Saturday, 26 Sep 2020

Meghan Markle rejected ‘only safe course’ within Royal Family before explosive exit

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The Duchess of Sussex hit out at the “never complain, never explain” philosophy of the Royal Family in court filings last month. The filings are part of her lawsuit against Associated Newspapers over the publication of a letter she sent to her father Thomas Markle in the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline. Meghan, who stepped back from royal duties alongside husband Prince Harry earlier this year, claims this breached both her copyright and her privacy.

The statement from Meghan’s lawyers in the court filings claimed she felt “unprotected” by the Royal Family, because she was not allowed to respond to allegations in the media.

It went on to say how this took a toll on her mental health and that her friends were “rightly” concerned about her wellbeing.

The statement added that it was “mandated” by Kensington Palace that “all friends and family of [Meghan] should say ‘no comment’ when approached by any media outlets, despite misinformation being provided to the UK tabloids about her.”

It continued: “This shared frustration amongst the claimant and friends left everyone feeling silenced, as it appeared that other so-called sources were able to disseminate false statements about the claimant, while people who knew her best were told they needed to remain silent.”

This statement is describing the well-known policy of the Royal Family to never respond to accusations, whether that be to explain a situation or to express how they feel about it.

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk that this rule is actually very important, and is the best and safest route for any royal.

This is because any royal response will only add fuel to the fire and spur people on to make more claims.

He said: “There are times when the unwritten royal rule of ‘never complain, never explain’ is the only safe course.

“Meghan felt she was let down by the lack of response to articles she regarded as critical of her.

“This is the only possible course, nothing would be more calculated to encourage those seeing sensation than a retail response.

“Unfortunately, in the royal goldfish bowl, it simply isn’t possible to control your coverage.

“And, as she may well discover in her case against the Mail on Sunday, it is only under the most extreme circumstances that royals should go to court and they should arrange things so they do not appear in person.”

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This revelation comes after the news that Meghan may be quizzed about a new biography on her and Prince Harry in the court case.

The book, entitled ‘Finding Freedom’, by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, was released yesterday and contains so much detail many believe the Duke and Duchess of Sussex must have authorised friends to speak.

The authors claim they have spoken to 100 sources, many of whom are in Meghan and Harry’s inner circle.

This is relevant to the court case, because Associated Newspapers’ legal team have argued that Meghan allowing five friends to speak to People magazine several months before the publication of the letter, meant that she breached her own privacy.

What’s more, while the royal couple have denied speaking to the authors of the book, the author’s note reads: “We have spoken to close friends of Harry and Meghan, royal aides and palace staff (past and present), the charities and organisations they have built long-lasting relationships with and, when appropriate, the couple themselves.”

However, a spokesperson for the couple said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom.

“The book is based on the authors’ own experience as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.”

Some have speculated that Prince William and Kate Middleton may respond to the claims made in Finding Freedom with an account of their side of the story.

However, Mr Fitzwilliams believes they will instead stick to the royal protocol.

He said: “Buckingham Palace has not commented on any of the revelations in the extract published so far from Finding Freedom.

“This is to be expected and is absolutely the right course to take.

“I can say with certainty that William and Kate are unlikely to respond to anything in the book.”

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