Monday, 20 April 2020

Meghan Praises "Remarklabe" Elephants & the Sussexes Issue "Zero Engagement" Letter to British Tabloids

This morning, Disney Nature and Good Morning America shared brief words from the Duchess of Sussex about her decision to narrate the documentary Elephant. Meghan's work for the film was done last year and GMA confirmed this segment was filmed during last summer. Contrary to reports over the weekend, Meghan did not appear on GMA nor provide them with an exclusive interview. The Duchess said: "I am really grateful to have the opportunity of bringing this story of elephants to life. These creatures are so majestic and at the same time, they are so sensitive and so connected."


Meghan continued: "I've been very lucky to be able to have hands-on experience with the elephants in their natural habitat. When you spend time connecting to them and the other wildlife, you really understand we have a role to play in their preservation and their safety. We see in this film just how remarkable they are. Their memories are amazing. The close connection of the herd, the protectiveness of their young; I think they are a lot more like us than they are different."


The Duchess wore a crisp white shirt and gold jewellery.


It appears Meghan wore her Smart Set shirt by Misha Nonoo. The Duchess first publicly wore it for the launch of the Capsule Collection in September.


Meghan accessorised with her Seutables Shirley Virgo necklace and Taurus gold charm necklace. Of course, these represent Harry and Archie's star signs.


Additionally, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sent a latter to four British tabloids, The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Mirror and The Express informing them they will not work with them nor respond to queries in the future. The letter read: "It’s not about shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting. Media have every right to report on and indeed have an opinion on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, good or bad. But it can’t be based on a lie."

'As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex now settle into the next chapter of their lives and no longer receive any publicly funded support, we are writing to set a new media relations policy, specifically as it pertains to your organisation.
Like you, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex believe that a free press is a cornerstone to any democracy – particularly in moments of crisis. At its best, this free press shines light on dark places, telling stories that would otherwise go untold, standing up for what’s right, challenging power, and holding those who abuse the system to account.
It has been said that journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex agree wholeheartedly. It is gravely concerning that an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print – even when they know it to be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason. When power is enjoyed without responsibility, the trust we all place in this much needed industry is degraded.
There is a real human cost to this way of doing business and it affects every corner of society. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have watched people they know – as well as complete strangers – have their lives completely pulled apart for no good reason, other than the fact that salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue.
With that said, please note that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be engaging with your outlet. There will be no corroboration and zero engagement. This is also a policy being instated for their communications team, in order to protect that team from the side of the industry that readers never see.
This policy is not about avoiding criticism. It’s not about shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting. Media have every right to report on The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, good or bad. But it can’t be based on a lie. They also want to be very clear: this is not in any way a blanket policy for all media.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to working with journalists and media organisations all over the world, engaging with grassroots media, regional and local media, and young, and up-and-coming journalists, to spotlight issues and causes that so desperately need acknowledging. And they look forward to doing whatever they can to help further opportunities for more diverse and underrepresented voices, who are needed now more than ever.
What they won’t do is offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion. We are encouraged that this new approach will be heard and respected.'

The statement is in step with the plans they laid out for the future on the Sussex Royal website. The decision to send the letter now comes ahead of the first hearing in Meghan's case against The Mail on Sunday over the publication of a letter she privately sent to her father Thomas Markle. Omid Scobie has two excellent stories which can be read here and here. I intend to write a larger piece on this at an appropriate time as the case progresses.

84 comments:

  1. Good for them! So happy to see their decision and strongly worded letter. The tabloids will probably continue to print unsubstantiated and false stories, ignorant haters will continue to believe they were sourced from Meghan, and life will go on. Intelligent, open-minded people will understand the situation. I wish Harry and Meghan peace in their personal life and great success in their efforts to contribute to good in the world.

    R

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  2. Becca in Colorado20 April 2020 at 22:00

    Several private texts from Harry and Meghan to Thomas Markle have been released, as well. How sickening that they should even have to take that action! I really hope it's a landslide victory for the Sussexes in court, because they have been through the wringer. Someone mentioned their fear that the "men in grey" might somehow thwart Meghan's court case...I sincerely hope that doesn't happen/isn't possible.

    I rather like the tone of this letter, as it's clear and direct. I know the timing is unfortunate but couldn't be helped, given the hearing on April 24th. As is usual, the online character assassination against Meghan continues, but I hope they continue to pull through and that things will tip in their favor soon.

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  3. I understand where H&M are coming from, but the timing of this letter is not great. I know they probably wanted to have something put out there before the first hearing, but given the pandemic that is going on in the UK it just seems a bit tone deaf. Its just not the right time for something like this. Does anyone else feel the same way?

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    1. Well keep in mind this letter was addressed to and sent directly to the publications in question, and not a "to the public" statement. The tabloids released it. I think it has more to do with the legal maneuvering around their court case, and some of that timing just is what it is. I'm sure they knew it would be leaked, but I think their intention wasn't to distract from larger public issues, it's just an unfortunate coincidence.

