January 09, 2020
The Daily Mail and the Queen are enraged by the couple’s decision to step back from their royal duties. But a combination of abuse and neglect have forced their hand
No wonder Harry and Meghan are quitting. The rightwing press left them no choice | Hadley Freeman
It’s unlikely that Marshall McLuhan was thinking of the British press’s deranged relationship with the royal family when he made his famous declaration that the medium is the message, but the response to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s announcement certainly bore out his theory. “What lies behind Harry and Meghan’s SHOCK decision? We turn to our 18 columnists who have spent the past three years slagging them off every week,” was, in spirit, the headline on most rightwing British newspapers today.
For truly exclusive insight into Harry and Meghan’s thinking, the Daily Mail need not have looked any further than its website’s front page on Thursday morning: the site ran no fewer than 14 stories tearing into the couple. The same commentators who sneered at Meghan for being dazzled by royalty now condemn her for wanting to leave it. Anyone who has been lucky enough to avoid being in an abusive relationship can, excitingly, experience that dynamic for themselves via the media’s reaction to Harry and Meghan. Thursday’s front pages were the newspaper equivalent of an abusive husband expressing shock that his wife has finally left him.
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