The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have cut ties with four British tabloids. The couple sent a letter to the editors of the Sun, the Mail, the Express and the Mirror saying they will no longer cooperate with their publications. In their statement, released on April 19th, the couple said they had made the move due to “distorted, false or invasive” stories.
The Sussexes said that they and their team will have no communication with anyone from the four tabloids or their Sunday counterparts. This will start with immediate effect.
In their letter, they said: “There will be no corroboration and zero engagement.” The couple said they have watched those they know and love be attacked by the tabloids over the years and saw the negative impact it had on their lives.
“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,” the letter read.
The Sussexes refuse to “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of click bait and distortion.”
The Duke and Duchess stressed that they value a free press and that the new policy is not about avoiding criticism. In the statement, they say that ”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,” they said.
The couple will continue to work with up and coming journalists and other media, as they promised to do on their now-defunct website ahead of stepping back from royal duties, to raise awareness for important causes and issues close to their hearts.
The letter’s release comes as the Duchess of Sussex’s lawsuit against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday enters its next phase in the British courts this week over its publication of parts of a letter written by Thomas Markle to Meghan.
Harry, Meghan and their son, Archie are currently residing in Meghan’s hometown of Los Angeles. They gave up their roles as senior royals on March 31st, two months after announcing their plans to step back.
Their full letter to the tabloid editors reads:
”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 and indeed have an opinion 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, 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 click bait and distortion.
We are encouraged that this new approach will be heard and respected.”