LONDON — Britain’s
A statement issued by the 32-year-old prince's spokesperson Tuesday said that while Harry has rarely taken action over fictional stories and has worked hard to develop a professional relationship with the media, “a line has been crossed” in the past week.
“His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment,” the statement said in the first official confirmation of the pair's relationship.
“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.”
“Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” the statement said.
“It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game.’ He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his.”
Los Angeles-born actress Markle, 35, is best known for her role as Rachel Zane in the legal drama Suits. Her mother is African-American and her father is Dutch and Irish, according to media reports.
Markle has worked with the United Nations on gender equality and is a global ambassador for the humanitarian aid organization World Vision Canada.