"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have watched people they know — as well as complete strangers — have their lives completely pulled apart for no good reason," the letter states

By Erin Hill
April 19, 2020 11:10 PM
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are cutting ties with four U.K. tabloids, announcing “there will be no corroboration and zero engagement,” they say in a strongly-worded letter issued to the editors on Sunday night.

The Duke and Duchess, who moved to Los Angeles with their son Archie in March, say they fundamentally disagree with the “style of reporting” of four tabloids —The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Mirror and The Express — which they claim have “pulled apart” the lives of many individuals.

Their new media policy means they will not communicate with, respond to or answer any enquiries from these four outlets. The couple says this is not a “blanket policy for all media.”

The letter comes as the first hearing in Meghan’s legal case against Associated Newspapers — publisher of the Mail on Sunday — heads to the U.K. courts this week. The Duchess of Sussex is suing the Mail on Sunday for publishing extracts of a “private and confidential” letter sent to her dad in August 2018 — three months after her wedding to Prince Harry.

“It is gravely concerning that an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print — even when they know it will be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason,” the couple says in the letter. “When power is enjoyed without responsibility, the trust we all place in this much-needed industry is degraded.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage

The letter continues, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have watched people they know — as well as complete strangers — have their lives completely pulled apart for no good reason, other than the fact that salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue.

“With that said, please note that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be engaging with your outlet. There will be no corroboration and zero engagement. This is also a policy being instated for their communications team, in order to protect that team from the side of the industry that readers never see.”

Credit: Geoff Pugh - WPA Pool/Getty

Meghan and Harry assert that their new media policy is “not about avoiding criticism.”

“It’s not about shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting. Media have every right to report on and indeed have an opinion on The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, good or bad. But it can’t be based on a lie. They also want to be very clear: this is not in any way a blanket policy for all media,” they write.

Soon after announcing their decision to step down as senior working members of the royal family in January, Harry and Meghan detailed new information in regards to their media relations policy, including their decision to no longer participate in the Royal Rota system, is a pool of journalists from British newspapers.

“The Duke and Duchess have chosen to revise their media policy to reflect both their forthcoming change as members of the Royal Family with financial independence, and their wish to reshape and broaden access to their work,” they said at the time,” they said in a statement at the time.

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Meghan and Harry officially exited from royal life on March 31. They are now officially starting their lives outside of the royal realm in Los Angeles.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The letter reads in full:

As The Duke and Duchess of Sussex now settle into the next chapter of their lives and no longer receive any publicly funded support, we are writing to set a new media relations policy, specifically as it pertains to your organisation.

Like you, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex believe that a free press is a cornerstone to any democracy — particularly in moments of crisis. At its best, this free press shines a light on dark places, telling stories that would otherwise go untold, standing up for what’s right, challenging power, and holding those who abuse the system to account.

It has been said that journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex agree wholeheartedly.

It is gravely concerning that an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print — even when they know it will be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason. When power is enjoyed without responsibility, the trust we all place in this much-needed industry is degraded.

There is a real human cost to this way of doing business and it affects every corner of society.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have watched people they know — as well as complete strangers — have their lives completely pulled apart for no good reason, other than the fact that salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue.

With that said, please note that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be engaging with your outlet. There will be no corroboration and zero engagement. This is also a policy being instated for their communications team, in order to protect that team from the side of the industry that readers never see.

This policy is not about avoiding criticism. It’s not about shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting. Media have every right to report on and indeed have an opinion on

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, good or bad. But it can’t be based on a lie. They also want to be very clear: this is not in any way a blanket policy for all media.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to working with journalists and media organisations all over the world, engaging with grassroots media, regional and local media, and young, up-and-coming journalists, to spotlight issues and causes that so desperately need acknowledging. And they look forward to doing whatever they can to help further opportunities for more diverse and underrepresented voices, who are needed now more than ever.

What they won’t do is offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion.

We are encouraged that this new approach will be heard and respected.