Meghan Markle privacy row: How dilemma has caused Royal Family heartache for ...

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry married in their May 2018 royal , and have recently welcomed their firstborn Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor into the Royal Family. Both joyous occasions were cause for public celebration across the UK but, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex settle into family life, the boundary between their private and public life has been the subject of intense debate. Harry has a long history of struggling with the spotlight, and his efforts to preserve his privacy have been underscored as the prince has started his new family life with Meghan and Archie.

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Archie’s behind-closed-doors christening this month has proved to be particularly unpopular, and has sparked a debate about what the British public expects of their Royal Family.

On podcast Pod Save the Queen, the Daily Mirror’s Royal Editor Russell Myers highlighted the dilemma Prince Harry faces in balancing his royal duties with private life.

Mr Myers said: “They’re two very headstrong people, they’ve decided this is what they want to do for their child.” 

However, he gave his opinion that the couple are “careering from one disaster to another”, with a series of PR blunders ranging from the “shambolic” birth announcement of their new son, to the Duchess’ protection officers insisting that Meghan was attending the televised Wimbledon championship in a “private capacity”.

Meghan Makrle and Prince HarryThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Image: Getty)

Prince HarryAn overjoyed Prince Harry announces Archie's birth in May (Image: Getty)

Although the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are dealing with the modern problems that come with social media and 24-hour news, in fact the Royal Family has been managing a tricky balancing act with privacy and publicity for a very long time. 

Penny Junor, in her 2005 book “The Firm”, traces the predicament back to the reign of Queen Victoria.

Ms Junor writes: “[The monarchy] needs the oxygen of publicity no less than actors, entertainers and politicians, or anyone else with something to sell. 

“Never has the monarchy been so unpopular in modern times as when Queen Victoria vanished from public sight after Prince Albert’s death in 1861." 

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This was echoed in the days following the death of Princess Diana in 1997, when Queen Elizabeth II was similarly perceived to be retreating to Balmoral.

Ms Junor writes: “The public was again furious. They wanted to see their Queen.”

However, Diana herself also navigated a changing landscape when it came to publicity and privacy. 

Biographer Andrew Morton, speaking to CBS in 1997,  described how the Royal Family controlled their privacy in the Eighties and Nineties.

Princess Diana and Sarah FergusonDiana and Fergie (Image: Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince PhilipQueen Elizabeth II addressed the nation following the backlash after Diana's death (Image: Getty)

He said: “The Royal Family's Press Office were known as the ‘Abominable No Man’ because they always used to say 'no comment' because their policy was very much that the private lives of the Royal Family were private.

“And yet there was throughout the Eighties, and before that really, this intermingling between what is public and what is private, and so they were always changing the goal posts, they were always changing the agenda always in their favour.

“And they defined the agenda. They defined what was private and what was public and they would move it whenever they wished."

He also gave his opinion that as the Royal Family began to engage more with TV rather than print media, “they really swapped the deeper reverence of mystique, the mystique of monarchy, for what you might call the shallow applause of the studio audience".

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