The dynamics that led to what commonly became known as “Megxit” perhaps became a little clearer this week. Court documents produced during Meghan Markle’s copyright infringement and breach of privacy trial against several British tabloids indicate a culture of suppression within the monarchy when it came to allowing the Duchess of Sussex to publicly defend herself against vicious and ongoing media attacks that only escalated when she became pregnant with her first child.
According to Vanity Fair, much of what is actually at stake in the case is whether Markle quietly granted permission to the five friends who spoke to People magazine for a cover story which led to the Mail on Sunday’s publication of excerpts of a letter written to estranged father Thomas Markle. However, what court documents also revealed is how vulnerable Markle felt during these and other incidents that occurred during her pregnancy since royal protocol wouldn’t allow her to speak in her own defense; nor would Buckingham Palace dignify the majority of the claims by defending her publicly.
Vanity Fair reports:
According to the documents, it has also emerged that Meghan felt “unprotected” by the “institution” of the royal family when there was a wave of negative stories about her in the press. In what is likely to be highly embarrassing for the royal family, who have tried to bury the drama from Harry and Meghan’s exit at the beginning of the year, Meghan’s lawyers claim she could not defend herself against the many false claims leveled against her while she was pregnant. Her lawyers singled out the Mail on Sunday for its use of “distortive, manipulative, and dishonest tactics to target the Duchess of Sussex,” which have now “been put on full display.”
Of course, with Markle and husband Prince Harry relinquishing the roles of senior royals, both are able to speak more openly on any number of issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement. Meghan did so during a videotaped commencement speech in June, but on Wednesday, Harry also invoked the movement in a video message during the virtual Diana Awards, an annual awards ceremony named for his mother that highlights philanthropic U.K. youth and took place on what would have been Princess Diana’s 59th birthday (h/t Marie Claire).
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“Right now, we are seeing situations around the world where division, isolation, and anger are dominating, as pain and trauma come to the surface. But I see the greatest hope in people like you, and I’m confident about the world’s future and its ability to heal, because it is in your hands,” said Harry, also saying: ”Institutional racism has no place in our societies, yet it is still endemic.”
While the words may more rote than revolutionary, coming from a member of the historically stoic British monarchy (one who once dressed in Halloween costume as a Nazi, no less), it’s indicative of the direction this newly liberated royal couple plans to go with their public image and philanthropic efforts. As they strategize on the launch of their Archewell foundation, Vanity Fair further reports that:
The couple are currently focused on the Black Lives Matter movement, and last week visited Homeboy Industries to learn about their gang intervention and rehabilitation programs. This weekend it emerged that the couple have also been involved with the Stop Hate for Profit campaign to pressure Facebook to block hate speech on its platform.
“They have learned from the mistakes of the past and taking their time with Archewell,” a ‘well-placed source’ told the magazine. “They want to get the next stage right.”