Prince Harry warns of ‘devastating consequences’ as he opens up in heartfelt plea

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The Duke of Sussex claimed much of the British press has been taken over by a desire to entertain rather than to report the news during a new interview. He argued that the problem of ‘fake news’ started before the creation of social media.

Talking to the American magazine WIRED, Prince Harry spoke of his own negative experiences of the press.

He said: “I learned from a very early age that the incentives of publishing are not necessarily aligned with the incentives of truth.

“My experience has been more pre-social media around the UK press who sadly conflate profit with purpose and news with entertainment.

“They don’t report the news they create it.

“They have successfully turned fact-based news into opinion-based gossip with devastating consequences for the country.”

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle’s decision to quit the Firm was understood to be in part motivated by their wish to escape the media spotlight in Britain.

Soon after the pair became an item in 2016, the Prince’s Communications Secretary told the press, which he believed to have “crossed a line”, to back off.

He said that Meghan Markle had been “been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment”, which included a “smear” on the cover of a national newspaper.

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He also complained of “the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers”.

But his plea for more privacy triggered more front-page coverage than before, according to Press Gazette.

This is said to have marked the beginning of the couple’s battle against the press.

Numerous legal campaigns have since been fought and many public statements of criticism have been issued.

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Prince Harry’s complaints of the British press “pre-social media” likely refer to his mother’s experience with reporters.

At Princess Diana’s funeral, her brother, Earl Spencer, said she had been “the most hunted person of the modern age”.

In his eulogy speech, Earl Spencer said the press’s treatment of Princess Diana had made her want to “get away” from England.

He said: “I don’t think she ever understood why her genuinely good intentions were sneered at by the media, why there appeared to be a permanent quest on their behalf to bring her down. It is baffling.”

Some have suggested that Prince Harry – who said he knew the story of unfair media coverage “all too well” – is fighting similar press battles to his mother.

But critics argue that the prince is trying to have his cake and eat it.

Journalist Clemmie Moodie recently joked in the Sun that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are “so desperate to stay under the radar, they did an interview with Oprah, the world’s most famous chat show host”.

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