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Are Harry and Meghan pushing it with their request for press privacy?

Couple have been accused of hypocrisy after granting interview to Oprah Winfrey

Critics have rounded on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s request for privacy after the trailer for their interview with Oprah Winfrey was released yesterday.

In two 30-second clips released by CBS, Prince Harry draws parallels between the treatment of his mother, Princess Diana, and his wife, saying he feared history was “repeating itself” before the couple quit their royal role.

Before the interview has even been broadcast, battle lines are being drawn over whether the couple are justified in asking for a lighter touch from the media.  

Piers Morgan, a frequent critic of the pair, argues in the Daily Mail that despite their pleas for privacy “it turns out that being left alone is the very last thing Meghan and Harry wanted” because “they've embarked on a relentless media blitz that makes a complete mockery of their claim to want privacy”.

Writing in The Sun, Jane Moore agrees, asking: “If privacy is so vital to Harry and Meghan, why don’t they stay schtum?”

And royal expert Ann Gripper is also unimpressed, telling the Pod Save the Queen podcast: “This contrast between the wish for privacy and having just fought a massive privacy case then doing the big baby announcement and then, particularly, signing up for the Oprah show, has sparked some conversations.”

However, Marina Hyde writes in The Guardian that whatever people think of the couple, their “media critics are far worse”. “No matter how ridiculous anything Meghan and Harry ever do is – and they frequently are ridiculous – it will never, ever be even a hundredth as ridiculous as the behaviour of those foaming at the mouth about it,” Hyde adds.

Alan Rusbridger, the former editor of The Guardian, also says he understands that newspaper editors, who have “built a business model” on invasive stories about celebrities, might resist the couple’s plea for privacy. 

But in an article in The Observer he adds that “for most people” the concept that “even a world-famous duchess should be able to write to her father in private is not, on the face of it, unreasonable”.

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