Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, are cutting communications with Britain’s four biggest tabloids – sending a bombshell letter to the papers’ editors to say they will no longer co-operate with them on stories.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are living in Los Angeles after stepping down as senior royals, wrote to the editors of The Sun, The Mail, The Mirror and the Express on Sunday night (British time) to it make clear they would no longer engage with the newspapers.
“There will be no corroboration and zero engagement,” they write.
It comes as Meghan prepares to make her post-royal return to TV.
The Duchess of Sussex will appear on Good Morning America on Monday (US time) – although it is not the tell-all interview from the former royal that many networks have reportedly been chasing.
Instead, the “exclusive clip” will promote Meghan’s return to acting as the narrator of a documentary for Disney+.
In their letter, the Duke and Duchess said they were implementing “a new media relations policy” for the four tabloids after repeated publication of what they consider to be distorted and invasive stories.
“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 to be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason,” their letter said.
“When power is enjoyed without responsibility, the trust we all place in this much-needed industry is degraded.”
The letter represents a step up in the couple’s battle with Britain’s tabloid media. Effective immediately, it means the papers will not get updates or photographs from the Sussexes, and might also be barred from attending their media events.
It comes as Meghan’s legal fight with Associated Press, the owner of the Mail on Sunday, enters a new phase in the British courts this week.
She is suing the paper for breach of privacy, copyright and data protection after it published a letter she wrote to her father, Thomas Markle, before her wedding to Prince Harry in May 2019.
The first hearing in the case is set down for a British court this week. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, it will be held remotely.
The Duchess’s lawyers claim the newspaper “chose to deliberately omit or suppress” some of her correspondence, and that it was “intentionally distorted or manipulated”.
The newspaper has denied the claims. Mr Markle is reportedly willing to testify in the case – for the publisher.
Elsewhere, Harry and Meghan were out and about in Los Angeles last week, delivering food for a charity.