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Meghan Markle has been vilified by the tabloid media from day one. Just look at the headlines.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family” certainly garnered the reaction we were all expecting.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who announced their decision to become financially independent and split their time between the UK and America last week, have since faced constant leaks, pile-ons, online abuse and endless gossip from the mouths of “anonymous sources”.

This morning, after days of damaging headlines and claims from the British tabloids, Prince William and Prince Harry shut down reports in the Times of London that the Duchess of Sussex felt “pushed away” by William’s ‘bullying’ attitude.

In an interview in October 2019, Meghan Markle admitted that she was struggling behind the scenes. Post continues below.

In a joint statement to CNN, the two brothers responded: “Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge.

“For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offence and particularly harmful,” the statement read.

It’s certainly not the first time that Prince Harry has responded to abhorrent claims in the media.

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released their new website, their media strategy was clear.

After years of misinformation, “anonymous sources” and downright bullying, the couple were turning away from the traditional royal press system, which grants exclusive access to UK outlets including Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, The Evening Standard, The Telegraph, The Times and The Sun, and instead turning to “grassroots media organisations and young, up-and-coming journalists”.

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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA

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“Britain’s Royal Correspondents are regarded internationally as credible sources of both the work of members of The Royal Family as well as of their private lives,” the couple wrote on their website.

“This misconception propels coverage that is often carried by other outlets around the world, amplifying frequent misreporting. Regrettably, stories that may have been filed accurately by Royal Correspondents are, also, often edited or rewritten by media editorial teams to present false impressions.”

Meghan and Harry’s decision to remove themselves from “royal rota” coverage shouldn’t come as a surprise.

In 2019, the couple filed a lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday over the publication of a private letter Meghan wrote to her father.

“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,” Harry wrote in a statement on their website.

Similarly, in 2016, Harry released a rare statement shortly after he began dating the ex-Suits actress. The statement included a plea to the media – and the general public – to stop the “wave of abuse and harassment” including “outright sexist and racist comments” against Meghan.

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Mamamia’s daily news podcast, The Spill, discuss the treatment of Meghan Markle by the media. Post continues below.

“Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” the statement read.

“It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.”

It’s not just Harry who has pointed out the bias and unfair nature of the coverage, which has particularly targeted Meghan.

As the hosts of Mamamia’s daily entertainment podcast, The Spill, have pointed out, the Duchess of Sussex has been held to an entirely different standard than the Duchess of Cambridge.

In fact, the contrast between the reporting on Meghan and Kate has been incredibly stark.

Diane Abbott, a Member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington in the UK, shared a number of side-by-side headlines that truly demonstrate the vitriol against Meghan in the British tabloids on Twitter.

In some cases, Meghan and Kate were treated entirely different for doing the same thing. While Meghan was shamed, Kate was celebrated.

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In one particular instance, Kate was described as “tenderly cradling” her baby bump, while Meghan was slammed for constantly cradling her own baby bump.

In another example shared on Twitter, Kate was celebrated for her “homegrown” bouquet of wedding flowers that followed “royal code”, while Meghan was slammed for potentially “putting Princess Charlotte’s life at risk” with her choice of wedding flowers.

And these headlines are just the tip of the iceberg.

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From the moment she began dating Harry, Meghan’s public and personal life has become the media circus that Princess Diana’s life once was.

As a child, Harry witnessed the relentless pursuit of his mum by the tabloid press, read the salacious stories printed about her and saw the intrusive photographs published without her consent.

As he grew older, he learned that the Paris car crash in which Princess Diana died may not have happened if paparazzi hadn’t been chasing her.

And now, for years, Harry has watched his wife face the vitriol, abuse and hatred that once plagued his mother.

It’s no wonder he wanted to leave.

Feature Image: Getty/Daily Mail.

What do you think about the reporting on Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton? Let us know in the comments.

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