Kensington Palace has taken the unprecedented step of making a statement about Prince Harry’s relationship with his new girlfriend.

Prince Harry braves the pouring rain in Sydney to launch the countdown for the Invictus Games in Sydney © 2017 Carolyn M Cash

Royal Correspondent Camilla Tominey, from the Sunday Express, broke the story, His Majesty’s pleasure: Prince Harry secretly dating US TV star Meghan Markle, on 31 October 2016, that Prince Harry had been secretly dating the US actress, model and human rights campaigner, Meghan Markle.

According to the article, Meghan has visited London several times for discreet dinners with Harry and his friends, watching the tennis at Wimbledon and a visit to Buckingham Palace.

Meghan is currently starring as lawyer Rachel Zane in the legal drama, Suits, and lives in Toronto, Canada.

She married her long-term boyfriend, film producer Trevor Engelson, in Jamaica in 2011, then divorced about two years later.

Critics and Social Media Trolls

However, some are not happy with Prince Harry’s choice, as Meghan is an American whose mother is an African-American and her father has Dutch and Irish ancestry, implying that she would not be ‘suitable’ to marry into the Royal Family.

Meghan Markle suffered ‘racist and sexist’ abuse, especially from nasty social media trolls since the story broke, with reporters harassing Meghan’s friends and relatives, including her half-sister Samantha describing her as a ‘selfish narcissist’ with a ‘soft spot for gingers.’

Some claim Meghan started it with some of her social media posts, dropping hints about their relationship, including one with two bananas.

Many speculated whether the relationship was serious and whether it would last.

Some didn’t regard the relationship as serious, as until this statement was released to defend Prince Harry’s new girlfriend.

The Communications Secretary’s Statement to Prince Harry

However, Prince Harry felt he had to speak out to protect Meghan from harassment and, hopefully, dampen any interest in their relationship.

8 November 2016

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. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments. Some of it has been hidden from the public – the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her 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 the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.

Prince Harry is worried about Ms Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. 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 has 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 this 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 has felt it necessary to speak publicly.

A Statement by the Communications Secretary to Prince Harry

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