Prince Harry’s statement a ‘shock’ after positive press reaction to South Africa tour, says PR expert

Prince Harry has issued a statement about his wife the Duchess of Sussex's treatment by certain publications in the British press. (Getty)

Last night Prince Harry released an emotional statement addressing the treatment of him and his wife, Meghan Markle, by certain media outlets in the British press.

The statement, published on the pair’s official website, followed the revelation that the couple are suing The Mail On Sunday for publishing one of Meghan’s private letters to her father, Thomas Markle.

READ MORE: Harry and Meghan sue Mail on Sunday

For popular culture expert Nick Ede the timing of the statement is one of its most surprising aspects – it comes following the couple’s hugely positive to their royal tour to South Africa with baby Archie.

“I think that it was quite a shock for it to be released when the press have been so positive,” he says. “But I think it was deliberately done so as to show the hypocrisy of the media and how they are very fickle towards the royal couple.”

Another surprising aspect for Ede was the personal nature of the open letter and how it addresses issues that Meghan is going through behind closed doors.

Prince Harry is understandably protective of his wife and baby son, Archie [Photo: Getty]

READ MORE: Best photos from Harry and Meghan’s royal tour of South Africa and Africa

Though this isn’t the first time Harry has spoken out to defend his wife – he notably spoke out against the treatment of her in the British press when they first started dating – this particular royal statement stands out for its unprecedented strength of feeling.

”It is a deeply personal statement that will resonate with those who remember the privacy issues Princess Diana had,” Ede says.

“It is talking about copyright and manipulation, which is something a royal family member traditionally doesn’t do.”

Ede believes the powerful nature of the statement offers an indication of how the royal couple want to be viewed by the public going forward.

“It is powerful, to the point, emotional and totally in keeping with the way Prince Harry and Meghan want to be perceived, as progressive royals who can say ‘enough is enough’,” he adds.

The timing of the statement has surprised some as it comes on the last leg of the royal tour to South Africa [Photo: Getty]

Ede says the statement also hints at a strength that the Duke has found in the years since Diana’s death.

“I think Prince Harry has found a voice and has bene able to be a mouthpiece for himself and his family much in the same way as his mother would have done,” he says. “I think it is refreshing, honest and needed and he’s really established himself over the years as someone who is not a pushover.”

The couple’s royal tour to South Africa has been hugely successful and received an overwhelmingly positive response. Ede doesn’t believe its success will be damaged by the statement.

”I think most will be happy they said this and will agree with him and his wife for taking action,” he says. “Though it does seem to have come at an odd time as the perception of them was at an all-time high, it will gain him a lot of respect.”

And though there is a danger their recent charity work could be overshadowed, Ede says there is never a good time to make a statement of this nature.

As for any potential knock-on effect on other royals such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Ede doesn’t believe there will be an impact now that the two households are split.

“I think they have their own agendas,” he says. “One is going to become king; the other is going to become a powerful public figure with a lot more to do and say.”