Prince Harry and Princess Diana have suffered for being targetted by a certain section of the society, and had to take drastic measures.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have said that they no longer want to perform full-time duties as "senior royals", and this announcement had come as a surprise, not just for the world, but also the royal family. The couple has been criticized for not consulting the senior members of the royal family before going public with the decision. But what many seem to forget is, they are not the first ones to act independently.
Years ago, Harry's mother, the People's Princess, Diana, had made the decision to act on her own, without consulting the royal family, about separating from Prince Charles. Royal commentator Penny Junor told BBC that the couple's actions were similar to Diana's. She added that the idea that they did not consult other royals prior to their announcement was "beyond bizarre".
"It has echoes of Diana when she suddenly announced after her separation [from Charles] that she was stepping back from 50 of her charities without consulting anybody. The problem is that they are not working for themselves, they are working for a family firm and to be making announcements of this sort without consulting is beyond bizarre," she was quoted by BBC as saying.
In a November 1995 BBC interview, Diana had spoken to Martin Bashir honestly about her marriage. She revealed how there were three people in her marriage, referring to Camilla, now Duchess of Cornwall. "I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts, but I don't see myself being queen of this country. I don't think many people will want me to be queen. Actually, when I say many people I mean the establishment that I married into, because they have decided that I'm a non-starter," Diana said, according to BBC.
Her words from that interview have continued to echo in the present-day too, with Meghan Markle facing similar ill-treatment from the media. "The most daunting aspect was the media attention, because my husband and I, we were told when we got engaged that the media would go quietly, and it didn't; and then when we were married they said it would go quietly and it didn't; and then it started to focus very much on me, and I seemed to be on the front of a newspaper every single day, which is an isolating experience, and the higher the media put you, place you, is the bigger the drop," Diana had said.
She had vilified the family she married into and the British tabloids, the latter's relentless pursuit of her has also been blamed for her death. At her funeral, her brother, Earl Spencer, said how she wanted to get away from England. "She talked endlessly of getting away from England, mainly because of the treatment that she received at the hands of the newspapers," he said, according to the Telegraph. Spencer, in his impassioned eulogy, said that while she was named after the goddess of hunting was "the most hunted person of the modern age."
Meanwhile, in a recent interview, Prince Harry said that he doesn't want his wife to go through what his mother had. "My wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son," he said.
"... Because my deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces," Prince Harry said in a statement. He made the statement while announcing that the couple was suing Daily Mail for publishing a private letter that Meghan had written to her estranged father.
The couple is planning to spend time in North America and the United Kingdom, to have space of their own away from all the media attention, just like Harry's late mother had eanted to but was never able to.
While Diana had received severe punishment for the interview with her title being stripped off, it is yet to be known how this situation will pan out for the Sussexes. They have already been removed from the royals' display at Madame Tussauds London and are facing more significant challenges in the future.