LONDON — Britain’s tabloid newspapers — pugnacious, salacious and utterly unabashed — have long played an outsized role in the country’s culture and society. They gleefully stalk celebrities, pounce on scandal, make or break political careers, prop up or tear down iconic national institutions.
Few were surprised, then, that the tabloids — mass-audience publications whose lurid headlines and compact dimensions once set them apart from the country’s more somber “broadsheet” papers — emerged as a key player in the tumultuous saga of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
By the couple’s account, a drumbeat of lies and overt racism in tabloid accounts exacerbated and amplified the travails that ultimately led them to leave palace life behind. Harry blamed the “toxic” environment on intimidation, saying his royal relatives were cowed into submission, unwilling to publicly defend the pair, because they were afraid of bad press.
“There is this invisible contract”