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    2. Anon1:12 you’re entitled to your opinion but if it were you and your lawyers give an advise are you going to tell them you would not doing it because of the pandemic and if the timing isn’t right why is there a hearing during the pandemic all of us still have to live our life’s with some adjustments during this time and the are the Sussex’s they have to do what the have to do all during this time the same tabloids are writing crazy stories about Meghan don’t they know about the pandemic to stop the nasty things they’re writing

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    3. Anon 15:30, the mere fact that the letter was sent to the publications, it is a foregone conclusion that it would be made public. It's ironic because that's exactly why they are going to court. Meghan sent a letter to her father, it was his letter to publish, H&M sent a letter to the newspapers and it is theirs to publish. You can tell by the wording of the letter that it was very carefully crafted with, what I am assuming, the idea that it would at some point become public. It's not that the letter was made public, its that they even felt that had to send it, that's the point. Just don't do business with the publications, its as simple as that. They have already made it clear their position about these news agencies, and nobody faults them for conducting business in a manner that is good for them, but this letter was redundant.

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    4. I am beginning to understand more and more the RF 'no response' action. It becomes a tit for tat, last word effort, so why waste time trying to explain. Someone once told me, never negotiate with terrorists, just cut off their supply.

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    5. The defendants in the case released the plaintiffs’ private communication so the timing is all theirs. The business of the world goes on despite a pandemic. Just as Harry and Meghan went on about their charity work while their legal team pursues this litigation.

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    6. Anon 1:12, I agree. All that was said when they announced their decision to step away & it was spelled out on their website, so no real news & really no real need to repeat? Just my 2 cents.

      Becca USA

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    7. I don’t think it’s tit for tat at all. It’s a clear and unambiguous boundary around an abusive, bullying, and racist press. I fail to understand where never complain never explain meant put up with abuse. I also don’t believe it has ever truly been an edict followed by the royal family as much as it is a public myth. Every one of them has spoken for interviews or issued complaints to/about the press, sometimes over very scandalous and private topics.

      I hate to break it to people but the RF’s PR is their life blood. It has always been this way. Henry the VIII circulated lies and encouraged mythologies about his own health and marital status for the sake of his image. And that was in the 1500s! A symbiotic relationship with the press has always been part of it. The RF supplies information whether explicitly or implicitly for their own purposes. I’m not saying anything is wrong with that they know how they’re perceived by the public is a matter of survival for them. But I’m extremely tired of this assertion that never complain never explain is this unbroken rule that only Harry and Meghan have violated. That is objectively not true and has never been true. Harry and Meghan simply refused to continue playing by these rules with the same people who smeared them with vile racist garbage. And they have explicitly said so. I applaud them.

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    8. Agree with you here Anon 18:11 the RF have many many years experience with the media and their never complain never explain was a good stance for them. Unfortunately H & M seem not to think that in this day and age it is for them and that they want to try and control the narrative around them. The media H & M dislike aren’t going away so why keep feeding them? you are just playing their games and they will be very happy with it.
      Sue WA

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  4. Tammy from California21 April 2020 at 03:18

    I LOVE what they wrote to the media listed in their lawsuit. I LOVE that they will allow “smaller“ journalists to cover them: everything they listed is absolutely walking the talk of change for the better- I love it.

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    1. But they already said all that way back when they announced their decision to step down & I believe it was spelled out on their website. The only people who needed to be alerted to this information were those tabloids & they already were..... it just sort of felt to me like that one last swat a child can't resist before walking away... Not sure if that makes sense to anyone else... Just how it sat with me. I so want them to rise above the fray & just enjoy their newfound freedom & their new life. Just leave the lowlifes alone, try to forget they are there, they aren't worth it. There are Paps in the states too... C'est la vie!

      Becca USA

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    2. Becca you make a good point.

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  5. I am so happy that Harry & Meghan's true nature of goodness and kindness is shining thru by the projects they are championing. I look forward to the time when the world can appreciate this Sussex family for the wonderful people they are.

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  6. The elephant movie is great! The issuing of this "we don't talk to you any more" letter I really DO question very much. The timing is a little awkward: The world is in the middle of a big crisis with the need of really focusing on way more important things. Understand me the right way please: I consider it absolutely necessary to go against the publisher for how they treated Meg the past two years. Only what kept them from simply acting like discribed in this letter to the publisher without announcing it?

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    1. I'm with you Imke. Why not just do it and quite announcing it, sometimes actions do speak louder than words. There is a certain grace sometimes in quietly getting your point across.

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    2. Becca in Colorado21 April 2020 at 16:38

      From what I understand, Harry and Meghan didn't announce it -- they sent the letter directly to these publications who then released it.

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    3. Imke, I agree. Much can be said about Teddy Roosevelt's famous quote.... "Speak softly but carry a big stick". Also, I find so much of the time of late that I find myself thinking.... you made your choice, good on you .. you made your points, good on you , now just go live the life you want to live, you don't need to announce things.... just do them... it's also said that a Lion doesn't have to tell you it's a Lion. I feel things would be much more powerful from them, if they exclusively lead by their actions & their choices. Which brings us back full circle to .... Never complain (whine) never explain. Still some bits of wisdom there. Just my 2 cents.

