Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are the British gutter press’ favorite whipping boy and girl.
Not a day goes by when there isn’t a new piece — sometimes on this very site — detailing how “the spare” is nothing more than a whipped sod, and his wife is a social-climbing gold-digger who couldn’t wait to get her hands on the (non-existent, by the way) Windsor billions.
Now, though, a new and explosive report suggests that these targeted hits towards the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are courtesy of a familiar source.
What Does Prince Harry’s Lawsuit Against ‘The Sun’ Have To Do With These New Revelations?
The British gutter press has been savage towards Prince Harry since shortly after Princess Diana died. As far back as the early 2000s, it was revealed that Harry and his brother, Prince William, were at the center of a hacking lawsuit, in which it was revealed that tabloid journalists were accessing their voicemails without permission in a bid to get sensitive information.
By the time Harry married Meghan Markle, he’d been dealing with the savagery of the British tabloid press for more than 30 years. However, when the reports started taking on a particularly racist and rancorous tone, Harry made his displeasure known.
There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behavior, because it destroys people and destroys lives. Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level. We won’t and can’t believe in a world where there is no accountability for this. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.
Shortly after Prince Harry issued that statement, Meghan Markle commissioned Schillings, a well-known British legal firm specializing in libel cases, to commence proceedings against “The Daily Mail.”
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.
While that initial statement suggested that Thomas Markle, Meghan’s estranged father, was behind the “hits” in the press (a claim he has repeatedly denied), a new and explosive report released today reveals that the real source hits a lot closer to home for Prince Harry.
A War On Two Fronts
On the same day that Markle filed suit against “The Daily Mail,” Prince Harry commissioned Clintons LLP to sue the Murdoch-owned outlets, including “The Sun,” “The Daily Mirror,” and “News of the World.”
But in legal documents unveiled today, Dan Wootton — the executive editor of “The Sun” — revealed his two sources: freelance publicist Callum Stephens, and Christian Jones.
While the Stephens connection is neither here nor there, the Jones connection is particularly notable: he’s the former Press Secretary to Kensington Palace, and it was a role he held when “The Sun” first started publishing stories against Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
What’s more, “The Sun” paid Jones (again, the Kensington Palace Press Secretary) for access to sensitive information.
Sources close to the matter say it is alleged The Sun made two payments amounting to £4,000 to Stephens, in relation to stories published in June and July 2019 about nannying and god-parenting arrangements for the Sussexes’ son Archie, and that the payments appear to have been identified by way of an internal News UK accounting code. This unusual and specific financial detail lends credibility to the whistle-blower claims, yet Wootton insists he is the victim of “misinformation” fed “in a calculated and malicious way.”
While Prince William and Duchess Kate claim that they had no knowledge of Jones’s dealings, “The Sun” has made clear that they made no illegal payments to Jones for his information.
But a legal expert close to the matter says that Prince Harry is aiming his fire towards the wrong party.
There appears to have been specific targeted intelligence which Prince Harry’s lawyers deem credible enough to act on with a legal letter. Their professional obligations would not allow them to simply issue such a letter without basis. It raises the question of whether a better, more in-depth investigation needs to take place into allegations right at the heart of the Royal household.
If this expert is, indeed, correct, Jones will be subjected to an internal investigation conducted by Buckingham Palace. (It must be made clear that Jones categorically denies the accusations against him.)
But the question still remains: why would Kensington Palace — via proxy through its press secretary — put out a press hit on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle?
A Future King In Crisis?
When it comes to Kensington Palace allegedly betraying Harry and Meghan, the question of “why” remains a bit of a mystery.
One suggestion is that Meghan Markle defied royal protocol several times, and this has upset the British royal family. Whether Markle was being deliberately defiant, or merely ignorant due to her American origins, is of course up for debate.
But another suggestion paints Prince Harry as the sacrificial lamb for his older brother’s dalliances. The so-called “Sussex Squad” — the unofficial online fan club of Harry and Meghan — notes that the rancorous stories about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle started coming out in full force around the same time Prince William was trying to hide his alleged affair with Rose Hanbury.
Granted, correlation and causation are not the same things. However, Prince Harry is currently in the center of a legal maelstrom, and it will be interesting to watch these developments unfold further.