Meghan Markle's claim she was 'unprotected' would be 'disturbing reading' for the Queen

·3-min read
Queen Elizabeth ll and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex open the New Mersey Gateway Bridge during a visit to Cheshire on June 14, 2018.  This is the Duchess's first solo engagement with The Queen
The Queen would be distressed by the claims, a royal editor has said. (PA images)

A royal expert has claimed the Queen would be distressed by Meghan Markle’s claims that she felt ‘unprotected’ by the royal family when she was pregnant.

Russell Myers, The Daily Mirror’s Royal Editor, told Good Morning Britain that the monarch and senior members of the family would no doubt be upset that Meghan felt she was "prohibited from defending herself" against negative media coverage at the time, as UK news outlet agencies have reported, citing court documents.

"They are absolutely disturbing reading for the royal family and they will be very distressed,” Russell said.

Russell went on to say that back in January, when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they were stepping away from their roles as senior royals, the Queen released a statement saying that while she was disappointed, she understood their decision.

"The Queen mentions family, how they took Meghan into the heart of the family and how she had been so impressed with her,” he said.

"Certainly, these claims that she felt unprotected, especially when pregnant, will be very distressing indeed for the Queen, Charles, Kate and William."

Read more: Meghan Markle was 'unprotected by the Institution' after media attacks, court papers say

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19:  Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and the Duchess of Sussex depart after their wedding ceremonyat St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan stepped back from their royal roles in March 2020. (Getty Images)

The statement at the time read: “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.

“I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.

“I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.

“It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”

Court documents reviewed by the Press Association and the BBC were prepared as part of Meghan's lawsuit against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday newspaper and MailOnline website over articles that reproduced parts of a letter the duchess wrote to her father a few months after her 2018 marriage to Prince Harry.

Read more: Why is Meghan Markle suing the Mail on Sunday?

Meghan is seeking damages from the Mail on Sunday's publisher for alleged misuse of private information, breach of privacy and copyright infringement.

The publisher, Associated Newspapers, denies her claims.

In court papers reportedly filed after the publisher's lawyers requested further information, Meghan's lawyers described how her relationship with the British media had deteriorated by the time excerpts of the letter appeared in print and online in 2019.

"The claimant had become the subject of a large number of false and damaging articles by the UK tabloid media, specifically by the defendant, which caused tremendous emotional distress and damage to her mental health," they wrote.

Referring to interviews that five of Meghan's friends gave to People magazine last year, the duchess's lawyers added: "As her friends had never seen her in this state before, they were rightly concerned for her welfare, specifically as she was pregnant, unprotected by the Institution, and prohibited from defending herself."

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 09:  Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during Trooping The Colour 2018 on June 9, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during Trooping The Colour 2018. (Getty Images)

Read more: Eight times the Royal Family has sued the media

In the People article, published in February 2019, the friends spoke out against the bullying the royal said she faced.

Following a preliminary hearing in London in May, a judge struck out parts of Meghan's claim against Associated Newspapers, including allegations that it acted "dishonestly" by leaving out certain parts of her letter to her father, Thomas Markle.

The judge also struck out allegations that the publisher deliberately stirred up issues between Meghan and her father and that it had an agenda in publishing intrusive articles about her.

With extra reporting by AAP

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