When the couple first announced plans to step back from royal life in January, they served notice that they would boycott the Royal Rota, the press pool that covers the activities of the royal family. The pool includes broadcasters like the BBC and broadsheet papers like The Times of London, but the tabloids, with their huge circulations and ravenous interest in the royal family, are key members.
The latest move seems intended to cut the tabloids out of the couple’s new life in Los Angeles, where they are searching for a house and where Meghan, who had a career as a television actress, is trying to get back into show business.
When they handed out food in Los Angeles at Easter, they received largely favorable coverage in The Daily Mail and The Sun. The Mail quoted residents as saying the couple were “really down to earth” and reported that one woman burst into tears when she recognized them.
Now, though, it appears that the tabloids will not be allowed into their events or given handouts of photographs. The letter also made clear that the couple’s communications staff would not provide any guidance to reporters from those papers, a time-honored way of transmitting information about the royals.
As they moved to Los Angeles, with an interim stop in Victoria, Canada, Prince Harry and Meghan laid off their staff at Buckingham Palace. The couple have also hired Sunshine Sachs, a Hollywood public relations firm, to handle their image. And they wound down their charitable foundation, SussexRoyal, and are starting a new one, called Archewell.
With their global celebrity, analysts said, Harry and Meghan appear to be calculating that they will still get plenty of news coverage from other outlets. But some royal watchers said that they would come to regret their feud with the tabloids, given the newspapers’ power and the fact that so many Britons still got their news about the royal family from those publications.
“If those British tabloids were to stop writing about them tomorrow, they would lose their relevance in the U.K.,” Penny Junor, a journalist and royal biographer, said. “How will they feel if nobody is covering their new foundation, or the fact that they’re delivering food parcels to the poor in L.A.?”