Harry and Meghan have told the editors of four national newspapers that they will never deal with their media outlets again, it has been reported.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have vowed “there will be no corroboration and zero engagement” with the Daily Mail, The Sun, Daily Mirror and Daily Express or their Sunday counterparts.
In a strongly worded letter, the couple said they have seen the lives of people they know “completely pulled apart for no good reason, other than the fact salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue”.
Attacking the tabloid press, Harry and Meghan wrote: “It is gravely concerning that an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print – even when they know it to be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason.”
Their letter has been obtained by journalists from The Guardian and the Financial Times.
The couple, who recently moved to Los Angeles with their baby son Archie, officially stepped back as senior royals at the end of March and plan to become financially independent.
They stressed that their hardline policy wasn’t about avoiding criticism or censoring accurate reporting, adding: “Media have every right to report on and indeed have an opinion on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, good or bad. But it can’t be based on a lie.”
Warning they will not “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion”, they reaffirmed their decision to engage with “grassroots media, regional and local media, and young, up-and-coming journalists” instead.
Later this week, the first hearing in Meghan’s legal action against Associated Newspapers, which publishes The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, is going to go ahead.
The company published parts of a “private and confidential” letter to her estranged father Thomas Markle, in which she wrote that his actions “have broken her heart into a million pieces”.
In court documents outlining details of Meghan’s claims, her lawyers say the letter was “obviously private correspondence” – and it was alleged that the newspaper “chose to deliberately omit or suppress” parts of the letter, “intentionally distorting or manipulating” its meaning.
Associated Newspapers wholly denies the allegations – particularly the claim that the letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning – and says it will hotly contest the case.
Harry and Meghan haven’t been far from the limelight since their move to the States.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced plans to launch a new charitable organisation named Archewell that aims “to do something that matters”.
Meghan also revealed her first post-royal role: narrating a documentary for Disney.
He described efforts to volunteer and help in the national effort as “wonderfully British”, and he praised World War Two veteran Captain Tom Moore, who has raised over £26m for the NHS by walking lengths of his garden.