It looks like the royal family might have a favoritism problem when it comes to their PR team — and it’s no secret where Meghan Markle falls on their priorities. While it’s long seemed that the Palace stood for far more media criticism of Meghan than any other royal, it wasn’t until new royal biography Finding Freedom confirmed their willingness to speak out on behalf of Prince William and Kate Middleton that we saw it clearly. In July 2019, while Prince Harry and Meghan were fielding daily, harmful, untrue rumors, many about the recent birth of their first child Archie, they were instructed over and over by royal family officials to keep silent, and advised that speaking out would only fuel the flames. That same month, however, they did make an official statement correcting a rumor about a royal — the rumor that Kate had had “baby Botox” on her face.
While this confirmation of the royal family’s apparent bias may be a sad revelation to us, the Duchess has been aware of her standing for some time, royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand reveal. As media attention around Meghan grew and grew throughout her pregnancy and Archie’s birth, the Sussexes expressed repeatedly that something needed to be done to quell these rumors — but found little help with the royal family.
“Refusing to address incorrect rumors only helped to reinforce them,” Scobie and Durand write. “Traditionally, the Palace had no comment when it came to rumors, but the Sussexes felt they weren’t afraid to bend the rules if it was to correct a story about higher ranking family members..”
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) August 11, 2020
“Case in point, a spokesperson went on the record in July 2019 to deny the claims of a cosmetic clinic that Kate has had “baby Botox,” they continue. “Harry and Meghan were frustrated by this approach, since it didn’t seem they enjoyed the same support.”
It certainly seems like a clear double standard. Finding Freedom draws a parallel to a rumor a few months earlier, published on the front page of The Sun, that Meghan was “banned” from wearing jewelry that once belonged to Diana. While the rumor was unequivocally untrue on many fronts and directly suggested the Queen didn’t care for Meghan as much as she did Kate, the royal family did nothing and said nothing, and informed the Sussexes they were expected to follow suit.
One of the great reliefs of being out of the royal family must be the ability to once again speak their minds when lies are spread about them in the press. With their lawsuits against UK media outlets underway and their royal family exit complete, Harry and Meghan are slowly but surely regaining their voices after all this silence.
Click here for the 100 best photos of the royal family from the past 20 years.