Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are attempting to redefine their relationship with the UK news media as they step back from life as “senior” royals.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their split from the monarchy last night, a decision reportedly taken without consulting the Queen.
The rift has made front pages today, with The Sun dubbing it “Megxit”.
Scroll down for UK national newspaper front pages
The couple has said they will no longer take part in the royal rota system, which grants media access to official royal engagements, in their new roles.
The move appears to be an attempt to break away from the dominance of the main national newspapers in reporting events.
They said: “The current structure makes it challenging for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to personally share moments in their lives directly with members of the public (via social media for example), without first going through the filter of the Royal Rota.”
Instead the couple said they will engage with “grassroots media organisations” and “young, up-and-coming journalists”, while inviting “specialist media” to select events in a bid to widen “the spectrum of news coverage”.
The couple’s changing relationship with the media was revealed on their new official website yesterday. It included a swipe at royal correspondents.
“Britain’s royal correspondents are regarded internationally as credible sources of both the work of members of the royal family as well as of their private lives,” they said.
“This misconception propels coverage that is often carried by other outlets around the world, amplifying frequent misreporting.
“Regrettably, stories that may have been filed accurately by royal correspondents are, also, often edited or rewritten by media editorial teams to present false impressions.”
The Sun splashed yesterday on a exclusive story that the Duke and Duchess were looking to move to Canada and were in talks with the Queen. The couple, who have a young son, Archie, has since confirmed that they will split their time between the UK and North America.
Their announcement comes after Prince Harry’s passionate intervention during an official tour of southern Africa last year in which he said his wife had become “one of the latest victims” of tabloid “bullying”.
The Duchess is suing the Mail on Sunday for breach of privacy and copyright after it published her letter to her father. The paper has said it stands by its reporting and will “vigorously” defend the case.
Separately, Prince Harry has filed a phone-hacking claim against the Sun and Mirror publishers.
How the UK national newspapers covered the announcement:
Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via Reuters