Harry and Meghan officially remove themselves from the British royal family today. CNN offers a recap of Harry and Meghan’s lives and how they came together, and together disrupt the royal family in less than three years.
Harry’s background is examined, his schooling, his philanthropic work, his past relationships with women and how his mother’s death shaped his desire to remove himself from the Firm.
Meghan’s life is examined, growing up on the set of Married with Children, and her difficult experience with her biracial background, referencing the beating of Rodney King as a major influence on the shape of her life.
CNN’s coverage comes one day after UK publications release stories on the trademarking of the Sussex Royal “brand,” the hiring of Sunshine Sachs, the major PR firm known for crisis management, and the reported drain of Prince Charles’ finances on the couple’s expenses.
CNN’s coverage paints Meghan as a social justice-seeking, young activist who managed to change the way women were represented in dish detergent commercials by writing letters, who lived a life marked by struggle and rejection.
CNN’s coverage is overwhelmingly sympathetic compared to the British tabloid coverage in recent days. Meghan is painted as a hardworking, honest, aspiring actress who “got lucky” landing a role on Suits who was “determined to use her position for good.” She worked for women’s issues, empowering women to take a stand against discrimination. The Global Head of Public Engagement and Communications for World Vision says that Meghan felt she had a “responsibility” to help, and was not a celebrity who “floats in needing a platform to promote their brand.”
CNN aims to depict Harry as a fully modern member of the royal family who married the woman he loves, rather than one that the royal family would “expect.” They show him as a man destroyed by the death of his mother, committed to helping those the world does not and frequently feeling at odds with the fact that he is actually a prince, paid for by the British public.
It covers the 20 year anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. CNN examines Harry’s experience with his lack of choice, his mental health issues and his inability to grieve. The segment continues by saying he has “chosen a future that would make his mother proud.”
It covers the couple’s wedding and birth of their son, and digs in to the unflattering tabloid press coverage that resulted when the couple set up a separate foundation and moved out of Kensington Palace.
It closes on the note that the royal family is losing their best asset in Harry because he and Meghan no longer want to live with the “restrictions and scrutiny” that come with their roles as members of the royal family. “The world waits to see,” says CNN, what the two do after their departure from royal life.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.