Prince Harry Defends New Girlfriend Meghan Markle Against Racist Comments, Online Abuse
In the time since, the reaction by both the media and the public has proven toxic — to the point where Prince Harry himself needed to issue an official statement via his Communications Secretary, which also doubles as confirmation of their relationship.
“Since he was young, Prince Harry has been very aware of the warmth that has been extended to him by members of the public. He feels lucky to have so many people supporting him and knows what a fortunate and privileged life he leads. He is also aware that there is significant curiosity about his private life," the statement begins.
"The past has week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public - the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and he outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments."
As The Guardian reports, Markle's father is white and her mother is African American, and she's previously written about her heritage on her website.
The issue goes beyond abusive commentary online, however, according to Harry's statement: "Some of it has been hidden from the public - the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door ;the attempt of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life."
"Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is 'the price she has to pay' and that 'this is all part of the game'. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game - it is her life and his."
Read the full statement issued by way of Kensington Palace at The Guardian.