Something monumental happened in royal history: In an unprecedented move, Kensington Palace released a statement that not only addressed the reported harassment that Meghan Markle has been facing but confirmed that the actress is, in fact, Prince Harry’s girlfriend. But the statement left a number of royal fans confused: What happened to Meghan Markle that prompted such a clear dressing down from the palace? It turns out that the decision came in response to an onslaught of racist and sexist outrages against the actress.
The statement itself outlined a number of reported slights that have been enacted against Markle, an actress currently living in Toronto and starring in Suits. In addition to her physical well-being being reportedly threatened by photographers trying to break into her home, the statement also claims that a number of reporters have been attempting to bribe her ex-boyfriend to reveal personal information about the actress. The alleged threats to her emotional and physical safety are completely unacceptable and downright illegal, so I commend the palace for speaking out so clearly about this issue.
But there were other things in the statement that were less clear, like the mention of racist remarks allegedly being made toward and against Markle on social media. Much of this is happening in the comments of Markle’s social media accounts and on articles about the actress. However, perhaps the biggest offense of all came in the form of a headline on a national newspaper. The Daily Mail wrote the headline, “Harry’s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton.” The subtitle to the article read, “Gang-scarred home of her mother revealed — so will he be dropping by for tea?”
The article that followed was a piece on the fact that Markle’s mother lives in Crenshaw, but numerous outlets such as CNN and The Daily Beast have pointed to the headline and the paper as a potential cause of the official statement.
Given the public nature of the royal family, it’s understandable that people would be interested in their love lives. However, I agree with the royal family on this: The headlines, the reported threats to Markle’s safety, and the alleged illegal tactics employed to gain more information about Markle’s personal life crosses so far over the line of what is acceptable that a strong response is necessary. I’m just relieved that the palace has broken with tradition in this case to stand up for what is right.