Ahead of the wedding, the tabloids turned a relentlessly unflattering lens on Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas, a 73-year-old former Hollywood lighting director who lived in Mexico. The theme: Would he or wouldn’t he attend the wedding?
One tabloid got him to cooperate with staged photos. Then, The Daily Mail reported, accurately, that Ms. Markle’s father had decided to skip the ceremony and would not walk her down the aisle.
Prince Charles ended up doing the honors.
But a steady stream of unsavory stories quoting Meghan’s half siblings — especially an estranged half sister — continued to appear. Last February, The Mail on Sunday published heartfelt excerpts from what it said was a handwritten letter that Meghan had sent to her estranged father, in which she said he had “broken her heart into a million pieces.”
In October, it was revealed that the Duchess of Sussex — Meghan’s title since her wedding — had filed a lawsuit against the tabloid and its parent company over the publication of the letter.
Prince Harry — who had started legal proceedings against the owners of two British tabloids over accusations that they had hacked his phone — said in a statement that Meghan had become a victim of “a ruthless campaign” by British tabloids, and that he had been “a silent witness to her private suffering for too long.”
There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious,” Prince Harry said, “and though we have continued to put on a brave face — as so many of you can relate to — I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been.
The Mail on Sunday said that it “stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously.”
Amid tabloid rumblings, the royal couple announced they were expecting their first child, but the harsh coverage continued apace. Meghan was criticized for showing off her baby bump, and for flying to New York for her baby shower in February.
But Prince Harry could barely contain his glee when he faced a news camera to announce their son’s birth on May 6, 2019. It would be two days before they presented Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to the world.