When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stepped down from their roles as senior members of the royal family, they did so in the hope that they could escape the sky-high expectations of Harry’s family and the constant scrutiny of the British tabloid press.
Sadly, that hasn’t been the case.
Meghan, of course, entered the situation with the expectation that the media would watch her every move, and the royals would hold her to an almost impossibly high standard with regard to her conduct and decorum.
What she did not expect, was that Buckingham Palace would do nothing to protect her from the lies and intrusions of the tabloids.
Before they moved to America, Meghan and Harry filed a lawsuit against the British media conglomerate that owns the Daily Mail.
The suit concerned a letter Meghan had written to her father, Thomas Markle, that was published after Thomas sold it to the Mail.
According to legal documents obtained by People magazine, Meghan is irate not only with the tabloid press, but with the royals, as well.
Meghan’s lawyers say the Duchess of Sussex felt that the royals had betrayed her by refusing to come to her defense following the publication of various news items that were later proven to be “untrue.”
A source tells People that the royals were not singling Meghan out, as her lawsuit claims, but were instead following a longstanding policy of refraining from doing battle with the press, except for in extreme situations.
“The go-to position [at the palace] was no comment or to ignore stories, and people actively prevented her from responding to stuff that we knew to be untrue,” says the insider.
“That is what she is taking issue with.”
According to her lawyers, this policy resulted in Meghan experiencing “tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health,” and left her feeling “unprotected by the institution and prohibited from defending herself.”
However, the insider insists that the royal family decided on the policy long ago so as not to add grist to the rumor mill.
“The palace teams are faced with the difficulty that when things go wrong — particularly on private life matters — quite often any action taken with the media makes it worse,” says the source.
“It’s not that the royal household doesn’t want to help — more that they don’t want to make it worse by giving a gossipy story more oxygen.”
A prime example of this phenomenon would be the emboldened coverage of Prince William’s alleged affair with Rose Hanbury after the Duke of Cambridge took legal action.
William sued several publications that reported the story, which was taken by many as an indication that the rumors had merit.
In Meghan’s case, it seems her feelings of betrayal were doubled by the fact that she was let down by both her father and her new in-laws.
“This case centers on a private and hand-written letter from a daughter to her father that was published by The Mail on Sunday,” a source close to the situatin tells People.
“This gross violation of any person’s right to privacy is obvious and unlawful.”
Sadly, it seems Meghan is having no easier time finding privacy these days, even after putting a few thousand miles between herself and the London tabloid press.