Prince Harry Tuesday confirmed US actress Meghan Markle is his girlfriend but lashed out at the media for subjecting her to a “wave of abuse and harassment”. In a terse statement, the Kensington Palace said the couple were “a few months into a relationship” and it was “not right” that Ms Markle should be subjected to such treatment.
It said the prince rarely took formal action over “fictional stories”.
“But the past week has seen a line crossed,” it added.
Harry’s Communications Secretary Jason Knauf outlined the difficulties Markle had experienced since news of their relationship broke.
“The past week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Prince Harry is worried about Ms Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” Knauf said.
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Harry, 35, has objected to “outright racism and sexism” on social media against the 35-year-old actress. It is the first official confirmation from Kensington Palace that the pair are dating.
Markle is best known for her role in popular US legal television drama “Suits”.
Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, is fifth-in-line to the throne behind his father Prince Charles, brother Prince William, and William’s children Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Harry has long had an uneasy relationship with the press, having grown up aware of the impact that intense media intrusion had on the life of his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, the BBC noted.
When he was 20, he was caught up in a scuffle with a paparazzi photographer outside a London nightclub.
In 2012, naked photographs of him in a Las Vegas hotel room were published online and on newspaper front pages, prompting a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission, the report said.
But he has also attracted positive coverage of his charitable interests and military service, it added.