On January 8, the British presses and the internet in general collectively lost their shit with the announcement that Meghan Markle and her husband would be stepping back from playing an active role in the British royal family: “We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty the Queen,” the pair said in a statement. But they’re not just stepping back from their official duties as members of the royal family; they are also stepping the fuck back from the traditional system of press access within that family. And in case you’re curious why that might be happening—and it’s not subtle, it’s a very polite, elegant flipping of the bird—Buzzfeed’s Ellie Hall has got a rock-solid explanation for you.
In this excellent piece, as well as a subsequent (and ongoing) Twitter thread, Hall compares 20 headlines about Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, to equivalent headlines about Markle. In fact, she not only highlights headlines about, say, body language during pregnancy—she specifically uses headlines from the same press outlets and even sometimes the same writer.
For the most part, Hall lets the comparisons speak for themselves. But she explains a bit in the intro:
This isn’t a new complaint from the royal couple—they just took an unprecedented step to do something about it. Harry and Meghan have said publicly that they believe they have been treated unfairly by the UK press since the moment news broke of their relationship—that they are bullied, that there are racist undertones to coverage of them, and that they have been held to a different standard than Harry’s brother and sister-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (a.k.a. Prince William and Kate Middleton).
The UK media outlets that currently make up the royal rota are the Daily Express, the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, the Evening Standard, the Telegraph, the Times, and the Sun.
It’s a great read–and a quick one, given how much of it is simply screenshots—and we heartily encourage you to click on through.