      Becca USA

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    4. Once again Becca. They didn’t announce anything. It was a communication addressed to these publications in the context of their court case. All RF members explain and complain all the time. Sometimes subtly and sometimes overtly but they do. This is not really an accurate policy of theirs but for some reason people have decided only Harry and Meghan broke this supposed “rule”

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    5. I didn't think of it that way but you guys are right the timing wasn't good. I guess Meghan was just so tired of being treated like crap by the press but I guess sometimes silence says so much more and during this pandemic there is more important things for sure.

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    6. Becca in Colorado, I *know* they did just write a letter (not announce it). Still even writing this letter I question. Lead by action. Simply do it. I am sure the publishers would have understood without out this letter when simply not being communicated with anymore. H&M *must have known in advance* this letter would be published and a big fuzz would have made out of it in public. (Sorry, English is mot my mother tongue). So, why not avoid negative head lines and just go for it?!

      Becca USA, well said. Thank you.

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    7. I think they tried silence!

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  7. I was a bit irked to see this announcement yesterday and really question the need for it. Much as I like H&M they are trying my patience now with these occasional, almost petulant, "drops". Am I the only one who is left feeling like this? IMHO they chose to leave, so be it. Don't keep picking at the scab have the good grace to go quietly.

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    1. It was a legal letter sent directly to the publications. Not an announcement. The tabloids leaked it. They have been quiet, and what we have seen of them is almost universally positive charitable work. But that doesn't change the fact that they have an active court case in the UK and correspondence and documentation will be created as part of that.

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    2. Well said, 15:34. Always look at who is publishing this stuff and what their hidden agenda might be. As for doing things "quietly" that's largely a cultural and likely also personality thing.

      When you are one of the most famous couples in the world the press is going to make noise about you. Even the chatter about Meghan's first GMA "interview" since leaving the royal family which was so hyped wasn't an interview. It was a clip from last summer. A lot of noise about a non-event.

      It was not Meghan or Harry making that "noise" though they mentioned it in their engagement interview. Ironically, the incessant noise is coming from the critics and the press seeking to stir up controversy where none exists.

      Frankly, I wish those blowhards would shut up about H&M seeking attention when clearly their own egos and need for something trashy to say at every turn overrides everything else. I don't listen, but even scrolling past a headline from the worst perps makes me cringe.

      I'm glad that H&M have taken this stance and that they are no longer bound to the royal rota. Instead, they can seek out reporters and outlets who can be fair and objective.

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    3. I completely agree.

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    4. Rita in Florida21 April 2020 at 19:35

      I for one hope that they are hugely successful with their case. That said, I agree with you @Scarfie1 - you are not alone in growing wearing of the Sussex drama.

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    5. Scarfie1, I completely agree. Very bad timing for this letter, and I feel like they are just trying to remain in the public eye in whatever way they can.

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    6. Scarfie, I tend to agree. I don't know why they had to bother, but of course there could be many things I am not considering! Seems they could have just not spoken to those newspapers if they didn't want to, without sending a formal letter, especially right now with what is going on in the world. The timing of much of what they are doing lately feels very poorly thought out.

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    7. @Scarfie1, I feel the same way.

      Becca USA

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    8. I have to ask at those who are mad or annoyed at these two and keep saying they need to go quietly, why follow tabloid news about them? We read your serial comments about your disappointments, etc. and we get it. I mean there’s no confusion of your antipathy toward them. Really.

      It’s the same recycle sentiments found in the tabloid comments. I think there are people who are secretly thrilled to have people like these two to focus their negative emotions on. It’s what keep some people energized and ticking away.

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    9. Not sure if they could halt a legal process that had begun before the pandemic (I guess no one is blaming them for that?). Another time where I must just shut up and continue to read what Charlotte writes, to avoid saying something angry. Thank you Philly and Greybirdk. :)

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    10. the more I think about it the more I agree timing was poor when so many are dying and sick with covid but I do hope they win the lawsuit

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    11. Anon 22:52 I agree with you. I get it. She's not what you want, she doesn't act the way you want. I wish people who feel this way would not comment. Not only are ugly stories continuing but there seems to be a concerted effort to idolize every other member of the RF. I don't want the other family members to be criticized! I just think it's obvious that there is an effort to make H&M "bad" and one way is to make everyone else's usual activities "good" beyond reason.

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  8. Denise in Virginia21 April 2020 at 15:49

    I wholeheartedly agree with their decision to work only with reputable media outlets and love that they are calling out the tabloids. I admire H & M so much and respect their focus on doing good in a time when the world needs it most. Together they are moving forward, helping where they can and even in these difficult times they're an inspiration.

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  9. The hearing is April 24 and unfortunate as the timing may look (to some) there are likely private circumstances that may have required this action. People need to look at the big picture. I live in the UK and their e-mail has by no means taken over the news AT ALL though the gutter press are sure good at convincing their readers that it was their goal to do that.

