England’s Prince William, duke of Cambridge, is supporting his brother Prince Harry’s plea for the public to cease harassing his biracial girlfriend.
In response to tabloid claims that William, 34, was annoyed his brother had released a statement asking paparazzi and social-media trolls to retreat from harassing American actress Meghan Markle, William’s office said Monday, “The Duke of Cambridge absolutely understands the situation concerning privacy and supports the need for Prince Harry to support those closest to him.”
On Nov. 8, Harry, 32, confirmed his rumored relationship with Markle, 35, who plays Rachel Zane in the USA Network series “Suits,” is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Women gender-equality initiative, and works with the relief organization World Vision pursuing clean water in Rwandan villages.
The statement from Harry’s office said the prince “has rarely taken formal action on the very regular publication of fictional stories that are written about him…. But the past week has seen a line crossed,” with Markle subjected “to a wave of abuse and harassment” including “the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”
Citing “her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life,” the statement said Harry “is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. … He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game.’ He strongly disagrees. This is not a game — it is her life and his.”