When the world watched Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wed, it seemed like the perfect fairy tale. A handsome prince fell in love with a beautiful American actor. Somehow the story made royalty seem more attainable and relatable. Unfortunately, like fairy tales often do, the royal couple’s love story had a huge twist.
After intense media scrutiny, and internal strife, the couple decided to step back from their royal obligations. On top of this historic decision, the couple didn’t take their media attacks sitting down. Harry and Meghan Markle have pursued multiple lawsuits. Yet, they still clearly want the media’s attention.
Markle and Prince Harry met in a rather traditional way when a mutual friend set them up on a blind date in Toronto. Markle was in town working on the drama, Suits, and the prince was hosting the Invictus Games. Unlike most blind dates, theirs was a success. The romance was a whirlwind with the couple marrying two years later in a lavish royal wedding. Everything seemed picture-perfect but behind the scenes, the media was taking a toll on the young couple.
Media attacks and lawsuits
From the time the public became aware of Prince Harry and Markle’s relationship, scrutiny was relentless. Just months after dating, an official Royal statement was released regarding the racist and sexist attacks Markle was enduring. Prince Harry also expressed concern for her and her family’s safety as paparazzi and fans overwhelmed every aspect of their lives, even attempting home invasions. Lawsuits ensued. Unfortunately, these actions did not stop the problems.
Their wedding day was a field day for negative press. Tabloids published stories claiming the queen disapproved of the wedding dress. Stories circulated comparing Markle to her sister-in-law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Markle’s family problems were exploited. It seemed like there was no end in sight for the torment of the young Duchess. Harry took the matter especially seriously, perhaps due to watching the way the media tortured his mother, Princess Diana. After the royal couple had a child, they made a shocking decision. Prince Harry and Markle announced they were taking a step back from the royal family and moving to the United States. This move is commonly known as “Megxit.”
Media attention on their terms
Prince Harry and Markle moved to California, with their son, to live a more private life. They were clear that they would still honor Queen Elizabeth II and continue a life dedicated to serving others through philanthropic endeavors. Markle had charitable passions long before she met Harry. She has been heavily involved in charities since she was in college at Northwestern. Harry, himself, was raised to serve the people, so it is only natural that the couple continues along the charitable path. In 2020, the couple announced their new charity, Archewell. Although it is not entirely clear what the charity will do, there was some insight gained from trademark paperwork. The charity could cover support groups, seminars, movies, and more.
It is clear from their new endeavor that the Sussexes do not want to be entirely out of the spotlight. They know that they are newsworthy, but they want the attention to be on their work while respecting their personal privacy, according to The New York Times. They want to use their voice to help the lives of others.
Using media attention, the couple hopes to make the world a better place by putting the spotlight on their charity work as well as issues that are near and dear to them. Specifically, the couple is using the spotlight to bring awareness to currents issues like Black Lives Matter and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Moving forward, the Sussexes will have the power to use their prestige for causes of their choosing while giving their son a much more private upbringing than Prince Harry experienced.
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