Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are one of the most reported-on couples in the world, but in a new statement released by the Palace, it's been revealed that the couple are taking legal action.
In a statement, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed they have filed a lawsuit against a British tabloid, alleging that it unlawfully published one of Meghan's private letters.
In a rare statement from Prince Harry, he wrote: "As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting. We regard it as a cornerstone of democracy and in the current state of the world – on every level – we have never needed responsible media more.
"Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son."
The Duke of Sussex added that the legal process "has been many months in the making," and that to stay silent on the matter "would be contrary to everything we believe in."
"The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months; they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave. She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you've seen on this Africa tour."
"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," he wrote.
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In a heartfelt conclusion to the statement, Prince Harry referenced his late mother Princess Diana and how the media treated her up until her death in 1997.
"Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. I've seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.
"We thank you, the public, for your continued support. It is hugely appreciated. Although it may not seem like it, we really need it."
The legal action comes after a letter was published in the Mail on Sunday back in February that the tabloid claimed was handwritten by Meghan to her estranged father Thomas Markle, after he missed her royal wedding in 2018.
In a short statement by a legal spokesperson from the lawyers defending Duchess Meghan, it was revealed that they had "initiated legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday, and its parent company Associated Newspapers."
The couple is funding the legal action themselves and any proceeds from the case will be donated to an anti-bullying charity.
This isn't the first occasion that Prince Harry has defended his wife against the media and even released a statement that ultimately exposed their relationship to the world back in 2016.
In it, the prince highlighted how his then girlfriend had been "subject to a wave of abuse and harassment" and called out publications and social media trolls for their outright sexist and racist comments.
"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," the statement read.
"He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done.
"He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly."
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