“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,” Harry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The prince went on to say that he and Meghan have “continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to – I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been.”
His statement comes as the couple launches legal action against the Mail on Sunday.
A legal spokesperson from Schillings, who is representing the Duchess of Sussex, said: “We have initiated legal proceedings against the Mail on Sunday, and its parent company Associated Newspapers, over the intrusive and unlawful publication of a private letter written by the Duchess of Sussex, which is part of a campaign by this media group to publish false and deliberately derogatory stories about her, as well as her husband. Given the refusal of Associated Newspapers to resolve this issue satisfactorily, we have issued proceedings to redress this breach of privacy, infringement of copyright and the aforementioned media agenda.”
Harry added that he has been “a silent witness to her private suffering for too long. To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.”
“The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months; they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave. She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you’ve seen on this Africa tour.”
Harry also evoked the memory of his late mother, Princess Diana, in his statement, saying: “Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. 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.
“We thank you, the public, for your continued support. It is hugely appreciated. Although it may not seem like it, we really need it.”
This is not the first time that Harry has come to Meghan’s defense. Soon after they went public with their relationship in 2016, the prince released a powerful statement, slamming what he called the racist and sexist abuse she had endured since her relationship with him was revealed.
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And while this summer has brought much joy after the birth of their son, Archie, they’ve also been faced with difficulty. But when negative headlines pop up, Meghan and Harry pull even closer together.
“They definitely lean on each other during challenging times,” a source recently told PEOPLE.