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    Prince Harry Condemns "Wave Of Abuse" His Girlfriend Has Faced

    A statement from Kensington Palace condemned articles and comment pieces with “racial undertones”.

    Kensington Palace has issued a statement on behalf of Prince Harry criticising the nature of press coverage involving his new girlfriend, US actor and humanitarian Meghan Markle.

    Kensington Palace has issued a statement this morning about the harassment currently being experienced by Meghan Ma… https://t.co/6KgnuDlXOk

    In the statement, the royal's communications secretary said “a line has been crossed” regarding the way the relationship has been covered, and warned that Markle has been subject to a wave of racist and sexist abuse by online trolls.

    It also says the harassment has extended into Markle's personal life, with photographers and reporters trying to illegally gain entry into her home; friends family, and co-workers being targeted by reporters with bribes being offered; and "nightly legal battles" to keep defamatory stories out of the papers.

    Prince Harry also expressed personal concern for Markle's safety and said that "it is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm".

    Andrew Toth / Getty Images

    "He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it was necessary to speak publicly," the statement ends.

    Since rumours of the pair's relationship started circulating, a number of articles and comment pieces "with racial undertones" have been published, the palace said.

    THE SUN: Princess Pushy #tomorrowspaperstoday

    dailymail.co.uk

    In the Daily Mail, Rachel Johnson writes: "If there is issue from her alleged union with Prince Harry, the Windsors will thicken their watery, thin blue blood and Spencer pale skin and ginger hair with some rich and exotic DNA.

    "Miss Markle’s mother is a dreadlocked African-American lady from the wrong side of the tracks who lives in LA, and even the sourest spinster has to admit that the 35-year-old actress is extremely easy on the eye."

    The palace's statement follows similar criticism on social media about the way the pair's relationship has been covered.

    Such racist filth from the Daily Mail on @meghanmarkle and Prince Harry's 'worlds apart' backgrounds. https://t.co/nUb6g1mBkf

    And here are the Daily Mail's euphemisms for "black" today... 😣 @DaraKirton @afuahirsch

    People on social media have been supportive of the statement and have praised Prince Harry for speaking out.

    👏🏾👏🏾 Prince Harry attacks "racial undertones" over coverage of girlfriend Meghan Markle https://t.co/TaFvr0AEDQ

    #PrinceHarry turning out to be his mother's son. Non racist, a rebel, untameable. Something to smile about in these dark days.

    All power to Prince Harry 👊🏼 for calling out the british gutter press

    And this is how the Daily Mail and Sun reacted to the statement.

    Here is the statement from Kensington Palace in full:

    Since he was young, Prince Harry has been very aware of the warmth that has been extended to him by members of the public. He feels lucky to have so many people supporting him and knows what a fortunate and privileged life he leads.

    He is also aware that there is a significant curiosity about his private life. He has never been comfortable with this, but he has tried to develop a thick skin about the level of media interest that comes with it. He has rarely taken formal action on the very regular publication of fictional stories that are written about him and he has worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the media, focused on his work and the issues he cares about.

    But the past week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public - the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments. Some of it has been hidden from the public - the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.

    Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game - it is her life and his.

    He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done. He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement life this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it was necessary to speak publicly.

    Ikran Dahir is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Ikran Dahir at ikran.dahir@buzzfeed.com.

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