FOOTAGE has emerged of Prince Harry scolding a television reporter for asking a question hours before he released an extraordinary rant about the media.
The Duke of Sussex released the unprecedented statement on his personal website on Tuesday night complaining of “relentless propaganda” against his wife Meghan Markle.
He went on to announce the couple are launching legal action against the Mail on Sunday newspaper, which published extracts of a letter written by Meghan to her father Thomas Markle.
Just hours before the statement, Harry invited the media as he visited a health clinic in a remote village in Malawi as part of the couple’s African tour.
He talked to health officials and children suffering from malaria and AIDs before being ushered to a waiting vehicle by palace officials.
But Harry reacted with outrage when he was asked an unscheduled question about the visit as he was whisked away.
Sky News reporter Rhiannon Mills asked: “That short conversation, what do you hope to achieve through it?”
Harry let out a disdainful laugh before responding: “What? Ask them” and pointing back towards the hospital.
The reporter followed up: “Is that why it’s important for you to come and talk to them?”
Harry gestured for the journalist to move away from him, saying: “Rhiannon, don’t behave like this.”
It is understood palace officials later told reporters similar conduct would not be tolerated again.
STATEMENT CLAIMS ‘UNLAWFUL’ PUBLICATION
He wrote it himself with no guidance from Buckingham Palace or his team of senior advisers.
In a lengthy statement published on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s website, Harry alleged the paper had “unlawfully” published a letter from her to her father Thomas Markle.
Meghan Markle insists the letter – which detailed her pain at their estrangement since the Royal Wedding – was private.
In a statement revealing the legal action, Prince Harry claimed the couple were suffering from the “painful” impact of “relentless propaganda” against Meghan.
A ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son.
Prince Harry's statement on recent media coverage
He wrote: “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.”
Harry said he and Meghan believed in “media freedom and objective, truthful reporting” as a “cornerstone of democracy”.
But he added: “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.”
ROYAL COMMENTATORS QUESTION COMMENTS
Prince Charles’ biographer Penny Junor said: “This is the most extraordinary statement and goes way beyond anything I have ever seen issued by a member of the royal family.
“I completely understand that Harry should feel protective about his wife and there have undoubtedly been some negative stories in the last nine months that must have hurt – but not exclusively in the Mail on Sunday – and they have not all been lies, nor I would suggest, part of a ruthless campaign.”
Ken Wharfe, who worked for the royals for 16 years and served as Diana’s bodyguard from 1988-1993, rubbished Harry’s claims.
He said: “This is a monumental misjudgment. Much of what he claims is not true and it’s an unfair comparison to bring his mother into it.
This is a monumental misjudgment. Much of what he claims is not true and it’s an unfair comparison to bring his mother into it.
Ken Wharfe, Diana's former bodyguard
“Diana died in a car crash due to a drunken driver and a woefully inexperienced protection officer, under the eyes of Mohamed Fayed.
“The Press don’t operate in the same way now, as they did when Diana was alive — and she did manipulate the media to her own advantage.
“Only five per cent of what was written about her was unfair.”
The royal couple have been accused of hypocrisy for using private jets, and for Harry sailing on a gas-guzzling mega yacht, while campaigning on climate change.
They were also criticised for spending £2.4million of taxpayers’ cash to refurbish their Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor — and keeping some details of baby Archie’s birth secret.
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Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, 54, described Harry’s rant as “hysterically over-the-top”.
The Mail on Sunday publisher Associated Newspapers said it “stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously”.
It added: “Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess’s letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning.”
The action is based around a letter written to Meghan’s father Thomas Markle[/caption]
The royal couple have come in for criticism for their use of private jets[/caption]