Another one! Sorry, all I keep hearing in my head right now is DJ Khaled. “Another one!”
Three years ago this coming November, in November 2016, Prince Harry launched what I called a Love Shield, a written defence of his then-girlfriend Meghan Markle, admonishing certain British media outlets for their racist coverage. This was, you’ll recall, after several weeks of reporting on Meghan’s mother’s “dreadlocks”, and calling Meghan “Straight Outta Compton”. That article, by the way, is still up on the Daily Mail’s website:
As you know, over the last several months, many of those same UK publications have been aggressively targeting Harry and Meghan, but mostly Meghan, and in my posts about the situation, if you’re a regular visitor to this site, you know that even though the Sussexes haven’t been the only royals making headlines this summer (picture Prince Andrew waving at you with his “chubby fingers”), there’s been an imbalance in the weight of the coverage, specifically with the shouty opinion pieces and morning show segments over in England.
So today Prince Harry launched another Love Shield. You can read Harry’s letter here. Meghan of House Sussex is suing the Daily Mail and its parent company “over the misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018”. They are paying for the lawsuit themselves. Should they win in court, proceeds from the lawsuit will be donated to anti-bullying charities.
There is a LOT to unpack here. And we’ll get to more of that tomorrow. Today, let’s focus on the timing. Because the timing is AMAZING.
The Sussexes are currently on tour!
Harry and Meghan have been apart for the last few days but they’re reuniting tonight and tomorrow they’re stepping out together for several appearances in Johannesburg. And what’s crazy is that… there are reporters from the Daily Mail who are part of the royal rota! Like Rebecca English! They’ve been covering the Sussex tour of southern Africa for over a week now. There are also reporters from The Sun, another publication that has posted some f-cksh-t about Meghan over the last year. And Harry decided to drop this on their asses TODAY…
Knowing that they still have to face him, be around him, for at least another 24 hours!
So far, as we’ve seen, coverage of the Sussexes’ tour has been largely positive, even from the Daily Mail and The Sun. Mostly because it’s been a flawless trip and Harry and Meghan have delivered a flawless performance, but also partly because, well, if you’re working for the Daily Mail and The Sun, of course you don’t want to be up to your usual f-cksh-t when you’re face-to-face with the targets of your f-cksh-t.
The Sussexes, however, clearly don’t give a sh-t about having to look these people in the face. It would seem like…they almost want to. They could have waited until Friday, until next week, after the tour. When everyone’s gone home and there are no more photo opportunities, no more stops, no occasions for them to be in the same place at the same time. But they deliberately chose to do it now, while they’re all still travelling together. So it would seem that the Sussexes aren’t worried about any awkwardness – and that’s the position they’re ostensibly taking: why should we be the ones feeling awkward?
This, then, was a surprise offensive. NOBODY was expecting this. The Daily Mail had no idea. For months Harry and Meghan have been working on this lawsuit – MONTHS! – and there wasn’t a leak, not a hint, not any kind of tip-off. They kept it so tight and timed it so well that it would make for the most aggressive impact, prime detonation: the day before the last day of the tour.
Imagine the press pack right now, especially the ones who’ve been called out for their racism and bias. I can tell you that they’re shell-shocked, reeling. And some of them are already defiant.
But if this is war, and it certainly looks like it’s war, Harry, in launching his Love Shield 2019, drew first blood, turning defence into offence. Against an enemy that was totally unprepared. All eyes then on Johannesburg tomorrow when Harry and Meghan emerge from behind that Love Shield and look across the battlefield at their opponents, a few steps ahead. What the f-ck happens now?
More on this tomorrow!