MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry have been warned they risk losing “public sympathy” by Princess Diana’s former private secretary.
Meghan and Harry’s decision to start a legal action against the Mail on Sunday could backfire, according to Patrick Jephson, the late Princess Diana’s closest aide. The former private secretary warned the Duke and Duchess about the “volatile” nature of the public’s affection and support during lengthy legal cases. Writing in the Guardian, Mr Jephson argued Harry and Meghan’s “war on the media” may be either “a stroke of genius” or “a risky overstretch of finite resources”.
He continued: “Not financial resources, obviously (although potentially years of top-notch legal work will rack up bills to make even a prince’s accountant swallow hard), but the intangible and ultimately more decisive resources of public sympathy and personal resolve.
“Public sympathy will reliably start in the duke’s corner but is notoriously volatile – hence probably a gamble on one or more swift settlements to steady the troops.
“As for the rest… all will depend on the scales of justice.
“Personal resolve is another matter.
Meghan has started a legal action against the Mail on Sunday (Image GETTY)
Patrick Jephson worked with Princess Diana for eight years (Image: GETTY)
“To stay the course, up to and possibly including personal court appearances, is a punishing trek on which to set out.”
Mr Jephson, who was by Princess Diana’s side for eight years, was by the Princess of Wales’ side when she sued a British tabloid for acquiring pictures of her working out in a gym.
And, he recalled, the slowness of the trial eventually “deflated” the emotions surrounding the legal case.
Mr Jephson continued: “In the heat of battle and gripped by self-righteous indignation, the royal hand reaches resolutely for the mighty sword of truth and…waits. And waits.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have launched a ‘war on media’, a former aide to Princess Diana said (Image: GETTY)
“Unless the head of the offending editor(s) can be served up on a plate with the speed to which royal customers are accustomed, the whole business can start to feel like a bad idea. Somebody else’s bad idea, naturally.
“Eventually, with the Princess of Wales, our legal champions reached a settlement, but by then it was all rather deflating.”
Mr Jephson added the settlement, coming so long after Diana first took action, “didn’t feel like a victory parade and, funnily enough, next day the familiar faces of the press pack wore expressions that were everything except contrite.”
Princess Diana sued a British tabloid for acquiring pictures of her working out in a gym (Image: GETTY)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been warned about the “volatile” nature of the public’s affection and support by Mr Jephson (Image: GETTY)
Diana’s former aide also spoke of the accusations of “bullying” launched not only by Harry in his lengthy and personal statement but also by some of Meghan’s celebrity friends in the past months.
He said: “Accusations of media bullying and prejudice are now being launched from the duchess’s homeland.
“This can be a learning opportunity for some of her celebrity sisters: royal people have to learn the difference between bullying and criticism, between sarcasm and irony.
“It’s part of the historic deal that’s overseen by the British media holding to account public figures whose lives are subsidised by (usually) benign British taxpayers.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s romance – a timeline (Image: EXPRESS)
Mr Jephson also seemed not to agree with those who draw similarities between Princess Diana’s revolutionary acts within the Royal Family and the Sussexes’.
He said: “Diana may have been something in the mould-breaker stakes herself, but she never ducked Balmoral, lectured voters on democracy or borrowed invective more normally found in the White House to communicate with a free and fundamentally friendly press.”
Prince Harry released a statement on October 1, while still in Africa, on an otherwise empty website that has been up and ready since March.
In his impassioned attack on the British tabloid press, Harry accused the Mail on Sunday of misusing private information by publishing a letter Meghan sent her father Thomas Markle Snr in August 2018.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were still in Africa when the Duke’s statement was published (Image: GETTY)
He said: “This particular legal action hinges on one incident in a long and disturbing pattern of behaviour by British tabloid media.
“The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question.
“In addition to their unlawful publication of this private document, they purposely misled you by strategically omitting select paragraphs, specific sentences, and even singular words to mask the lies they had perpetuated for over a year.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK