Prince Harry has taken a step that is equal parts unusual and forceful.
But all parts admirable.
On Tuesday, the Duke of Sussex absolutely, positively, totally and completely WENT OFF on the media for the way it has treated his beloved wife, Meghan Markle.
Seriously: Harry came out swinging, you guys. Hard.
“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son,” Harry said in this rare statement.
The handsome Prince didn’t just write down a bunch of words, either.
He and the Royal Family are suing The Daily Mail for publishing the content of a private letter written awhile back by Markle.
We believe the letter in question is one that Meghan wrote to her estranged father, although this has not yet been confirmed by the lawsuit or anyone associated with it.
Any regular celebrity gossip follower, however, must be aware overall of all the ways in which various tabloids have quoted anonymous sources that have torn into Markle on the reg.
“As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting,” continued Harry in this open letter.
“We regard it as a cornerstone of democracy and in the current state of the world – on every level – we have never needed responsible media more,”
Sounds like a not-so-subtle dig there against President Donald Trump.
But that isn’t the point here at all. Not at the moment.
One can believe in the value of a free press and also believe in what Harry says next:
“There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to – I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been.
“Because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe.
“One day’s coverage is no longer tomorrow’s chip-paper.
“Up to now, we have been unable to correct the continual misrepresentations – something that these select media outlets have been aware of and have therefore exploited on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.”
Talk about some brutal honesty from Harry.
“It is for this reason we are taking legal action, a process that has been many months in the making,” he goes on.
“The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months;
“They have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave.
“She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you’ve seen on this Africa tour.”
This is not the first time that Harry has come to Meghan’s defense.
Shortly after the couple went public with their relationship in 2016, the prince released a powerful statement, trashing what he called the racist and sexist abuse she had endured since her relationship with him was revealed.
We applauded him then and we’re applauding him now.
For these select media this is a game, and one that we have been unwilling to play from the start. I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.
This particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media.
The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question.
In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year.
Harry, tragically, has seen first-hand what happens when a frenzied press goes too far.
His mother, Princess Diana, was killed in a 1997 car crash after the vehicle in which she was a passenger sped away from a number of intruding paparazzi members.
He invoked this awful incident in his statement on Tuesday.
“I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person,” he wrote, adding:
“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
The Duke of Sussex’s statement concluded:
“We thank you, the public, for your continued support. It is hugely appreciated. Although it may not seem like it, we really need it.”
A legal spokesperson from Schillings, who are representing the Duchess of Sussex, added on Tuesday:
“We have initiated legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday, and its parent company Associated Newspapers, over the intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by the Duchess of Sussex, which is part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband.
“Given the refusal of Associated Newspapers to resolve this issue satisfactorily, we have issued proceedings to redress this breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and the aforementioned media agenda.”
This legal case is being privately funded by Harry and Meghan.
Pending a court ruling, proceeds from any damages will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.