Interest in the royal family, and in particular in the newlyweds Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, has never been higher, but according to a new report, Harry is uncomfortable with the media's obsession with their lives.
Royal correspondent Katie Nicholl reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex "are keen for a break from the limelight." Lucky for them August is traditionally a slow news period for the royal family.
"[Harry] worries there is too much hysteria around Meghan and he wants to row back a bit," a source reveals in Nicholl's new story for Vanity Fair.
It's no secret that Harry has a less-than-cordial relationship with the media, a distrust which stems, in part, from the Prince's belief that the press put his mother, Princess Diana, in grave danger.
Diana died tragically in 1997, after her car, which was being chased by paparazzi photographers, crashed into a wall. (The driver was later revealed to be intoxicated.)
"In Harry’s mind, it was the press that killed his mother. I know that because he’s told me that several times privately,” Larcombe, who wrote Prince Harry: The Inside Story, told Town & Country earlier this year.
Both Harry and his brother Prince William have taken it upon themselves to shield their wives and other loved ones from the media and to prepare them for life in the public eye, perhaps because they feel their father did not do enough for their mother.
"I feel very sad and I still feel very that we were not old enough to be able to do more to protect her, not wise enough to step in and do something that could have made things better for her," Prince William said about his mother Diana and her exposure to the media in a May 2017 interview in GQ.
"Harry and I were so young and I think if she had
In the early days of his relationship with Meghan Markle, Harry issued an unprecedented statement calling for the press to back off and stop harassing his then-girlfriend.
"Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm," reads the official memo.
"He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game.’ He strongly disagrees. This is not a game - it is her life and his."
More recently Harry's attitude toward the press was reiterated (albeit playfully) at the Sentebale Polo
The increased coverage of Meghan's father Thomas Markle Sr. and his numerous comments to the British tabloid papers and morning shows could well have amplified Harry's animosity toward the press. One would imagine it has been a frustrating and stressful on-going situation for the couple.
Last week, Royal reporter Richard Palmer publicly revealed that he believes the Palace is limiting access to the Duchess of Sussex on official engagements.
"Royal rota journalists [a sort of royal press pool] are being kept further away from her than we were before the wedding. That means we can't hear what she is saying," Palmer tweeted, in a thread about Meghan.
"If you can't get direct quotes from members of the Royal Family that often makes for dull stories...So, just as with Kate, that inevitably leaves you with little else to write about except what she wore and looked like."
Town & Country reached out to five additional royal reporters to see if they could verify Palmer's claims; two declined to comment, three others didn't respond, and Palmer declined to comment on his tweets further. It would appear as though the issue of access is the third rail of royal reporting.
There's nothing wrong with writing about what royal women wear (trust me, we do it often), but if Palmer's statements do prove true, it would be a great waste if all coverage of Meghan were reduced to a summary of her dress, hat, and handbag.
But, for Prince Harry that price might be worth it.
“The Princes are both very private people and have tried their best to keep the press at bay ever since their mother’s death,” royal editor Camilla Tominey told Nicholl.
“They are extremely protective of their wives and families and will do anything to avoid a repeat of the 80s and 90s when they felt that Princess Diana was hounded.”
Rose Minutaglio contributed reporting to this story.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.