Meghan Markle: is the British press ever going to give her a break?

Rachel Carroll ✨
3 min readDec 6, 2020

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After opening up about the tragic miscarriage she experienced earlier this year, it seems her powerful words of grief were not enough to sway some journalist's opinions.

Meghan Markle in The Sun

Following on from my previous blog post that discussed the unjust representations of women in showbiz journalism, I thought I would extend the issue by talking about the woman who endures a high percentage of this stick which is, of course, Meghan Markle.

Whilst Meghan has not exactly been ‘objectified’ in the media, she has received an enormous amount of negative press since her engagement to Prince Harry in 2017. So much so, she has requested a privacy injunction against ANL (Associated Newspapers Limited) and the Duke of Sussex was forced to publish a press release condemning the British tabloids.

“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.” — Prince Harry

The extensive list of examples is too much to discuss in one blog post. Especially the double standards between her portrayal in the press and her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, which Kristen Meinzer has put down to Meghan’s race.

That is why I have decided to focus on the recent backlash of Meghan’s powerful piece, The Losses We Share, in The New York Times.

“The Losses We Share” in The New York Times

“I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second.

Hours later, I lay in a hospital bed, holding my husband’s hand. I felt the clamminess of his palm and kissed his knuckles, wet from both our tears. Staring at the cold white walls, my eyes glazed over. I tried to imagine how we’d heal.”

After stepping back from royal life and moving to America, Meghan has lived a relatively private life until her recent decision to publicly disclose her miscarriage.

Whilst the majority of reporters have expressed condolences to Meghan for her heart-breaking loss, even praising her for her bravery in discussing a taboo subject, other British columnists have expressed confusion about her piece.

For example, Marco Giannangeli from Sunday Express questioned Meghan’s piece over Twitter:

Tweet from @marcogiann

It seems that even when Meghan is trying to do a good thing and help other women in the same position, journalists still find reasons to fault her. Marco suggests Meghan was wrong to write a whole article about herself as all it did was paint her as an attention-seeker. However, it is because of people like Marco why miscarriages are still attached with a great deal of stigma.

Camilla Long from the Sunday Times adds to this when she responded to Meghan’s piece saying it read like a novel and “felt strangely glossy and idealised by contrast. It united frankly unbelievable little-wifey descriptions of her life in her mansion”. She then goes on to say Meghan’s descriptions paint women as “mute, helpless, weak basket cases who cry on the street and need rescuing with the words ‘Are you OK” followed by “is this for real?”.

Although Meghan is far from normal, she is still a real person who has real feelings which I think many journalists forget. Have they not learned anything from Caroline Flack’s suicide and the petition for Caroline’s Law?

The press must stop with their persistent scrutiny of celebrities as it can have detrimental consequences.

Let me know your thoughts on this issue on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and don’t forget to read my last blog post if you haven’t already.

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Rachel Carroll ✨

Well hello there and welcome to my blog that explores topical and broad issues around #journalism. I hope it stimulates you 😆 Twitter & Insta: @RCarrollJourno