Prince Harry really, really doesn’t like the paparazzi, okay? The more we hear about Harry and Meghan Markle’s complicated relationship with the media, the more we get the sense that Harry was the driving force behind their moving out of the public eye. Since Meghan was bearing the brunt of the paparazzi’s criticisms, it had long been assumed that she was pushing for the couple to leave the royal family, but new details about an incident in Jamaica reveals more than ever how deeply Harry was affected by these incidents — not the Duchess. Early in their relationship, the couple attended a beach wedding only to be tracked down by paparazzi and photographed in compromising positions (by royal standards). Pictures of the couple locking lips on their balcony, and of the Duchess in a bikini, had been taken, and Harry flew into a rage to ensure those photos never ever went public.
New Meghan and Harry biography Finding Freedom, by royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, gives us this behind-the-scenes glimpse at the paparazzi’s intrusion on Harry and Meghan’s trip. In March 2018, the not-yet-Sussexes traveled to Jamaica for the wedding of Harry’s friend Tom Inskip, On the second day, a photographer was found on the resort property and promptly kicked out — “but not before capturing the couple in a steamy embrace on their private balcony and Meghan in her tiny swimsuits frolicking in the water with the prince.”
While Meghan was far from thrilled with this revelation, Harry, the books says, “was apoplectic.” He called the palace: “Do whatever needs to be done,” he instructed, demanding that those photos be kept permanently out of the public eye. The palace succeeded, when it came to the balcony photos — bikini photos, however, were still fair game.
Perhaps more troublingly, Meghan was newly at a loss for how to make her then-fiancé calm down from the incident. “Harry was angry and shouting while Meghan was concerned,” the book recounts. “She more than understood his feelings about media intrusion, how that deep distrust that formed after his mother [Princess Diana’s] death and had never gone away…but she had never seen him like this.“
While it seems Harry’s emotional reaction here only brought the couple closer together, the theme sees clearer than ever: Harry is the one who’s struggled with media attention his whole life, and was likely looking for an out. By marrying Meghan, a woman willing to follow his vision beyond the royal family, he got it.
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Click here to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s complete relationship timeline.