Fresh off their move from across the Atlantic to Canada, the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex are running into some of the same situations that they dealt with while in the United Kingdom; however, in this case, they are having to find a solution without the protection afforded to them by the royal family.
One manner in which they hope to curtail the incessant paparazzi is through a legal loophole in Canadian law that makes it a suable offense to endanger someone through trying to obtain photos. The couple has already lawyered up and has drafted a cease and desist letter that was sent to British media organizations.
The need for this letter, and ultimately, warning, stems from the couple’s desire to break away from media coverage, something that has been almost impossible for the last couple of years. It is believed that the negative coverage they have received, especially on the part of Markle, was the impetus for their decision to relinquish their responsibilities as senior members of the royal family and move to North America. Nonetheless, this ‘warning shot’ by the couple does not seem to be impeding the media that has followed them across the pond. Just this past weekend, there were photographers hiding out in bushes, literally.
While still waiting for her husband to make the flight to Canada, Markle was taking a walk down a trail with her son, Archie, in tow. Although she did have two bodyguards that were following her for protection, the paparazzi were camping out in the bushes along the trail, clearly violating the cease and desist demand. There have even been photographers that are staying outside the couple’s house, using long-range lenses. And according to the couple’s lawyers, it’s likely that lawsuits are already on the way, given that the photos and video were published online and in British tabloids.
The need for privacy is one thing, but the threat of physical harm or worse from overly aggressive and careless paparazzi is the biggest issue. One only needs to look back to the death of Prince Harry and Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, who was fleeing the paparazzi and unfortunately, was in a fatal car accident in 1997. This, perhaps, is the driving force behind the couple’s cease and desist letter which states, “There are serious safety concerns about how the paparazzi are driving and the risk to life they pose.”
The bigger question is will any protective measures effectively give the couple the privacy that they’re so desperately want? Mark Stevens, a media lawyer, spoke to the BBC about the whole ordeal and what is going on with the battle between the paparazzi and the former royal couple. “The problem we’ve got at the moment is that everybody seems to think Harry and Meghan are fair game for pretty much everything,” he explained. Certainly, I think, court orders will be brought into play to give them the kind of protection that they are seeking.” Whether or not they are able to find adequate protection, whether that’s legally, or through security, has yet to be seen. Let’s just hope that we don’t see a repeat of the horrible and untimely death of Princess Diana.