The couple, which has now relocated to California from Canada, on Sunday night sent a letter to the editors of outlets The Sun, The Mirror, Daily Mail, Daily Express and all affiliated titles, informing them they will no longer co-operate on stories. The directive comes just weeks after the couple formally stepped back as senior royals.
The ban, spelled out in the letter as “no corroboration and zero engagement,” effectively means that the couple and their PR team will not respond to queries from the select media outlets.
According to the BBC, Prince Harry and Markle have said they refuse to “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of click bait and distortion.”
The letter, penned by a spokesperson on behalf of the couple, reads: “It is gravely concerning that an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print — even when they know it to be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason. When power is enjoyed without responsibility, the trust we all place in this much-needed industry is degraded.”
The letter said, “There is a real human cost to this way of doing business and it affects every corner of society.”
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have watched people they know — as well as complete strangers — have their lives completely pulled apart for no good reason, other than the fact that salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue.”
The couple insists the severing of tabloid relationships is “not about shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting.”
“Media have every right to report on and indeed have an opinion on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, good or bad. But it can’t be based on a lie,” said the letter.
Prince Harry and Markle have said they will continue to work with other media including grassroots organizations, regional and local outlets, and “young, up-and-coming journalists” around their various causes.
The letter was sent days ahead of a court hearing — set to be held remotely — for Markle’s lawsuit against tabloid The Mail on Sunday over the publication of a private letter to her father, Thomas Markle.
Markle scored one of her first non-royal engagements with Disney, for whom she narrated the documentary “Elephants.” She and Prince Harry were seen out and about in West Hollywood recently, delivering food as part of the Project Angel Food charity.