Prince Harry’s 2016 statement in defense of Meghan Markle deleted from Royal Family’s website

“This past week has crossed a line,” Prince Harry famously said amid an onslaught of hate directed at Meghan Markle after their relationship became public.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, The Royals, The Royal Family, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, The Archewell Foundation,
(Left to right) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex speak onstage at The Archewell Foundation Parents’ Summit: Mental Wellness in the Digital Age during Project Healthy Minds' World Mental Health Day Festival 2023 at Hudson Yards on Oct. 10, 2023, in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Project Healthy Minds)

Amidst the frenzied media storm and onslaught of racist hate Meghan Markle received after her relationship with Prince Harry went public, he did something neither his father nor older brother ever did: He defended his partner.

Prince Harry famously released a statement expressing his “disappointment,” calling out the hate and real threats to Markle’s safety. In the lengthy comment, he noted how lucky he was to have so much warmth from the public. Then he condemned the attacks against Markle. 

“This past week has crossed a line,” he said.  

“Meghan Markle has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper, the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments. Some of it has been hidden from the public,” the statement continued.

“Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game.’ He strongly disagrees. This is not a game — it is her life and his.”

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After living on the Royal Family’s official website for the last seven years, the statement has been deleted. As first reported by Newsweek, the link no longer works.

At the time, the statement did two things, confirming the relationship and hinting it would be unlike previous Royal pairings. In “Spare,” his bestselling memoir, Prince Harry described ways he had grown and changed over the years due to his relationship with Markle. He also revealed being “furious” at his father’s reaction to the 2016 statement.

Since that statement, much has changed for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. They married in 2018, became the parents of two children, and stepped down as Senior Royals in 2020 — with the help of Tyler Perry. They have since begun reclaiming their life in Los Angeles. Through their Archewell Foundation, they focus on causes important to them, and Markle is gearing up to launch a lifestyle brand.