    Claudia

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    1. Thanks for the insight, 15:53. As for timing sucking, well it sucks. C-19 is ill-timed. If we all waited for the "right time" to speak our truth the silence would be deafening.

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    2. Claudia always provides the voice of sense, reason, and clear thinking. I applaud the Sussexes for taking the action they have. It's the tabloids publishing their letter that causes the timing controversy.

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    3. Claudia, Thank you. I agree that this very strong statement was necessary and timed for the hearing. It has nothing to do with the Sussexes wanting to stay in the public eye. The nasty tabloids have convinced people that was its purpose. I'm sorry so many people believe them.

      R

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  10. Marjorie Ireland21 April 2020 at 15:59

    1 Thing they got wrong! She is not a "Former Royal" She is HRH Duchess Meghan of Sussex, Princess of the UK. She does not use HRH in Public anymore, thats the only change!!!

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  11. I find this letter injunctive, limpid, fair, essential and perfect. I do not see the connection with the timing because the covid19 does not prevent that solutions are found to the problems, plagues and ailments that do not go away because this pandemic is raging.We are not going to wait for the Covid 19 to disappear to resolve the problems that undermine the existence of Ce and U on a daily basis, especially if it affects our lives. The Covid is a pandemic but next to it there are many others ...

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  12. Harry and Meghan neither asked for nor deserved the relentless assault they got from these irresponsible media outlets. H and M are very wise to make a clear distinction between clickbait media and genuine journalists. They choose to focus their philanthropy on the underserved, and likewise choose to work with responsible media outlets. They deserve our admiration. As an MAM commenter wrote earlier: do not negotiate with your abuser. Words to learn from.
    Renee

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  13. Good for Meghan! Elephants are amazing creatures and I love them. Other people watch cute cat videos. I watch elephants.

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    1. elephants are beautiful and that documentary was well made she did a great job

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  14. I continue to question the advice and editing H&M are being given. I felt the letter should have been much more brief and less emotional. State the facts in as few words as possible, isn't that PR 101? It feels a bit like they are trying to control other people but not wanting to be controlled themselves. People keep making excuses for the timing of things (going all the way back to the initial announcement in January) but H&M are their own agents and don't have to let themselves be pushed into anything.

    I completely support their desire not to work with these 4 publications. But it won't stop the bad press and honestly it's not a good look for them right now.

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    1. Well said Anna, especially about PR 101, 'less is more'.

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    2. Keeping things simple is not PR 101. PR 101 is creating an emotional hook to sway people to your side. Look at any celebrity or politician or yes even the royal family. PR is getting people to care about and pay attention to you. Whether you do that through drama or scandal or emotional appeal. But no keeping things simple means boring. And is most certainly not an effective PR strategy.

      But honestly the discussion of PR is moot. That’s not why Harry and Megan did this. The letters were addressed to these 4 tabloids within a legal context. I’m sure they’re savvy enough to know they would be leaked, but “PR” was not the intention of the letter. Defending themselves was. And they’re not controlling the tabloids. These publications can do or say whatever they want. And they will. Harry and a Meghan are establishing that they will not work with/respond to/ confirm or deny anything.

      I’m honestly amazed so many people are missing the intention of and context to this letter.

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    3. Agree. The statement is not really necessary as they are suing the publications and I don’t think anyone with common sense will think they are working with them at the same time.

      Can’t stop bad press on public figures. They should get advise from people like the Obamas, Chelsea Clinton even Melania Trump that have been dragged to the mud yet stay dignified and just keep their actions talking instead.
      They are so good with people why their PR sucks so bad.

      Eva from G.

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    4. In their case it was more than a bad press. Just imagine, your wedding being almost hijacked. She managed it with grace in its own time. TM was at one point a private citizen who did not speak to any tabloid media. Although they offered assistance, and he declined, like Meghan stated, he was harassed for a certain window time. He was lured into the tabloid media’s camp eventually. It is an aching and pained daughter’s letter to a father in the middle of turning points of her life. She could write it as lengthy as she wanted to. It is her personal business. There is a time to cry, and there is a time to heal. Whichever way the case will go, she has started with the judicial system. That takes courage, and I hope the past will be behind them into a healing future, after the case closed.

      Charlotte had provided the link to Omid Scobie's articles. I just happened to read it. His article helps connect the dots as a background reference and their current reasoning to distance from the four media group. If they are in the process of litigation with the group, it makes sense to ban any communication with the group except through their lawyers. This includes staff on the couple’s team; official statement helps draw the line for all concerned especially when it includes members of their staff.

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  15. The tabloids did not leak this. The Sussexes sent this letter to other publications.

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  16. When you are persecuted, defamed, etc. And it affects your life, timing or the Corona virus are irrelevant. There is a cure for every ailment and the Sussex are not martyrs to endure unbearable. Thank you Charlotte for this useful and pleasant post. This elephant movie seems very interesting, I will follow it as soon as possible.

