Prince Harry’s nod to Princess Diana in heartbreaking warning against online hate: “I lost my mother to this”

He called online misinformation a 'global crisis'.
Loading the player...

Prince Harry has warned of a “global humanitarian crisis” during a speaking appearance in the US, but he’s not talking about war or famine.

Instead, the royal joined experts speaking about the “crisis” of online misinformation for a panel as part of Wired Magazine’s virtual RE:WIRED summit.

Speaking alongside Stanford Internet Observatory Technical research manager Renee DiResta and Aspen Commission on Information Disorder co-chair Rashad Robinson, the Duke of Sussex warned of the dangers of “lies” that spread online.

Prince Harry has warned of a “global humanitarian crisis” of online misinformation.


“Misinformation is a global humanitarian crisis,” he said, adding that social media is “being defined by hate, division and lies”.

The Duke of Sussex addressed the vile trolling he and wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex have received since before they left the royal family in 2020.

Online hatred aimed at the couple has only gotten worse since their royal exit and Harry said he fears for his when he sees the vicious social media hate campaigns.

“I lost my mother to this self-manufactured rabidness,” Harry said, referring to the late Princess Diana’s battle with UK tabloids.

“And obviously I’m determined not to lose the mother to my children to the same thing.”

He went on to slam the term “Megxit” as well, calling it misogynistic hatred designed by trolls and tabloids to attack him and his wife.

“Maybe people know this and maybe they don’t, but the term Megxit was or is a misogynistic term,” he claimed.

“It was created by a troll, amplified by royal correspondents, and it grew and grew and grew into mainstream media. But it began with a troll.”

The term was widely used in 2020 as shorthand to describe his and Meghan’s royal exit, and suggested Meghan was to blame for their decision.

Harry called the phrase ‘Megxit’ a misogynistic term.


Harry also touched on the Capitol riots in the US at the start of the year, which were largely organised through social media platforms like Twitter.

He claimed to have been in contact with Twitter chief Jack Dorsey in the leadup to the political riots, saying he “warned” Dorsey in an email that “his platform was allowing a coup to be staged”.

Harry said: “That email was sent the day before. And then it [the riots] happened and I haven’t heard from him since.”

On the same day, his wife Meghan shared the same sentiments about online hate during an appearance for The New York Times DealBook Online Summit.

Loading the player...

The Duchess of Sussex suggested that Instagram and other platforms should introduce a “dislike” button to reduce the number of cruel messages left in the comments sections on social media sites.

“One of the things that seems like such an easy solve from my lens, if you look at Instagram for example, there’s a like button and then there’s comments,” she said.

“So if you disagree with something you have to comment on it in a really vitriolic way. If there was a dislike button wouldn’t that hugely shift what you were putting out there, because you could just like it or just dislike it.”

The duchess added that the current set up of likes and comments encourages people to “say something negative” and contribute to an “unfortunate cycle” of online hate.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are speaking out against online hate.


Both she and Harry have been vocal about their concerns regarding social media hate and misinformation in the last two years.

Though their public statements have drawn criticism from those who believe the pair should toe the royal line and stay out of politics, Meghan today said she will continue to do “what is right”.

“My husband has always said, ‘with great privilege comes great responsibility’,” the duchess noted during her speaking engagement.

As such, it appears that she and Harry plan to continue to use their “privilege” to highlight key social and political issues in the US and abroad.

Related stories

Unwind and relax with your favourite magazine!

Huge savings plus FREE home delivery