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Royal Pains: The British Media Is Cornering Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex

You don’t have to be royal to know how complex and emotionally– jarring being a new mother, let alone a newly-wed, is. For Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, however, these feelings are to be dealt with on a global stage, making those troublesome emotions all the more difficult to bear. 

Ever since the news broke of Prince Harry’s engagement to then-Markle in 2017, the media has cast Meghan as an outsider, making for a turbulent transition into the Royal Family. The Duchess’ has since been attacked on the basis of her personal life, including her being biracial, American and divorced. These traits have been weaponized to constantly remind the new royal of her position as an outsider. Since the birth of the royal couple’s son this past spring, however, a new sort of criticism has surfaced: criticism surrounding her new role as a mother. 

Following the birth of her son, tabloids have shamed the Duchess’ new way of living, in so far as criticizing her weight to how she holds baby Archie. Additionally, it seems a rift has been driven between Prince Harry and his elder brother Prince William since his marriage to Meghan that has become harder to deny as the couple’s relationship continues and their family expands. This rift, without surprise, has been attributed in part to the Duchess, casting her as a sort of difficult nuisance who has seemingly aided in creating ruptures in the once-harmonious royal family. These media jabs have placed an indisputable burden on the Duchess, as recently shown through a very raw and emotional interview with ITV. Throughout the interview, Meghan fought back tears as she was asked about the difficulties she’s faced since becoming a mother, both at home and in the public sphere –  a question she answered in full transparency with “it’s complicated.” 

These degrading reports strike an emotional chord on not just the Duchess alone, but a two-fold one for Prince Harry as well. Having publicly condemned the ways in which the media is treating his wife, a sort of fear also presides in the prince dating back to his mother’s tragic death. In 1997, the Prince’s mother, the well-known Princess Diana, died infamously when she was chased by paparazzi which would eventually lead to a fatal car crash. The media’s current treatment of Meghan has been linked with the same kind of treatment Princess Diana faced, making the behavior intolerable. 

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Hi! I'm Kate, and I'm a junior at New York University majoring in English.
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