Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, better known as Prince Harry (1984–) and Meghan Markle (1981–), are a married couple who are members of the British Royal Family. Born to (then-)Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Prince Harry is fifth in line of succession to the throne (at birth he was third in line). They are popular tabloid clickbait as part of the wider media-manufactured 'culture war'.

Among the public statements made by the Sussexes, their valid points include on topics of;

  • The importance of good mental health. (Invictus Games, The Me You Can't See (2021),[1] BetterUp[2])
  • Privacy and press intrusion in which the High Court found in the Sussexes favour in legal actions in 2022.[3]
  • The state of the news media generally (e.g., bias, Daily Mail and other tabloids, Facebook, Leveson Inquiry, Piers Morgan and phone hacking).
  • Bullying (Jeremy Clarkson has dreamt of Meghan being made to parade naked through the streets with faeces being flung at her)[4], discrimination and diversity.[5]
  • Charitable causes (Invictus Games, Archewell Foundation[6], Sentebale)
  • The environment (Travalyst[7])


Prince Harry is a daily practitioner of meditation and advocates for it as part of treatment for burnout.[8]

Impact on the media[edit]

They resigned from royal duties and moved to settle in California. Despite not being working royals, they maintain a public profile in the media. With the institution of royalty and rule by monarchy being based on fealty and deference (and not much else e.g. ability, popularity etc.), Harry and Meghan's similarities to working royals, and differences can be used to reliably mine stories on the barest of threads. Typical stories can be any of the following (indicative of the importance of royalty in Britain:

  • Who wore what clothing
  • The King/Queen
  • Royal expert speculation
  • Titles disputes
  • Wealth and money
  • Anonymous staff/palace source speculation
  • Official statements, tweets, comments, events or occasions
  • Royal protocol
  • Media or TV engagement, interviews

Reader engagement in a 'culture war' story can be personalised with Harry and Meghan as figureheads. Manufactured controversy for ad revenue can be maximised further by contrasting the smallest of differences with Prince Harry's brother Prince William and sister-in-law, Kate. This false dilemma appeals to those with simple reasoning abilities.


A 2020 study analysed 843 articles in the British press over a year and a half, finding it statistically proven that Meghan received more negative press. Twice as many headlines were negative as compared to positive and the Kate received more favourable and less unfavourable press.[9] A 2021 report analysed 114,000 tweets and concluded similarly a hate campaign had operated from a small number of accounts.[10]

Wider societal significance[edit]

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have no constitutional role apart from the Duke's position as a Counsellor of State.[11] In accruing wealth and power whilst preaching (sometimes the vaguest) of progressive (or New Age) messages, Harry and Meghan are no more grifters than the rest of the House of Windsor are descendants of grifters, and grifters who were prepared to practise violence to exercise their right of conquest. National differences between Britain and the United States and the long tradition of monarchical rule in Britain can be drawn upon for stories too. As with most modern portrayals of public figures, Harry and Meghan have supporters, just as they have opponents. These opponents are more consistently and explicitly aligned with conservatism, or more covertly with anti-Americanism and racism. When triggered by the press stories about the couple, they help drive traffic to websites and inadvertently help maintain the public interest in the couple and the drama in whose interest it is for the media to maintain. Many celebrities take advantage of this sort of mutually beneficial arrangement, and modern royals are also celebrities too.

See also[edit]