Prince Harry has wrapped up his last official royal engagement for the near future – perhaps ever – and joined his wife Meghan and their baby Archie in Canada. Paparazzi pictures of both his arrival at the airport and Meghan strolling through the woods with Archie have already circulated around the web faster than you can say “Didn’t they just sue the media for this?”
One of Harry and Meghan’s primary reasons for wanting to step back from their duties as senior members of the royal family was to escape intense media scrutiny. Last year, Meghan sued the Mail on Sunday for publishing excerpts of a letter she wrote to her estranged father. Harry was been very outspoken about his desire for reporters and photographers to leave his wife alone, lest she suffer the same tragically harassed fate as his late mother, Princess Diana.
Harry and Meghan may have hoped to distance themselves from the royal family and flash-happy, quote-seeking media, but the truth of any divorce is that the person (or entity, in this case) that you hoped to leave forever will always be in your life. Harry was born into Britain’s royal family, and the media will be fervently interested in his life until death parts him from the papers. Prince Harry can relinquish his royal title, fly to Canada, and skip Christmas with the Queen, but he will never escape media scrutiny.
The Sussexes can sue every newspaper in the Northern Hemisphere if they want, but they ultimately have to accept that they are internationally known public figures and choose to deflect that attention like mature adults, not sue-happy celebrities. Alternatively, they could embrace publicity, because a media presence might come in handy when they are, you know, going into business as financially independent adults.