Royal Family removes Prince Harry’s 2016 statement confirming Meghan Markle romance from website

Royal Family removes Prince Harry’s 2016 statement confirming Meghan Markle romance from website

The British royal family has recently made a significant change to its official website, removing Prince Harry’s 2016 statement that confirmed his relationship with Meghan Markle. This statement, which also condemned the racist and sexist abuse directed at Meghan, is no longer accessible on the royal family’s website. The removal has sparked curiosity and concern among royal watchers and fans of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

In November 2016, Prince Harry’s communications secretary, Jason Knauf, issued a rare and impassioned statement on behalf of Harry. The statement was a direct response to the wave of negative press and online harassment that Meghan Markle faced after news of their relationship became public. The message was clear and strong, condemning the “wave of abuse and harassment” that Meghan was subjected to, including racial undertones in media coverage and outright sexism and racism on social media.

The statement read, “Meghan Markle has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public—the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.” It also highlighted the hidden struggles, such as legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of the press and the harassment of Meghan’s family and friends.

Prince Harry’s decision to release this statement was a significant moment, as it was rare for a royal to publicly address such issues. In his 2023 memoir, “Spare,” Harry recalled the urgency and importance of the statement. “We needed a statement out there—within a day we had a draft,” he wrote. “Strong, precise, angry, honest.” Despite the statement’s impact, Harry noted that it did not stop the harassment and had other repercussions, including causing tension with his brother, Prince William, and his father, King Charles III.

The removal of this statement from the royal family’s website has not gone unnoticed. Newsweek reported that the statement was accessible via the Wayback Machine, an internet archive site, as recently as December 3, 2023. However, by December 10, the link was no longer active. This change has led to speculation about the reasons behind the removal and what it signifies about the current relationship between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and the rest of the royal family.

The statement’s removal is just one of several changes to the royal family’s website in recent years. In March, the bios of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were merged into a joint profile, reflecting their decision to step back as working members of the royal family. The top of their profile page now reads, “As announced in January 2020, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have stepped back as working members of The Royal Family.” The page also includes a link to their new website,, and references Queen Elizabeth’s 2020 statement following the Sandringham Summit, which outlined the terms of their departure from royal duties.

The removal of Prince Harry’s 2016 statement is a poignant reminder of the couple’s tumultuous journey within the royal family. Since stepping back from their roles, Harry and Meghan have relocated to California and have continued to speak out about their experiences and the challenges they faced. Their decision to step back was driven by a desire for a more independent life and to escape the intense scrutiny and pressure that came with their royal status.

The couple’s relationship with the royal family remains strained. In his memoir and various interviews, Harry has been candid about the difficulties he faced and the lack of support he felt from his family. He has expressed his belief that his father and brother are “trapped” within the royal system and has shown compassion for their situation.

The removal of the 2016 statement may be seen as a symbolic move, reflecting the ongoing tensions and the royal family’s efforts to distance itself from the controversies surrounding Harry and Meghan. It also raises questions about the royal family’s approach to addressing issues of racism and harassment, both within the family and in the broader public sphere.

As the royal family continues to navigate these complex dynamics, the public remains keenly interested in the developments and the future of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The removal of the statement is a reminder of the challenges they have faced and the ongoing impact of their decisions on their relationship with the royal family.

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