American actress turned British royalty, Meghan Markle, has candidly revealed that her British friends advised her against dating Prince Harry; warning her of the extreme British tabloid culture she may have to face. Spilling the “tea” to ITV presenter, Tom Bradby, Meghan elaborated that they told her the tabloids would “destroy” her life.
Not exactly the most comforting advice for a young woman smitten by a prince.
Now married with a newborn child, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex should be on cloud nine. However, constant attention and scrutiny from the press over the past 12 months has left the couple feeling isolated, frustrated, and angry with several prominent newspapers; leaving the rest of the world to presume perhaps Meghan should have heeded the guidance of her friends.
As if the toxic tabloid culture wasn’t already enough to grapple with, Harry and Meghan have had to endure it at a time when society is obsessed with social media. Younger Generations Dating in particular often struggle with the negative effects social media can have on mental health and personal relationships, however for the young royal newlyweds, the pressure seems to be becoming too much to bear.
British Tabloid Culture
It is widely accepted that the British tabloids are brutal, and no member of the royal family is immune to their scrutiny. Other royal family members such as Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, and the late Princess Diana have all endured battles with the press over the years. However, as an American, Markle had no idea what she was getting herself into.
In the same interview with Bradby, Markle said, “It’s hard…I don’t think anybody can understand that, but in all fairness I had no idea, which probably sounds difficult to understand here, but when I first met my now husband my friends were really happy because I was so happy, but my British friends said to me, ‘I’m sure he’s great but you shouldn’t do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life’”.
Dealing with the constant tabloid headlines is difficult for royal family members in particular because they are not meant to speak out, get involved, or defend themselves when misrepresented rumors are shared. For Markle, coming from the United States where open discourse and freedom of speech is encouraged, maintaining a “stiff upper lip” has been a mental burden.
The Millennial Generations Dating
As millennials, Harry and Meghan face this tabloid culture in the era of social media; something that older generations of the royal family did not have to endure during their own years of dating or early marriage.
Exposed to constant public ridicule online in comment sections, web forums, and blogs, the couple’s entire life can literally be watched – and commented on – from the palm of people’s hands. Social media also enables misinformation and rumours to rapidly spread, which would understandably take its toll on any human being.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are actually well positioned to comment on the challenges younger generations dating face in an era of social media and constant public scrutiny, however, Markle’s comments against the British press do come at an odd time.
Having recently spent 10 days in Africa filming a documentary for ITV entitled Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, the couple received overwhelmingly positive press around the project that aimed to highlight the family’s philanthropic work throughout the region. However, Meghan’s negative comments have somewhat dampened the mood; refocusing the conversation on the couple instead of the amazing work spotlighted in the documentary.