Prince Harry's full statement on his family's relationship with the media: 'Put simply, it's bullying'

On Tuesday night, Prince Harry released a statement addressing the treatment of his family by certain media outlets.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have launched legal action against a newspaper over its choice to publish a private letter sent by the Duchess to her father, Thomas Markle.

READ MORE: Harry and Meghan sue Mail on Sunday

In the statement, Harry, 35, who married Meghan Markle, 38, in May last year, outlines the justification behind their lawsuit. He writes that it “hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media”, adding that “the contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner”.

Although he does not name the media outlet in the group, Sky News reports that law firm Schillings, representing the Duchess, said it has filed a High Court claim against The Mail On Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 02: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit a township to learn about Youth Employment Services on October 02, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit a township to learn about Youth Employment Services on 2 October in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Getty)

Read Prince Harry’s statement in full:

"As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting. We regard it as a cornerstone of democracy and in the current state of the world – on every level – we have never needed responsible media more.

"Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son.

"There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to – I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been.

"Because in today's digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day's coverage is no longer tomorrow's chip-paper.

"Up to now, we have been unable to correct the continual misrepresentations – something that these select media outlets have been aware of and have therefore exploited on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.

READ MORE: Best photos from Harry and Meghan’s royal tour of South Africa and Africa

"It is for this reason we are taking legal action, a process that has been many months in the making. The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months; they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave.

"She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you've seen on this Africa tour.

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie, meet with Anglican Archbishop Emeritus, Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday Sept. 25, 2019. The royal couple are on the third day of their African tour. (Henk Kruger/African News Agency via AP, Pool)
Prince Harry, Meghan and their son Archie meet Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, South Africa. (Henk Kruger/African News Agency via AP, Pool)

"For these select media this is a game, and one that we have been unwilling to play from the start. I have been a silent witness to her private suffering for too long.

"To stand back and do nothing would be contrary to everything we believe in.

"This particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media. The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question.

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"In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year.

"There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, 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.

"Though this action may not be the safe one, it is the right one. Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. I've seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.

"We thank you, the public, for your continued support. It is hugely appreciated. Although it may not seem like it, we really need it."