Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have continued their war with British tabloids, writing to the editors of The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and Daily Express to say they are severing ties with the newspapers.
After stepping back from their royal duties, ending their reliance on public funding and moving to Los Angeles, the pair said they will no longer tolerate dealing with the tabloids because they refuse to “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they will have “zero engagement” with the newspapers themselves or through their press representatives. The only line of communication will be through their lawyers where necessary.
They said: “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. 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.”
They added: “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.”
Prince Harry and Markle, who is returning to work in Hollywood by narrating the Disney film Elephant, stressed that their decision is not a blanket ban on all press — and is not intended to censor accurate reporting. They said they are “looking forward” to working with journalists from all over the world.
Prince Harry and Markle have a fractious relationship with the British media, and the pair are suing the Mail on Sunday for printing a private letter sent by Markle, while also taking on The Sun and The Daily Mirror over phone hacking.
Here’s the letter in full: