Harry and Meghan set out to share their truth: 5 news stories the royal couple debunked
The topic of countless headlines, Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle are on a mission to ‘speak their truth’ and debunk false news coverage
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are front page again ahead of the release of Harry’s tell all biography, ‘Spare’. Interviews recorded in the UK and US broadcast last night (January 8) in a further attempt to set the record straight.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been at war with the media for a number of years following a barrage of bad press, and stories the couple claim are completely falsified. First speaking out in an interview with Oprah Winfrey the couple followed up the coverage with a six-part Netflix documentary, Harry & Meghan.
They have not only come out to say much of the press coverage about them has been untrue but have gone as far as to say the royal family itself has been responsible for leaking false stories.. In the documentary, Meghan said, “I wasn’t being thrown to the wolves, I was being fed to the wolves.” as Harry described their experience as “institutional gaslighting”.
As the release of the book draws closer there have been a number of leaks which detail shocking experiences retold by the Prince during his time as a royal and his life since leaving royal duties. Last night’s interview with Tom Bradbury also revealed further details from the memoir.
Prince Harry was asked to justify writing the book, and disclosing private conversations with his family. To which Harry responded: “The level of planting and leakings from other members of the family means that, in my mind, they have written countless books, certainly millions of words have been dedicated to trying to trash my wife and myself to the point where I had to leave my country.”
As a royal, Prince Harry has been taught to say ‘no comment’ and that silence is the best course of action during a PR crisis. However, as the press scrutiny intensified the couple have decided to speak, going as far to take the Mail on Sunday to court for publishing a private letter Meghan sent to her father before their wedding in 2018.
Markle sued Associated Newspapers for invasion of privacy, copyright infringement and misuse of private information. The case went on for three years, with a London High Court ruling in favour of Markle in February 2021.
Here are some of the biggest headlines published about the couple, along with their version of events.
The Headline: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle call the Royal Family racist in interview with Oprah Winfrey
What Harry and Meghan said: In his interview with Tom Bradbury, Harry denied he and Meghan had accused members of the royal family of racism in their Oprah Winfrey interview, saying: “The British press said that.”
He referred to the well-reported remarks over the colour of their son Archie’s skin, he described it as unconscious bias, not racism. He also said the incident involving charity founder Ngozi Fulani and Lady Susan Hussey was “a very good example of the environment within the institution”.
The Headline: Prince Harry and Prince William release joint statement about the Sussex’s stepping back as senior royals
What Harry and Meghan said: In the Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, which has seen millions of viewers tuning in around the world, one of the shocking revelations came when Harry addressed the joint statement he and his brother released.
Prince Harry confirmed that he had left a crisis meeting with his father and brother following his decision to step back, and said that he had not consented to the joint statement put out by his brother’s team. He said: “They were willing to lie to protect my brother, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth for us.”
The Headline: The royal family “were not contacted” about the Harry and Meghan docuseries
What Harry and Meghan said:
It was reported that a senior palace source said that Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and members of the family were not approached for comment on content in the series. At the start of episode one of the docuseries, a blank screen appeared with text that said: “Members of the royal family declined to comment on the content within this series.”
Kensington Palace confirmed it did in fact receive an email “from a third-party production company” and attempted to verify its authenticity with Archewell Productions and Netflix, the palace claimed to have never received a response.
Variety reported the third party company was Story Syndicate which was co-founded by Harry & Meghan director Liz Garbus. Story Syndicate told Thompson they could not share any footage in advance of dropping it on Netflix, and asked him again to respond to the claims made in the series. However, Thompson reportedly did not respond further.
The Headline: Meghan Markle’s lavish £300k baby shower backlash ‘means she’ll have a low-key birthday celebration at Frogmore Cottage’
What Harry and Meghan said: The Duchess of Sussex, who was at the time pregnant with her and Prince Harry’s son Archie, travelled to New York City in February 2019 and was surprised by her friends with a baby show following reports she would not have one.
The move led to Markle facing criticism for the ‘extravagant party’ with some people suggesting it was taxpayer money that paid for the event costing anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000.
In this case it wasn’t just Meghan and Harry who responded, but her famous friends including tennis star Serena Williams. Meghan discussed the shower in the Netflix documentary, saying: “They’re like: ‘We’re gonna shower her with love and shower her baby and she’s gonna survive this. We’re gonna get through it with her.’”
She said the negative coverage was ‘so wrong’ adding: “These independent, strong, successful women choose to use their own money, and it’s not taxpayer money, to throw a party for their friend from a place of love. Why are you taking such a beautiful moment and trying to ruin it?”
The Headline: Kate Middleton left in tears
What Harry and Meghan said: This story has been told by many different outlets, with it being seen as an encounter that put strain on the relationship between Kate Middleton and Meghan. In the days leading up to the wedding media outlets reported Kate had been left in tears over Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress.
In her interview with Oprah, Meghan confirmed Kate had been upset about Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress but said that she was the one in tears when Kate requested the dress be remade just four days before the wedding saying: “The reverse happened.”
She added: “And I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding and she was upset about something.” She added that Kate “owned it, and she apologised and she brought me flowers and a note apologising.”
Meghan said she asked palace officials to correct the story, but was denied. She said: “I would hope she would’ve wanted that corrected and maybe in the same way that the palace wouldn’t let anyone else negate it, they wouldn’t let her because she’s a good person.”
Harry addressed the situation in his book alleging that Meghan was in fact the one left in tears. He said that Meghan said the dress could be brought and fixed by her tailors. According to Harry, this was "not sufficient" for Kate who described the dress as "too big, long and baggy," in a private conversation with Meghan.