All Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry's Very Different Comments on the Media

Queen Elizabeth II praised journalists this week—revealing a very different attitude to Prince Harry, whose ex-girlfriend thinks he has a "neurosis" about the media, according to a new book.

The prince and wife Meghan Markle have launched a flurry of lawsuits against three newspaper groups and a paparazzi picture agency in the space of around a year.

The Duchess of Sussex is herself preparing to testify against her father in a copyright and privacy trial against the Mail on Sunday in January.

When that action was announced in October 2019, Harry spoke of "powerful forces" within the media waging a "ruthless campaign" against his wife.

The new royal book Battle of Brothers this week also revealed Harry's ex-girlfriend Cressida Bonas believes he has a "neurosis" about the media.

Author Robert Lacey writes: "She complained to friends that Harry had a neurosis about the media.

"He'd rant and complain about paparazzi lurking where clearly there were none, she said."

Meanwhile, the Queen took a strikingly different approach as she praised journalists providing "trusted, reliable sources of information."

Here are some of the high profile recent comments made by the two royals.

"An important public service"

Elizabeth spoke out for the News Media Association (NMA), which runs the royal rota system for reporters and photographers covering the royal family.

In a statement marking Journalism Matters Week, she said: "The COVID-19 pandemic has once again demonstrated what an important public service the established news media provides, both nationally and regionally.

"As our world has changed dramatically, having trusted, reliable sources of information, particularly at a time when there are so many sources competing for our attention, is vital.

Meghan Markle, Queen Elizabeth II, Bridge Opening
Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth II attend a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widnes, England. Meghan is suing the Mail on Sunday newspaper while the queen has praised the "established news media." Max Mumby/Getty

"The efforts of the news media to support communities throughout the United Kingdom during the pandemic have been invaluable—whether through fundraising, encouraging volunteering, or providing a lifeline for the elderly and vulnerable to the outside world.

"As you reflect on your achievements this year, and the challenges you have faced, I send my warm good wishes to you all for a most successful and memorable week."

A message from Her Majesty The Queen to members of the @newsmediaorg to mark #JournalismMatters week.

📷The Queen at a media reception at Buckingham Palace in 2011, a @JournoCharity reception in 2014 and a visit to Fleet St in 1976.

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 5, 2020

The Queen's comments come in stark contrast to how Harry and Meghan have described royal correspondents and the royal rota system managed by the NMA.

On their now-defunct Sussex Royal website, they posted: "Britain's Royal Correspondents are regarded internationally as credible sources of both the work of members of The Royal Family as well as of their private lives.

"This misconception propels coverage that is often carried by other outlets around the world, amplifying frequent misreporting.

"Regrettably, stories that may have been filed accurately by Royal Correspondents are, also, often edited or rewritten by media editorial teams to present false impressions."

"Let's recognize all of the journalists"

The royal family's official Twitter account posted a message of thanks in support of the Journalists' Charity, one of the Queen's patronages, in May.

The message read: "This #ThankfulThursday, let's recognize all of the journalists and broadcasters working to keep us informed.

"From the national titles and broadcasters, to the local and regional outlets making a difference to the communities they serve — #ThankYou."

The Twitter account later acknowledged the Queen's role as patron of the charity.

By contrast, Prince Harry suggested in April that the media's portrayal of the coronavirus was negative, during a conversation about U.K. charity campaigner Captain Sir Tom Moore.

He told the Declassified podcast: "It's also proving that I think things are better than we're led to believe through certain corners of the media.

"It can be very worrying when you're sitting there and the only information you are getting is from certain news channels, but then if you are out and about or you are on the right platforms, you can really sense this human spirit coming to the forefront."

"There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda"

Prince Harry launched legal action on the basis of historic phone-hacking allegations against the publishers of U.K. tabloids The Sun and the Daily Mirror.

Around the same time, Meghan sued the Mail on Sunday for printing extensive extracts of a letter she sent her father.

In conjunction with the lawsuits, the prince released a statement alleging a campaign by the British press against his wife.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Baby Archie, Archbishop
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, with baby Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu during their royal tour of South Africa in Cape Town, on September 25, 2019. On the same tour, Meghan and Harry announced legal action against three newspaper groups. Toby Melville/Getty

On the Sussex Royal website, he said: "Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences—a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son.

"There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face—as so many of you can relate to—I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been."

He added: "I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces."

By contrast, the Queen is said to live by the long-standing, informal royal motto "never complain, never explain."