Prince Harry has attacked the press for its coverage of his relationship with American actor Meghan Markle, highlighting its "racial undertones". In a statement released by Kensington Palace, he condemned the media for subjecting her to a "wave of abuse and harassment" and said it was "not right" that she should be subjected to such treatment, The Guardian reported. The statement, which is the first confirmation that the pair are in a relationship, said press coverage in the last week has crossed a line. "His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment," read the statement, which was issued by the prince's communications secretary and is unprecedented in its damning tone. "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 nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life."
The statement said the prince "is worried about Ms Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her". It added: “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." The statement also acknowledged that it was "unusual" for the prince to issue such a statement as he rarely takes formal action over "fictional stories" about him.