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  17. Susan in Florida22 April 2020 at 01:23

    Wow! Good for them! Those news outlets needed to be put in their place after spending two years trying to convince the world Meghan was not her place, I am sure they wrote this fully expecting it to be leaked publicly. More proof the press betrays their private communications. Touché

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  19. Okay first of all can I just point out how Meghan always has the most thoughtful, interesting and original jewelry?! Great, now I have to say the documentary is really nice and engaging but it's something that kids will enjoy much more than adults. Finally on the tabloid letter: at last!! They've been lying and lying on Meghan for years now: from racist 'straight outta compton' articles to citing non-existent palace sources to corroborate the 'aggressive angry black woman' persona they created for her to paying people to say what they want them to say like offering one of Meghan's TV movie co-stars lots of money to lie and say he had a relationship with her (which he promptly refused thankfully and then blasted those tabloids on twitter) to offering psychologists money to say Meghan's got psychological issues...they've been abusing her for years and it's been disgusting to watch.

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  20. I love The layered look of the necklaces. It adds nicely to her more typical (but great IMO) fashion look.
    As for the legal notice to The tabloids: I'm glad things are proceeding. Their notice makes it clear they will refrain from all contact with these publications. Legally and professionally necessary and precise. Onward!

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  21. Great! Let these 4 tabloids also feel what it is to be chased and set apart unfairly .... Thank you Charlotte for this edifying article. Very interesting !

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  22. Susan in Florida22 April 2020 at 19:09

    Good for them! Harry & Meghan have more evidence for their court case. The letters printed for the public are a brilliant strategic move to prove their point. Charlotte, you should submit name to H&M as fair and accurate reporter. Everybody, clap your clean washed hands for Charlotte !

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    1. Good and fair proposal Susan. Charlotte would be remarkable and remarkably divine if she could work for the Sussexes. But she already does it in a certain way because she works with her heart, that's why she is admirable: a common value with the Duchess of Sussex👌💓

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    2. "Truth, wherever it comes from, always comes from God." And it is even an English proverb, as if to say that the pretexts of Corona and others are only false reasoning.
      The publication of the letter and its consequences are only a continuation logical and legal. I don't understand the link we make with the timing of covid 19 and others ... With the pandemic raging, justice follows its course like life.

      It's not like the pandemic is going to disappear if there hadn't been the Sussex letter. On the contrary, I am happy to know that despite the bad days, the truth and justice do not become as victims of this pandemic as we would like to present it to those who always find fault even when the truth comes out.

      It would never have been the right time if we listen to them, today is the reason for the Covid19, tomorrow what will it be? Thank you Charlotte, the sooner the truth is established, the faster the repair actions are taken, the faster the problems are resolved even if it is not completely ... It is already a step forward rather to be silent while waiting for the pandemic or other equally ridiculous reasons to pass. As much as we want to see the pandemic disappear, so much we want to see the injustices disappear as much as possible.

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  23. Denise in Virginia22 April 2020 at 20:27

    Susan in Florida what a great idea! Charlotte you are absolutely brilliant in your reporting on M & H, fair and balanced, meticulously researched, you should submit your name! You are professional, responsible and you do a fabulous job, please submit your name for consideration!! and as always, thank you for all your hard work!

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  24. Meghan stated in court documents that she did not have advance knowledge of her friends' giving out personal information in interviews that was gained from their association with her. Isn't that the foundation of her lawsuit? That the letter was published without her knowledge or consent? if she did not know of the plans to publish the magazine article, she could not have given her consent for the story;therefore, she did not give prior authorization for the release of her personal information. The only difference could be seen by some as the People article was complimentary to her while the letter, apparently, was not. Why is she not suing People magazine? And bringing her acquaintances to court? She did not give permission to the magazine either. I suspect this point may prove to be a weak link in her lawsuit against the MOS.
    I think the answer might lie in the difference in her relationship with her friends compared to that with her father. It is reflected in the policy of approving the outlets and journalists who praise, while condemning those who criticize, despite denials of this practice in the media letter.

    Meghan has made some important, valid complaints against those four outlets. Unfortunately, the letter does seem like a redundant statement of future policy of avoiding the royal rota, as written on their social media site in January. However, I believe there are six outlets in the rota; this new policy, as stated in the media letter, only mentions four by name. Notably absent was the Evening Standard.
    I am curious why only four of the rota are mentioned now. Does this represent a change in Sussex policy? Or have the two royal rota members now apparently acceptable redeemed themselves since January? Or have the Sussex realized they actually need to stay on the good side of at least a few of the popular news outlets in Great Britain.
    I agree with those here who feel the couple are painting themselves into a corner and desperately need to obtain or start following the advice of those who have an objective eye and may not necessarily blind themselves to the Sussex weaknesses.
    I think it would also be helpful if the couple list and refute some of the lies that have been told. Maybe even repeat some of the examples of racism and their sources, whether they are social media comments or statements made in the objectionable outlets. I know I was shocked to hear on a television program some of the actual remarks made on social media about a bi-racial contestant on a popular reality show in the USA. I don't belong to social media and had no idea such language was allowed- until today I read a royal correspondent site on which I read the most foul-mouthed epithets against the writer. The reporter had made a statement about a celebrity that the commenter disliked. I am sure this was published to allow readers to see the type of abuse the reporter was being subjected to by fans of this celebrity. One specific example like that is worth a hundred vague complaints by the victim. In such circumstances the matter goes beyond mere shaming, which is a self-serving measure. It was a moment of clarity for me.

