The two-hour TV special of Winfrey with Prince Harry and Meghan on Sunday dropped explosive revelations that have set off a debate about the British royal family and also stirred discussion on the role of tabloids in the lives of royals.
Oprah referred to the headlines that showed what many are calling the double standards of the British royal press in their reportage of Kate and Meghan.
“Bumping along nicely! The Duchess was seen placing a protective hand on her tummy as she exited the event” a headline referring to Kate in the Daily Mail read in 2018.
However, a headline in the same tabloid in 2019 for Meghan read: “Personally, I find the cradling a bit like those signs in the back of cars: Baby on Board. Virtue signalling, as though the rest of us barren harridans deserve to burn alive in our cars."
Several such headlines comparing Meghan to Kate were compiled by Buzzfeed to show “a double standard between press coverage of Meghan and Kate”.
"Prince William was given one of the green fruit – wrapped up in a bow – by a little boy who’s mother is suffering during her pregnancy too... ‘He said he’d take it to [Kate] and see what happens – and said good luck for [the boy’s] mummy,” read a headline in Express in 2017 referring to Kate.
"The pregnant Duchess of Sussex and so-called ‘avocado on toast whisperer’ is wolfing down a fruit linked to water shortages, illegal deforestation and all round general environmental devastation,” Express headlined a similar story for Meghan in 2019.
The British media outlets that make for a select group of media representatives covering royal news are Daily Express, the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, the Evening Standard, the Telegraph, the Times, and the Sun.
The Duchess said that she considered suicide at a point of time in her life due to British tabloid intrusion and getting no support from the royal family.
In the extraordinary interview, Harry also criticised the devastating role tabloids had in his relationship with his father Prince Charles. He said his father stopped taking his calls after he opened up about stepping back from royal life which made him feel “trapped within the system”.
The Duchess debunked a widely reported tabloid story that claimed she made Kate cry during Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress fitting.
"The reverse happened,” Meghan said. "A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something—yes, the issue was correct, about the flower girl dresses—and it made me cry and it really hurt my feelings."
She said she would not get into the details of it as Kate apologised and even "brought me flowers and a note apologising, which is what I would do if I knew that I hurt someone...to just take accountability for it."
The British tabloids were also slammed over their reports on the avocado issue, where they praised Kate her taste in breakfast and linked Meghan to deforestation, drought and human rights abuse. “That’s a loaded piece of toast,” she joked.
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