The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced that they will no longer cooperate with several British tabloid newspapers because of what they call “distorted, false or invasive” stories.
Prince Harry and his wife, the former actress Meghan Markle, have written to the editors of the Sun, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror declaring that they will not “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of click bait and distortion.” In the letter, the couple, who are currently living in Los Angeles, say that stories based on “salacious gossip” have upended the lives of acquaintances and strangers alike.
The letter, released Monday by the couple’s representative, says Harry and Meghan will have “zero engagement” with the newspapers but insist that the couple “believe that a free press is a cornerstone to any democracy.”
Harry, who is a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and sixth in line to the British throne, married Markle, an American, at Windsor Castle in May 2018 in a ceremony watched around the world.
The couple later said they found scrutiny by the British media — which they said tipped into harassment — intolerable.
Harry has long had an uncomfortable relationship with the media, which he blames for the death of his mother, Princess Diana. She died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi.
Harry’s unhappiness with the media increased after he began dating Markle, then the star of the TV legal drama “Suits.” In 2016, he accused the media of harassing her and cited “racial undertones” in some coverage of Markle, who is biracial.
In January, the couple announced that they planned to quit as senior royals, seek financial independence and move to North America. The split became official at the end of March, and the couple are currently in California, where Meghan was raised.
The duchess is suing the Daily Mail’s publisher, Associated Newspapers, for invasion of privacy over a 2018 article that included portions of a letter she had written to her father. A hearing in the case is due to be held Friday in a London court.