During their groundbreaking interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle and husband Prince Harry called out the British tabloid press for their nonstop, and frequently racist, coverage of the couple while they were part of the royal family. Harry even revealed their move stateside was predominantly a reaction to the intense press intrusion, with the Duke of Sussex forced to essentially flee his home country in order to find a safe place for his growing family to live (via BBC).
The Sussexes’ accusations are being taken incredibly seriously by the palace, who announced plans to better their diversity outreach in future. Meanwhile, as The Guardian reports, the head of the Society of Editors stepped down after controversially arguing that the U.K. press isn’t inherently racist. As it turns out, there was at least one person in Markle’s life who showed concern over what her taking a spot in the royal family might mean on a greater scale, just because of who she is.
There were major concerns about the negative press attention
In a new episode of E! True Hollywood Story, Markle’s childhood friend, Simone Burns Dilley, admits she was concerned about the kind of negative attention the former Suits star would be subject to upon marrying Prince Harry. “We were excited for her, but … at the same time, I was worried,” Dilley revealed (via Us Weekly). She then listed the traits the U.K. press unsurprisingly took issue with, namely that Markle is divorced and half-Black, noting, “I was like, ‘Oh, my God. They’re gonna be so mean to her.'” The Sussexes tied the knot in 2018, with the whole world watching, at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, England.
Even before they made it official, though, Prince Harry publicly denounced the “abuse and harassment” Markle was suffering at the hands of the press. In particular, he pointed to the “the racial undertones of comment pieces” about her. Just a few years later, the Duke of Sussex was forced to publicly defend his wife again, comparing her “private suffering” to his late mother, Princess Diana’s, who notably was killed in a car crash while trying to flee the baying paparazzi. The couple only lasted another three months before announcing Megxit and moving to the U.S. Markle admitted to Winfrey that she felt suicidal as a result of the negative press attention, and received no support after asking for help from the royal family.
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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