'Megxit' was misogyny, says Prince Harry, as he attacks the press again

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Watch: Prince Harry slams term Megxit

Since 'stepping back' from the royal family, Prince Harry has not been shy about voicing his opinions - particularly when it coms to the press and their tactics.

This week, he went further, while speaking on a panel called The Internet Lie Machine, organised by US magazine Wired.

Discussing reports around the Sussexes' move to the US, Harry attacked the language used, and highlighted 'Megxit', a spin on Brexit, which suggested that the Duchess of Cambridge was behind the decision to move. 

"Maybe people know this and maybe they don’t, but the term Megxit was, or is, a misogynistic term," said the Prince, "and it was created by a troll, amplified by royal correspondents, and it grew and grew and grew into mainstream media. But it began with a troll,”

Britain's Prince Harry attends the 2021 Global Citizen Live concert at Central Park in New York, U.S., September 25, 2021. Picture taken September 25, 2021. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs
Prince Harry has had a prickly relationship with the tabloid press. (REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs)

Harry has been vocal about the racism he perceived to be directed at his wife. 

Speaking about a study by social media analytics service Bot Sentinel that identified 83 Twitter accounts responsible for 70% of the hate-speech and 'misinformation' around Meghan and Harry, he said, “perhaps the most disturbing part of this was the number of British journalists who were interacting with them and amplifying the lies. 

"But they regurgitate these lies as truth.”

Harry's distrust and dislike of the tabloids has only grown since he was a child, and paparazzi chasing his mother's car in Paris were thought to be responsible for her death in the resulting crash.

Harry said, “I learned from a very early age that the incentives of publishing are not necessarily aligned with the incentives of truth.

“I know the story all too well. I lost my mother to this self-manufactured rabidness, and obviously I’m determined not to lose the mother to my children to the same thing.”

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, look at each other during a visit to One World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 23, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Harry is famously protective of Meghan and his children. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

Though he now chooses a shielded and largely private personal life for himself and his family, Meghan, Archie, two, and Lilibet, six months, he regularly speaks out about perceived injustices. Harry is deeply protective of Meghan and quick to attack anything that may suggest racism.

According to the authors of Finding Freedom, the biography detailing Harry and Meghan's journey to 'freedom' in America, Harry has previously called the press 'trolls', first in response to 'banana-gate', where Meghan's gesture of writing positive messages on bananas in food parcels to be given to sex workers was mocked.

Read more: The real reason why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are not on social media

On other occasions, he has failed to mask his disdain. "Thanks for coming, even though you weren’t invited,” he told a group of reporters on their way to the couple's tour of Australia in 2018. 

“Any engagement that I’m at with him, he just scowls at us,” said one royal correspondent afterwards. "I can’t stress that clearly enough, he can’t hide his disdain. 

"It’s just so uncomfortable, he has fury and venom in his eyes. He’s very tortured.”

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex react during their visit in Birkenhead, Britain January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Carl Recine
Harry and Meghan when still undertaking royal duties. (REUTERS/Carl Recine)

Harry later spoke about a 'misconception' that royal reporters had accurate inside information, and accused the press of 'frequent misreporting'.

In 2019, when the Mail on Sunday published a letter Meghan had written to her father (which led to a court case, currently undergoing an appeal), Harry released a statement saying:

"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.

"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," he went on.

"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.

"It is for this reason we are taking legal action."

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive to greet members of the public in Kingfisher Bay on Fraser Island in Queensland, Australia October 22, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Harry showed little patience with reporters on tour in Australia in 2018. (REUTERS/Phil Noble)

HIs protectiveness of Meghan was clear, too, during their Oprah interview earlier this year. 

Referring to the lack of security offered to her, Meghan argued, "we haven’t created this monster machine around us in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder. (The Palace) allowed that to happen."

Later in the conversation, referring to his mother's death, Harry added, "my biggest concern (about Meghan) was history repeating itself and I’ve said that before on numerous occasions, very publicly. 

Read more: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make important pledge: 'We can all do better'

"And what I was seeing was history repeating itself. But more, perhaps. Or definitely far more dangerous because then you add race in and you add social media in."

Harry went on to explain that press intrusion was one of the reasons the couple made the decision to leave the UK.

"I’ve got my own relationship that goes back a long way with the media," he told Oprah. "I asked for calm from the British tabloids — once as a boyfriend, once as a husband and once as a father."

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: In this photo illustration - a selection of British newspaper publications in response to the Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex's interview with Oprah Winfrey on March 08, 2021 in London, England. The interview first aired in the US on Sunday 7th March on CBS and in the UK on Monday 8th March on ITV. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
How the British press responded to the Oprah interview. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

He added, "It was like, ‘I need to do this for my family. This is not a surprise to anybody. It’s really sad that it’s gotten to this point but I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, my wife’s and for Archie’s as well’."

Meghan then said, "because from the beginning of our relationship, they (the tabloids) were so attacking and inciting so much racism, really, it changed our risk level . . . it wasn’t just catty gossip. It was bringing out a part of people that was racist in how it was charged. And that changed the threat. That changed the level of death threats. That changed everything."

Whether or not the press intrusion and perceived racism were threats to the couple's safety, it's clear that Harry is far happier in his new life, where he calls the shots - and he no longer has to run decisions through a Palace committee before saying exactly how he feels. 

Watch: Study reveals Meghan Markle was trolled by a hate network on Twitter

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