6 episodes

Why did the coverage of Meghan Markle turn so sour, so quickly? Why is Prince Harry taking on the press? Allegations of sexism, racism and strategic leaks – we examine them all.

Harry, Meghan and the Media BBC Radio

    • Society & Culture

Why did the coverage of Meghan Markle turn so sour, so quickly? Why is Prince Harry taking on the press? Allegations of sexism, racism and strategic leaks – we examine them all.

    5. Harry and Meghan leave the UK

    5. Harry and Meghan leave the UK

    What was behind their decision to step back as senior royals? In January 2020 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they would step back as senior royals. Amol Rajan hears how this story emerged and examines the role the media played in their decision.
    This five part series asks you to question what you think about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Why did the coverage of Meghan Markle turn so sour, so quickly? Why did the story turn from the fairy tale wedding of a prince and his new type of princess, to a tale of so-called duelling duchesses? Amol hears from the people who wrote this very modern drama: the reporters, columnists and broadcasters who shape public opinion on royalty. Allegations of sexism, racism and strategic leaks – he examines them all.
    Presenter: Amol Rajan
    Producer: Phoebe Keane
    Material from:
    Oprah with Meghan and Harry, by Harpo Productions for CBS

    • 42 min
    4. Briefings, leaks and whispers

    4. Briefings, leaks and whispers

    Where do royal journalists get their information from? Coverage of the royal family is full of cryptic references to “contacts, “palace insiders” and “well-placed sources”. In a world where almost everything is off the record, can we ever separate fact from spin?

    This five part series asks you to question what you think about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Why did the coverage of Meghan Markle turn so sour, so quickly? Why did the story turn from the fairy tale wedding of a Prince and his new type of Princess, to a tale of so-called ‘duelling duchesses’?

    In this series, you’ll hear from the people who wrote this very modern drama: the reporters, columnists and broadcasters who shape public opinion on royalty. Allegations of sexism, racism and strategic leaks – we examine them all.
    Presenter: Amol Rajan
    Producer: Phoebe Keane

    We used material from:
    The Jeremy Vine Show, ITN Productions
    Lorraine, ITV
    Loose Women, ITV
    The 3rd hour of Today, NBC News
    Sky News
    Inside Edition

    • 40 min
    3. Sexism?

    3. Sexism?

    Did sexism play a role in the coverage of Meghan Markle? When Harry and Meghan got married in 2018, the coverage of the pair was overwhelmingly positive. Six months later it had totally changed. Why? Amol Rajan explores the emergence of the ‘Duelling Duchesses’ narrative, which pitted Meghan Markle against Kate Middleton. Was this just a familiar misogynistic narrative designed to sell papers?

    This five part series ask you to question what you think about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Why did the coverage of Meghan Markle turn so sour, so quickly? In this series, you’ll hear from the people who wrote this very modern drama: the reporters, columnists and broadcasters who shape public opinion on royalty. Allegations of sexism, racism and strategic leaks – we examine them all.

    Presenter: Amol Rajan
    Producer: Phoebe Keane

    Material from:
    Oprah with Meghan and Harry, by Harpo Productions for CBS

    • 49 min
    2. Racism?

    2. Racism?

    Did racism play a role in the coverage of Meghan Markle? In 2016 stories about Prince Harry’s new girlfriend were all over the front pages of the papers. Harry attacked the ‘racial undertones of comment pieces’ in the newspapers. BBC Media Editor Amol Rajan analyses the language used and challenges a journalist over her controversial phrase “exotic DNA”.

    This five part series ask you to question what you think about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Why did the coverage of Meghan Markle turn so sour, so quickly? Why did the story turn from the fairy tale wedding of a Prince and his new type of Princess, to a tale of so-called ‘duelling duchesses’? In this series, you will hear from the people who wrote this very modern drama: the reporters, columnists and broadcasters who shape public opinion on royalty. Allegations of sexism, racism and strategic leaks – we examine them all.

    Presenter: Amol Rajan
    Producer: Phoebe Keane

    Material from:
    Holt Renfrew and TheTig.com
    Suits, Hypnotic and Universal Cable
    UN Women
    Oprah with Meghan and Harry, by Harpo Productions for CBS

    • 43 min
    1. Hacking Harry

    1. Hacking Harry

    The origin story of the troubled relationship between Prince Harry and the papers.

    In October 2019, Harry announced he was suing two of Britain’s biggest newspaper groups, alleging unlawful information gathering and a breach of privacy. Why is he taking them on? BBC Media Editor Amol Rajan talks to a private investigator and hears about the intrusive tactics that were the background noise to Prince Harry’s youth, casting a cloud over his mental health and so many of his relationships.

    This five part series asks you to question what you think about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Why did the coverage of Meghan Markle turn so sour, so quickly? Why did the story turn from the fairy tale wedding of a prince and his new type of princess, to a tale of so-called duelling duchesses? Amol hears from the people who wrote this very modern drama: the reporters, columnists and broadcasters who shape public opinion on royalty. Allegations of sexism, racism and strategic leaks – he examines them all.

    Presenter: Amol Rajan
    Producer: Phoebe Keane

    Material from:
    Bryony Gordon’s Mad World, a podcast by Telegraph Media Group Limited 2021
    The Late Late show from CBS
    Oprah with Meghan and Harry, by Harpo Productions for CBS
    Diana 7 Days by Sandpaper Films
    Harry & Meghan: An African Journey by ITN productions

    • 37 min
    Introducing Harry, Meghan and the Media

    Introducing Harry, Meghan and the Media

    Why do you think what you think about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle? Why did the coverage of Meghan Markle turn so sour, so quickly? Why did the story turn from the fairy tale wedding of a Prince and his new type of Princess, to a tale of so-called ‘duelling duchesses’?

    In this series, you’ll hear from the people who wrote this very modern drama: the reporters, columnists and broadcasters who shape public opinion on royalty. Allegations of sexism, racism, strategic leaks – we examine them all.


    When Harry and Meghan announced they were stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family, they said it was in order to have a new relationship with the press. They made clear that sexism and racism in the media coverage also played a role. Now Prince Harry is taking on the press in the courts too, he’s suing two of Britain’s newspaper groups, alleging unlawful information gathering and a breach of privacy. Meghan Markle’s privacy claim against the Mail on Sunday is still making headlines. These law suits could end up with some of the biggest trials of our age and could significantly change the media landscape.

    • 2 min

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