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    1. Anonymous 04:54: I think you've misunderstood what the lawsuit is about. Because Meghan is a public figure, neither the Mail nor People need her permission to publish stories about her. However, if they knowingly print false or deliberately misleading information about her which damages her reputation, as Meghan alleges the Mail has done, they can be sued for libel. In addition, Meghan legally owns the copyright to the letter she sent to Thomas Markle; printing wirhout her permission is copyright infringement. (Copyright is automatic as soon as the letter is written and does not pass to the recipient.) The Mail certainly knows that, but it published excerpts anyway which are alleged to have been edited to be deliberately damaging to Meghan's reputation. Meghan has chosen to exclude contact only with news sources from the rota which she believes have consistently abused her by printing lies and misleading information about her. She apparently believes the other sources have been objective.

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    2. I certainly would like to believe that Meghan did not have advance knowledge about her friends sharing stories about them with news outlets. After all the squabble with her family is about precisely that. However perhaps they both should have made it clearer to all their friends and favoured news media that family matters are private and just stopped talking about these things. Deprived of the fuel the rumours would probably have withered away. I actually think that if both Charles and Diana had done the same their marriage might have survived, but maybe that is unrealistic. Clearly Diana at least later came to regret the things she said in the heat of the moment. I think she realised that the behaviour of both her and Charles had damaged the reputation of the monarchy and affected both of her children.

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    3. “Rights of Writers”
      http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2011/02/sixteen-things-writers-should-know.html
      Laws change from time to time. The link was posted in 2011.

      I remember reading several months ago that Mr. Markle said, he owns
      the letter according to US law. So much more may end up being involved.
      Much of what took place is so official and in public records.

      Delete
    4. Meghan is not suing for libel. If she’s worried about the copyright of the letter she should be worried that its contents were released by her friends too, one would think.

      If she thinks the DM has printed false stories with the intention of damaging her image she should sue for that. The fact that the MOS violated or not copyright laws is completely independent of the stories they have published and keep publishing about Meghan. All the stories may be true and they violated copyright laws, all the the stories may be false and they violated copyright laws. Or all stories may be false and they did not violate copyright laws and, finally, all stories may be true and they did not violate copyright laws. One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

      Delete
  25. Lawsuits do not start and end with a phone call and then it's over! They take months. No one said their lawsuit is more important than the COVID crisis but if the courts are not halting legal processes, they have no choice but to participate. How simple is that?

    ReplyDelete
  26. "A personal letter is subject to copyright protection – regardless of whether the letter is published or unpublished. In most cases, the writer of the letter is the copyright owner of the letter. As the recipient of the letter, you exercise control over the tangible copy which you may keep, sell, or discard." Also, personal information cannot be processed or published without permission, and publishing a letter without permission could be ruled an infringement of copyright and breach of privacy and confidentiality. The issue is that The Mail most likely cannot prove that they had permission from Meghan to print all or parts of the letter, but her father as recipient could keep, sell or discard the letter, he chose to sell. If the Mail did not manipulate or falsify the letter in any form, then there is no libel, only the issue of not having permission from the one who holds the copyright, Meghan. While it is a gross violation of Meghan's privacy, I am sure that the Mail, while having released parts of the letter, taking it out of context, I venture that they did not falsify anything because of copyright infringement, of which they should be fairly versed. They merely provided snippets in a twisted manner in order to infer, and they do it 'daily' and there are many other victims out there subject to this type of journalism. At any rate, I agree that this letter reiterating the exclusion of these four news outlets is redundant and only subjects further scrutiny and bad reporting. I hope she wins the copyright infringement issue, but I also hope that when its said and done, they (H&M) go about doing what they need to without engaging in these 'print wars', it doesn't serve them at all.

    ReplyDelete
  27. It seems she sued under Data Protection Act of 2018 under UK's law.

    "the alleged misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018"


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Protection_Act_2018

    The law suit takes place in UK which applies UK's laws. TM's reasoning, was that he passed it to DM since he has ownership of the letter under US law.

    In the end this may not be about father and daughter, rather about the tabloid media. I hope MM and TM will find their ways back to reconciliation.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I click through the "news" on my phone when I'm waiting somewhere and I see maybe 10 or so items about the RF. K&W are doing wonderful things, looking beautiful, showing their great kids; Eugenie is doing wonderful things with her husband (who actually is not a "commoner"), Beatrice is being happy with her wonderful wealthy fiance who is a count in Italy; Sarah Ferguson is doing wonderful cute things; C&C are so adorable with their dogs; Anne and Sophia are wonderful -- that's fine; I don't disagree. But then there are the horrible Meghan and poor depressed Harry stories. It's unbelievable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a fair share of the positive "Meghan and Harry are wonderful" and "the Royal Family is horrible" stores as well. It's all in where you look and what you choose to follow. No one in the public arena is immune from bad press. It's just that the news outlets have saturated the media with so many stories of Harry and Meghan that its becoming very hard to know what's true and I don't think moving to America has solved their privacy or media issues. In fact, I think that just the mere existence of them on American soil has made them fair game for US tabloids and news outlets, so it feels like the coverage has doubled. Just this morning there were three articles on the two of them, one where Harry was reading a Thomas the Train story; one about how Meghan divulged to one of her friends that if the media had treated Kate the same way things would be different, but because it's Meghan the RF did nothing; and the last article on how Meghan has moved to LA and already has a new job. It sensory overload for sure on all fronts.

