When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry left England and the Royal Family, they were hoping to lead a more ordinary life with their son, Archie. Unfortunately, the paparazzi seem just as interested in them in L.A. as they did in London. Meanwhile, they have distanced themselves from a new biography on them, an excerpt of which has dropped.
The ex-royals are now suing over "serial intrusions on the privacy of a 14-month-old child in his own home, and the desire and responsibility of any parent to do what is necessary to protect their children from this manufactured feeding frenzy," according to a complaint filed Thursday in L.A. County Superior Court by Michael Kump of Kinsella Weitzman.
What happened? The Daily Mail, which they’d sought shelter from stateside, published their location, according to the suits. They are reportedly staying at Tyler Perry’s $18 million estate.
The suit reads: "Some paparazzi and media outlets have flown drones a mere 20 feet above the house, as often as three times a day, to obtain photographs of the couple and their young son in their private residence. Others have flown helicopters above the backyard of the residence, as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as 7:00 p.m., waking neighbors and their son, day after day. And still others have even cut holes in the security fence itself to peer through it."
The straw that broke the camel’s back, they allege, is that photographs of Archie are being shopped around. As he hasn’t appeared in public, they’re suing John Doe defendants to ascertain who they are and let potential buyers know that the shots were taken illegally.
The suit reads: "The Plaintiffs have done everything in their power to stay out of the limelight except in connection with their work, which they freely admit is newsworthy. But the photos at issue are not news. They are not public interest. They are harassment. The sole point to taking and/or selling such invasive photos is to profit from a child."
A new book that they were rumored to have contributed to, Finding Freedom, is set to drop in August, and the Sussexes are backing away from it. The book, by Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, is said to detail their frustrations with the Palace and the media, and their belief that they were not supported properly against racist attacks on Meghan.
A spokesman for the Duke and Duchess told The Telegraph: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom. This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.”
Royal observers have voiced concern that “sacroscant” conversations held behind closed doors at the Palace would be aired.
“It would be disappointing,” said one. Finding Freedom will drop in August, but an excerpt was released in Times of London.
EXCERPT FROM THE TIMES
Since getting married, Harry and Meghan had enjoyed calling their own shots. “Harry and Meghan liked being in control of their narrative,” a source said, which is why originally agreeing to fold their household into Buckingham Palace, instead of creating their own independent court, had proved a big disappointment to them.
Harry and Meghan had wanted to create their own individual household in Windsor, meaning their own office staffed with their own team, who would be separate from all others. But senior officials quickly ruled out that option.
The senior courtiers whom Diana used to refer to as “men in grey suits” were concerned that the global interest in and popularity of the Sussexes needed to be reined in.
In the short time since their fairytale wedding, Harry and Meghan were already propelling the monarchy to new heights around the world.
As their popularity had grown, so did Harry and Meghan’s difficulty in understanding why so few inside the palace were looking out for their interests.
They were a major draw for the royal family. According to a press report that compared the online popularity of the Sussexes with the Cambridges from November 2017 to January 2020, “Harry-and-Meghan-related searches accounted for 83 percent of the world’s curiosity in the two couples.”
The Sussexes had made the monarchy more relatable to those who had never before felt a connection. However, there were concerns that the couple should be brought into the fold; otherwise, the establishment feared their popularity might eclipse that of the royal family.
Increasingly Harry had grown frustrated that he and Meghan often took a back seat to other family members.
While they both respected the hierarchy of the institution, it was difficult when they wanted to focus on a project and were told that a more senior ranking family member, be it Prince William or Prince Charles, had an initiative or tour being announced at the same time — so they would just have to wait.
For months the couple tried to air these frustrations, but the conversations didn’t lead anywhere.
Worse, there were just a handful of people working at the palace they could trust. Outside this core team, no information was safe.
A friend of the couple referred to the old guard as “the vipers”. Meanwhile, an equally frustrated palace staffer described the Sussexes’ team as “the squeaky third wheel” of the palace.
Highly emotional and fiercely protective of his wife and son, Harry was drained by the unique circumstances of his family, which, as a source described, “doesn’t have the opportunity to operate as an actual family.”
While politics are part of every family dynamic, they are at a whole other level for William, Harry, and the rest of the royals.
“Every conversation, every issue, every personal disagreement, whatever it may be, involves staff,” the source said of the aides who invariably send and receive messages between the royal households.
“It creates a really weird environment that actually doesn’t allow people to sort things out themselves.”
No one could deny the fact that the couple was emotionally exhausted, whether they had brought it on themselves or were victims of a merciless machine.
“They felt under pressure,” a source said. “They felt that they were alone.”
For Harry especially, it was all getting to be too much. “Doesn’t the Queen deserve better?” screamed one newspaper headline, which the prince read online.
“These people are just paid trolls,” he later told a friend. “Nothing but trolls . . . and it’s disgusting.”
Scrolling on his iPhone, he sometimes couldn’t stop himself from reading the comments on the articles.
“H&M disgust me.”
“They are a disgrace to the royal family.”
“The world would be a better place without Harry and Meghan in it.”
The last comment had over 3,500 upvotes. Harry regretted opening the link.
His stomach tied into the same knot every time he saw these sorts of comments.
“It’s a sick part of the society we live in today, and no one is doing anything about it,” he continued.
“Where’s the positivity? Why is everyone so miserable and angry?”