Prince Harry’s ‘hot tongue of flame’ after being pushed to breaking point over Meghan


PRINCE HARRY’s statement, in which he claimed the media had “crossed a line” when covering his relationship with Meghan Markle, was described as a “hot tongue of flame” by royal correspondent Jonny Dymond.

Prince Harry

Prince Harry issued a statement criticising the media (Image: Getty)

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The documentary also revisited Harry’s unprecedented statement in which he accused the media of crossing “a line” with their coverage of his relationship with Meghan.

He claimed in an extraordinary 2016 statement that there had been “racial undertones” to the press coverage and feared for Meghan’s safety.

In the documentary, Sky News royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills recalled her surprise when the statement was first released.

Ms Mills said: “I was sitting at home, [it was] a weekday morning, and all of a sudden this statement drops in my inbox.

Amol Rajan

Amol Rajan’s BBC documentary has contributed to tensions between the broadcaster and the Firm (Image: Getty)

“And for a family who we always hear that mantra ‘never complain, never explain’ this was extraordinary.”

The Duke of Sussex, who at the time had only been dating Meghan for a few months, released the statement via a royal spokesperson.

It was met with widespread surprise in the UK, due to its direct and outspoken language, a departure from the customary, terse royal communications.

BBC royal correspondent Mr Dymond said: “It was a hot tongue of flame, that statement, and that is not the way that a press advisor would have phrased anything.


Sky News royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills recalled her surprise when the statement was released (Image: BBC)

The statement was also unique in its direct and public reference to the private life of a member of the monarchy.

The statement claimed: “The past week has seen a line crossed.

“(Meghan) has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment.

BBC royal correspondent Mr Dymond

BBC royal correspondent Mr Dymond described the statement as a hot tongue of flame (Image: BBC)

“Some of it 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.”

The Palace statement also mentioned nightmarish “nightly legal battles” to keep “defamatory statements” out of newspapers, and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland having to struggle past photographers to get to her front door.

It ended with a call for understanding of the Duke of Sussex’s plight.

It read: “He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done.

Harry and Meghan

Harry and Meghan quit the Firm in 2020 (Image: Getty)

“He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly.”

In 2020 the Sussexes quit the Royal Family, and a year later the couple were deeply critical of the British media in an infamous tell-all CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The rest of the Firm have been in tension with the BBC since the release of ‘The Princes and the Press’, and in a rare move Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace released a joint statement criticising the show.

The three royal houses said the documentary had made “overblown and unfounded claims”, and that it was “disappointing” to give credibility to such claims.

“However, too often it is overblown and unfounded claims from unnamed sources that are presented as facts and it is disappointing when anyone, including the BBC, gives them credibility.”

The documentary had used first-hand testimony from royal correspondents and explored suggestions that negative stories about the Royal Family were based on information from people connected to other royal households.

In response the BBC said the programme was “about how royal journalism is done and features a range of journalists and the newspaper industry”.


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