Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry have faced intense scrutiny from the U.K. tabloids ever since the royals made their debut as a couple in September 2017.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have weathered a media storm of public criticism from announcing their engagement in November 2017 to their wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018 followed by the birth of their son, Archie, in May 2019. On October 1, 2019, Prince Harry announced they were filing a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers, the publisher of Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday in the U.K., for publishing a private letter Meghan sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
In a statement, Harry called for a stop to the press’ “ruthless campaign” of “false and malicious” reports against Meghan. “There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives,” Harry said. “Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level.”
A source told Us Weekly at the time that “Meghan comes across as a strong woman but she’s been deeply affected by the negative stories about her.” The insider added that Harry is worried that the press could have “an impact on his relationship with Meghan, as well as their relationship with the royal family and the public.”
Meghan opened up about her struggles with the negative media attention in an emotional interview for the documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. The film followed the couple and their 5-month-old son, Archie’s tour through South Africa.
“Look, any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable,” she told ITV News at Ten’s Tom Bradby. “And so that was made really challenging, and then, when you have a newborn, you know?”
She added, “Especially as a woman, it’s really … it’s a lot. So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom and trying to be a newlywed … And also thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I’m OK, but it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”
But many of the couple’s famous friends have spoken out publicly in support of their fight. Scroll down for the stars who’ve publicly voiced their support for Meghan and Harry.
1. Ellen DeGeneres:
The daytime talk show host defended the couple in a Twitter post in August 2019. “Portia and I met Prince Harry and Meghan in England to talk about their work on wildlife conservation. They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people. Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better,” she wrote.DeGeneres offered another statement of support during an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in September 2019. “Seriously, they are so amazing,” she said at the time. “They’re the cutest couple, and so down-to-earth. I just, I hate it. I see them get attacked, and it’s just not fair. They’re just two of the most down-to-earth, compassionate people.”
2. Hillary Clinton:
In an interview with The Sunday Times published in October 2019, the former first lady stated, “I’m a huge Meghan Markle fan.” She added, “I do want to say that the way she’s been treated is inexplicable. If the explanation is that she’s biracial, then shame on everybody.”
3. James Blunt:
The “You’re Beautiful” singer, who attended the couple’s wedding, called the tabloid reports “vitriolic” during his appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain in October 2019. “What I think I can see is that they seem to be on the cover of the newspapers a lot and it seems to be vitriolic quite a lot of the time,” he said. “He’s a very nice man, a really phenomenal soldier, who does a lot of work for other people, for charities, for veterans, for Sentebale charity, for children in Africa, and I think under great scrutiny they seem to try a lot for other people. So the vitriol seems a bit like leaning on bullying to me.”
The pop star called the public scrutiny of Meghan “out of control” in a Twitter post in August 2019. “I’m happy to see people coming to the defence of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The way people treat her is the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while. It’s out of control. Let’s all be a bit kinder, huh? Let’s show our children that it’s cool to be kind.”
5. Elton John:
In a lengthy Twitter thread, the “Tiny Dancer” crooner defended Meghan and Harry’s decision to take a private jet for a trip to visit him in the South of France. “I am deeply distressed by today’s distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private stay at my home in Nice last week,” he wrote in August 2019. “Prince Harry’s Mother, Diana Princess Of Wales was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death.”The Grammy winner added, “After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquillity of our home. To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight.”
6. Nacho Figueras:
The Argentine polo player and friend of the royal couple praised Meghan and Harry in a comment on Elton John’s Twitter thread. “I will defend them and what they do and who they are for as long as I live,” he wrote. “They are a treasure in today’s society and we should be taking care of them and feeling inspired by them.”