiny, camera flashes, and never-ending stalking by the paparazzi was all Prince Harry knew as soon as he was born. From his daily departure to and from school, to even his seasonal vacations with his family, there was always a crowd following him with a story to tell—he knew this cutthroat industry all too well. But most of all, he knew the cost this life of his took, especially with his mother, the late Princess Diana. Early on in the documentary, he shared that she would be the one to bare the brunt of the harassment, often stepping in to ask the bothersome camera crew to step away for their privacy. At some point being physically chased while she was in her car was routine; a burden she carried up until her untimely passing.

Without the late princess, Harry would soon meet the full force of the all-seeing media that he had been protected from. He would find himself in the middle of various controversies and scandals, with narratives created out of thin air. His relationships also took a hit, women he was associated with had themselves and their families followed and harassed, up to the point where they thought that this was not what they signed for.

He now knew “The pain and suffering of women marrying into this institution” as he would say.

With Markle, he knew he had to take extra precautions, he knew she was the one, and he had to protect what they had. As their friends would note, “You could tell right away that those were the eyes of someone who’d fallen in love.” “She wanted to just get to know him for him, not for who the public thought he was.”

“We knew up until then that we really connected and were really drawn to each other. But what were the practicalities of how this was actually going to work?” Markle shares.

The couple would go on a number of dates incognito, sneaking past the onlookers, and keeping to themselves. It was a fast-forwarded process of getting to know each other according to Markle, because they were just by themselves alone, compared to being out there in public. They were holding onto a fleeting moment, their little haven, their bubble that would soon be broken, opening the floodgates for the rest of the world to join in on their story.

Unprepared for what was to come

The news broke on October 30, 2016. Endless phone calls, mountains of printed newspapers with their faces on them, and making the headlines on every major network, perhaps it wasn’t as bad as they previously thought—it was just publicity after all. 

But soon enough the media would bare its fangs, proving themselves to be every bit as threatening as they had already expected them to be. Markle would be the centerpiece of various stories aiming to smear her name and reputation across the pavement. Waving at the crowd would be viewed as her enjoying the fame and prestige being associated with a prince came with. Stories conjured out of baseless rumors would be made about her, even making Harry, who was still getting to know her, had to ask if these were true; a painful moment he shares.

Showing up to how far they would go to get a scoop that would make the headlines, they would pay certain people to say something about Markle that they could later quote in an article. At one point, a live stream camera was also placed near their house. Despicable I know, but understandably, they could be paid millions for these.

Helpless from the sidelines, Prince Harry sought to alleviate her pain and make this easier for her in any way that he could. However, when asking those within the royal family if they could somehow protect Meghan, they did not want to. But not because of any grudges or ill will they had for her, but rather because it was something they’ve all had to endure—it will pass, we’ve all gone through it, why shouldn’t she? For Harry, however, it was not so simple, there was race involved. As Markle shared, she was surprised how race even became a part of the conversation, all her life, being relatively fair-skinned, she was never treated as if she were a black woman, only when she had arrived in the U.K. 

Time will only tell what else ‘Harry & Meghan will reveal. The second and last part of the docuseries will be released on Netflix on December 15.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.