Prince Harry's statement was released 'against the advice' of senior palace staff

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor

The statement Prince Harry released earlier this week, addressing the British tabloid media’s treatment of his family, was shared “against the advice” of senior palace aides.

According to a report published in The Times, advisors “warned that it would inevitably push the tour itself off the news agenda” and considered the timing of the statement “unfortunate”.

READ MORE: Prince Harry’s statement a ‘shock’ after positive press reaction to South Africa tour

Royal aides were “visibly embarrassed amid the fallout”, and neither Sara Latham, the couple’s communications secretary, nor Samantha Cohen, the Sussexes’ private secretary, had any input into writing the statement.

It is believed the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge were not aware of the statement, either.

Instead, the separate Sussex Royal website intended to keep the “private” statement separate from the official Buckingham Palace website, according to the report.

Prince Harry visits the British High Commissioner's residence to attend an afternoon reception looking ahead to the Africa Investment Summit the UK will host in 2020. [Photo: Getty]

The Duke of Sussex, 35, released the emotional statement on Tuesday evening, on the newly-published Sussex Official website.

It accused select British media outlets of “bullying” the duke’s wife, Meghan Markle, 38, and referenced the couple’s forthcoming legal action against DMG Media, the publisher of The Mail on Sunday.

READ MORE: Harry and Meghan sue Mail on Sunday

The lawsuit centres around the “the contents of a private letter [which] were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner”, believed to be a letter written by the Duchess of Sussex to her father.

The use of law firm Schillings – rather than Harbottle & Lewis, which has previously represented both the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge – is believed to have served a similar purpose of separating the affair from “the duke’s official activities”.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend a reception at the High Commissioner’s Residence yesterday, on the final day of the royal tour. [Photo: Getty]

Buckingham Palace has not yet responded for Yahoo UK’s request for comment.

This isn’t the first time Prince Harry has spoken out against British media. In 2016, the royal made a statement concerning then-girlfriend Meghan Markle.

Unlike this week’s statement, it was made via the palace’s communications secretary and on the official palace website.

It read: “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.

“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.”