      Delete
    2. They move at a fast pace, and at times in reaction to what they face. Most of the time, they strive with continuous effort and action towards their objective.
      Harry’s latest website, https://headfit.org/ and Meghan’s recent active participation in her patronages of The Common Wealth Trust, and her recent role as a narrator on Disney Channel is a part of their consistency in their public roles. They are simply full of actions, facing challenges, and /or creating new surroundings for their family’s life ( never a dull moment / DM commenters love to hate them/ the comment section typically gets its highest numbers when it comes to news about them). Their marriage seems solid, and they are protective of their son’s privacy. Life is not just images and smooth ride. M&H show the reality of living a life, tackling it, human errors, and aspiration, as their star gets dim and bright around them. As long as they keep a good team as a couple and everything between them is genuine, they had faced what could have been depressing, and made their choice to handle challenges, adventures, possible failure and/or success. Sometimes life is like a construction site. It looks messy, but the end result could be a marvel or need modifying.

      Delete
    3. It’s not Harry’s website but the ministry of defense website.

      Delete
    4. HeadFIT has been developed in partnership with The Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign, the Ministry of Defence, Kings College London, with clinical advice from Dr Vanessa Moulton, and has been spearheaded by The Duke of Sussex.

      Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-mental-fitness-tool-launched-to-help-military-enhance-mental-wellbeing

      Delete
  29. The legal basis for the lawsuit is copyright infringement as well as privacy issues. It was sort of a hook to hang the case on. There had to be a law broken in order to make a case; otherwise, the case could be seen as frivolous or even punitive, if based solely on privacy issues. However, the intent behind the lawsuit seems to me to be more based on ethical and emotional considerations. That was what I was attempting to address in my 04:54 comment. Although there are laws covering privacy issues, there is also an emotional aspect to breech of privacy that can rarely be assuaged by winning a lawsuit. Privacy breech can lead to feelings of violation, embarrassment, outrage...all very emotional.I can't imagine how devastated Kate was when those photos were published when she and William were in the midst of a tour. There was no hiding or retreating. A classic case of "carrying on." A lawsuit followed that privacy breech as well. William and Catherine drew a line in the sand. It was an extreme violation. They essentially said, "We will over look the pap photos in parks and museums-public places, but this was truly a private situation and we will not tolerate that." Harry and Meghan have less tolerance. I think what Harry has always tried to point out is yes, it happens- those photos taken without permission ; but it shouldn't.
    Not only is there a difference in degree of violation between the two lawsuits but also a difference in level of tolerance of invasion of privacy. Carrying on can be seen as a sort of acceptance. So, the Sussex do not intend to keep calm and carry on.
    I still think it was significant that the couple apparently has made no public remarks against the many complimentary yet private revelations of friends, which were also published in the tabloids. I can understand why it is sometimes thought that approval is being given.

    ReplyDelete
  30. My goodness such robust defenses of the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail that has broken British laws and paid out millions to its victims (the payouts which have included a muzzle non-disclosure clause because the Mail doesn’t like to admit 1, it’s wrong and 2, bad publicity. And now, we are to regard it as highly credible with pure journalistic intention of course. That’s a terrific PR spin.

    Add to this, is the overused phrase, “keep calm and carry on”. I have to laugh because while the tabloids like to employ this phrase and attitude, they are exceptionally thin-skinned themselves.

    I hate this phrase because right now, it’s being thrown in people’s faces by their betters when they are going to work without proper protective gear as if they should grin and bear it and stop complaining. It’s the same attitude that people who don’t have to face the same consequences or risks like to demand others to put up with horrible stuff. It’s a double standard justification.

    If you look at WW2, there were profiteers who made money and from that able to increase that wealth with each subsequent generation, keeping their companies and families rolling in dough, power, and with elite connections until the present day. Some of those families today are on the who’s who list of socialites, philanthropies, hobnobbing among real royalties and social ones alike. Wars and crisis tend to breed profiteers, even today, as the world face a pandemic.

    Most people back then were surviving as best as they can. Most folks weren’t saint or sinner exclusively. People were just as complicated then as now, imbued with all of humanity’s graces and pitfalls. Really nothing very earth shattering here.

    So I call bull on this. Here’s an article about the phrase, Keep Calm and Carry On, and how it has been passed down through time to become a useful political and cultural symbol that it is today.

