A cross-party coalition of women legislators in the United Kingdom Parliament have sent a letter of solidarity to Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, saying they are calling out parts of the British press for penning stories about her which have “outdated, colonial undertones”.
Tuesday’s letter, signed by 71 MPs, came after Markle recently admitted it was a “struggle” becoming a new mother amid the intense media scrutiny which has followed her since her marriage last year to the UK’s Prince Harry.
“As women MPs of all political persuasions, we wanted to express our solidarity with you in taking a stand against the often distasteful and misleading nature of the stories printed in a number of our national newspapers concerning you, your character and your family,” the letter said.
Women MPs from all political parties have put aside our differences to stand in solidarity with the Duchess of Sussex today and are sending her this open letter. pic.twitter.com/ytLHG5qPf4
— Holly Lynch MP (@HollyLynch5) October 29, 2019
“On occasions, stories and headlines have represented an invasion of your privacy and have sought to cast aspersions about your character, without any good reason as far as we can see,” it added.
“Even more concerning still, we are calling out what can only be described as outdated, colonial undertones to some of these stories.”
Earlier this month, Markle began legal action against the UK‘s Mail on Sunday newspaper over a claim it had unlawfully published one of her private letters. The Mail on Sunday has denied the accusation.
At the time, Prince Harry said the way newspapers were treating Markle was reminiscent of their approach to his mother, Princess Diana, and accused some sections of the British media of “bullying” his wife, who last week was named among the most influential black people in the UK.
“Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself,” the prince said in a statement on October 1.
“I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces,” he added.
Prince Harry said the couple believed in “media freedom and objective, truthful reporting”, describing it as a “cornerstone of democracy”, but accused parts of the media of publishing “relentless propaganda”.
“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son,” he said.
In May, a BBC journalist was fired for using a picture of a chimpanzee in a Twitter post about the royal couple’s newborn son.