It’s an old adage: “There are three sides to every story: yours, mine, and the truth.” Today, however, there seems to be a “fourth” side: whatever sells the most.
Since she showed up at Prince Harry’s side during the Invictus Games, Meghan Markle has been judged. During their engagement, the press seemed to tell the public that they should love her. So they did. Then after the wedding, the negative stories grew in numbers – rarely with any actual proof – but the public, once again, followed suit.
And regardless of what they do, the stories and criticisms continue today.
So this past weekend, Meghan and Harry sat down with Oprah Winfrey – probably the only celebrity who can understand being both adored and simultaneously hated by the public. Finally, they were telling their “side” and boy, it was a doozy.
Unlike The Princess Diaries’ Mia Thermopolis, Meghan did not get lessons in how to sit, meet aristocracy, or sing the national anthem when she “joined” the family. She did that homework on her own. Then she gave up her passport, keys, and freedoms and tried to follow “The Institution’s” rules.
In return, she was hounded by the press and yet blamed for the excessive coverage. After all of Harry and William’s promotion of mental health and what their late mother went through, you’d think there would be supports in place. Apparently, Meghan’s requests to The Institution for help when depression set in were refused because of how it would look.
Now, many have argued that she’s just a difficult person. That she’s manipulated her husband.
However, Prince Harry has backed up her stories with his own. And there appears a reasonable explanation for practically every headline over the last few years – including the withdrawal from royal duties which Harry claims was not a surprise but in fact, a year-long negotiation – on paper – with both his grandmother and father. Yet the Palace has never corrected this or other false narratives.
But Harry also said something about the Royal Family’s “side” of the story: they’re afraid of the media. There is an “invisible contract.” If the Royals let them in and smile when told, then the media will be nice to them. It’s blackmail that is justified by the Royals’ tax-supported duty to the public.
Furthermore, the UK media in particular loves to build Royals up so that they can tear them down. After all, ongoing stories of how lovely someone is doesn’t sell papers or increase ratings.
That’s why the headlines were once again very positive after little Archie was born. But when the photo ops stopped, the reports took a turn. They condemned Meghan’s expensive renovations to their home despite that the Palace had already decided the old Frogmore Cottage needed extensive repairs to be liveable.
But that explanation doesn’t get the public’s blood boiling. It doesn’t sell.
Viewers may not completely believe Meghan and Harry’s “side” of the story. But the couple didn’t make money on this interview. And it will have little impact on their financial future. Unlike those writing the headlines.