    Here’s a quote from it:
    “The power of Keep Calm and Carry On comes from a yearning for an actual or imaginary English patrician attitude of stiff upper lips and muddling through. This is, however, something that largely survives only in the popular imagination, in a country devoted to services and consumption, where elections are decided on the basis of house-price value, and given to sudden, mawkish outpourings of sentiment. The poster isn’t just a case of the return of the repressed, it is rather the return of repression itself. It is a nostalgia for the state of being repressed – solid, stoic, public spirited, as opposed to the depoliticised, hysterical and privatised reality of Britain over the last 30 years.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/08/keep-calm-and-carry-on-posters-austerity-ubiquity-sinister-implications

    - Martine

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    Replies
    1. Nobody is defending the Daily Mail or any other publication who resorts to their constantly taking things out of context while skirting the edge of legality. It's also not about "keeping a stiff upper lip". It is noble that H&M are sticking to what they feel they need to do and I hope they win. BUT, no lawsuit is going to stop DM and any other news outlet for that matter, from printing their garbage. As long as H&M continue to react to the press, they will continue to be 'gone after' because they have proven to be such good fodder for them. The right to free press is a double edged sword, its just one never knows what side of that sword they will land on. I align with others who are growing weary of the battle of the presses and hope that H&M will keep their focus on the good that they are trying to achieve through their charities, that's the message that is getting lost and its what the bad press wants to happen.

      Delete
    2. Well anon@18:53, business wise the Mail will continue its poison pen campaign against M&H because it makes them lots of money. M&H are a profitable staple for the tabloids and DM readers thirst for blood. This is the paper that ran naked photos of a Democratic US Congresswoman to humiliate her. They stoke the virulent pubic shaming. They wouldn’t dare do that to a man. And they call it journalism?!

      Take a gander at the kinds of articles these tabloids run. Royal gossips along with other celebrity gossips make up a bulk of their articles, to the point they often recycle them. The other staple is the social-cultural bent infused with crime stories often depicting salacious and sexist/racist/anti immigrant slant.

      Presently, it’s fashionable to rant and sneer over the incompetence of the current government covid19 mitigation efforts. Well that’s awfully convenient as these tabloids had a strong hand in getting these people into position of power in the first place and supporting the decade of austerity which crippled the country’s infrastructures from education, housing, to healthcare.

      Right now, these tabloids are embracing NHS which is ironic as these tabloids have been decrying waste and pushing back against the ‘foreign’ healthcare providers that NHS had to recruit over the years to work in the UK. But there you go, now the tabloids love them, literally to death.

      But this duplicitous tactic is very much their MO. The Daily Mail printed all kinds of racist fear mongering in the 30’s about German Jews pouring into the UK and fast forward 80 years and we get similar rhetorics stoking fear about criminal migrants pouring into Europe and the UK while stoking Brexit.

      http://minorityperspective.co.uk/2012/04/22/from-championing-justice-for-stephen-lawrence-to-promoting-votes-for-far-right-leader-marine-le-pen-the-two-face-treachery-of-the-daily-mail/

      So I say why should M&H suffer in silence. Why be the tabloids’ punching bag? If you are tired of the fight, then turn it off. This isn’t about freedom of the press anymore. It’s about the abuse of that freedom. It’s about printing lies, innuendos, misdirections —all to ruin people so the tabloids can make money. These tabloids will continue to victimize people in their quest to make money as long as they can get away with it. I for one am glad, their victims are fighting back and winning. Because this is what tabloids like the right wing Daily Mail are doing, fighting a cultural war to keep British institutions white and its awful punishing class system alive and thriving.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/prince-harry-meghan-markle-sussex-tabloids-letter-racist-daily-mail-sun-a9474896.html

      - Martine

      Delete
    3. Interesting article Martine, thanks for sharing it. I work in health care and I hear you on the keep calm and carry on spiel. I feel it's good to stay calm or at least try, but that does not equal tolerating anything and everything harmful/dangerous/hurtful etc. I find the use of this phrase can be quite patronizing, especially when it comes from those in their ivory towers or those who don't know all the details and make assumptions.

      This over usage is relevant to H & M's situation too. " It’s the same attitude that people who don’t have to face the same consequences or risks like to demand others to put up with horrible stuff. It’s a double standard justification." THIS! Say it louder for the people in the back!

      Aimee

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  31. A good analysis of UK media and the current system strengths and weaknesses is well detailed here. It’s a long read but explains why this thing is bigger than the royal coverage. Ultimately it’s a fight over power, culture and money. It’s about the monopoly of the press and the heady power these press barons have that makes the press less free and no longer an unbiased institution. The gaslighting we see. The hoax filled stories is making those who claim “the media is fake“ be true. That costs us a very important check and balance as a free and open society. The trade off will be far less transparency and access to important information so important in a functioning democracy. Covid19 shows us the importance of a free, fact filled and trustworthy press.

    https://www.democraticaudit.com/2018/08/30/2018audit-how-well-does-the-uks-media-system-support-democratic-politics-and-represent-citizens-interests/

    - Martine

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  32. Thanks, Charlotte. I enjoyed the information.

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  33. Happy 1st birthday to little Archie

    a nice video here

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ1vOJS4xKM

    cheers
    melissa

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)