Will Meghan Markle's Court Ruling Change/Drive Public Opinion to Her Favour?

Will Meghan Markle's Court Ruling Change/Drive Public Opinion to Her Favour?

"This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what is right.”

The above statement was the response of Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex

after her win over a news industry that she says “conditions people to be cruel and rewards chaos over truth.”

This has been a big win for the Duchess of Sussex, as the appeal court has upheld her claim against the Mail on Sunday for publishing parts of a private letter to her father. It allows her to put down a strong marker over her privacy - and the slam-dunk ruling allows her to avoid any awkward cross-examination as a witness.

In this dispute about the publication of a letter from a daughter to a father, the judges focused on the letter of the law, rather than other curling issues about the royals and the media.

The appeal court's confirmation that this had been a breach of the duchess’ privacy means that even if her life is inescapable of public interest, it doesn't make her public property.

This courtroom battle will add another layer to Meghan's complicated relationship with the British public. The public has its own expectations of royals. They might not mind titles, but they bridle at entitlement.

YouGov polling shows a slump in Meghan's popularity over the past year. In autumn 2020, 40% of people in this UK tracking survey had a positive opinion of her, but that had fallen to 28% in autumn 2021, with Prince Andrew the only royal with worse approval ratings.

But when the YouGov poll is broken down into age groups the Duchess of Sussex is one of the most popular royals for younger people, more so than the Duchess of Cambridge or Prince Charles.

There's a vale in attitudes towards Meghan and it shows what an asset she could have been to a royal family needing more diversity and wanting to reach younger generations.

Meghan sharply divides opinion and even with this legal win that's likely to continue. Her supporters will see it as evidence that she really has been unfairly treated by a hostile press. While her detractors might continue to view the court case through the prism of a narcissistic attempt to control her image.

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There could be a chance to write a new chapter, more on her own terms. But even though the privacy ruling will be a warning signal, the media and public interest in this famous couple are not going to go away.

 



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