How Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are treated differently by the press

The news that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are stepping back from their responsibilities as senior royals took the world by surprise. Those who have closely followed Markle's journey since she began dating Prince Harry, however, realize why the pressure may have gotten to her.

While Markle has been famous for years thanks to her acting career (which earned her a small fortune), being linked to a member of the royal family brought her a different level of fame. Markle has been the subject of tabloid headlines for years, and the stories they ran about her were so malicious that she and Prince Harry broke with royal tradition and sued the Mail on Sunday for their coverage of Markle. 

The media circus compounded the pressure of being a royal. Markle made a heartbreaking confession last October about how her life has been lately. In the documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, Markle revealed that she's been struggling under the pressure of being a royal (via Us Weekly).

Tabloids have treated Meghan Markle much differently than Kate Middleton

After the news that Prince Harry and Markle would be stepping back from the royal family broke, BuzzFeed News published a roundup of pieces that proved how unfairly Markle has been treated by the press, especially when compared to her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.

In September 2017, for example, Express published a cheerful report on Prince William being gifted an avocado to be given to MIddleton to help her with morning sickness. Less than two yeas later, in January 2019, the same outlet slammed a pregnant Markle for eating avocados, "a fruit linked to water shortages, illegal deforestation and all round general environmental devastation."

Meghan and Harry were criticized for doing something Kate and William were praised for

In January 2014, the Daily Mail praised Prince William and Middleton for setting up their own companies. This, wrote the Daily Mail, "will allow William and Kate to bring out, should they ever chose to, myriad items of officially-endorsed merchandise from tea towels to coffee cups... Kensington Palace officials said they were doing the 'sensible thing' in protecting the couple's rights." 

In January 2020, the Daily Mail slammed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for trademarking the Sussex Royal brand. "The Sussexes want to stamp their name on dozens of products including T-shirts, hoodies, journals and gloves for their newly-created foundation Sussex Royal," wrote the tabloid.

While Prince William and Kate Middleton were praised for their business savvy and compared to David and Victoria Beckham, Harry and Meghan were accused of seeking "a right royal cash in."

Not even Meghan Markle's wedding flowers could escape media scrutiny

Even Markle's wedding flowers were torn apart in the press. While Express praised Middleton's "effortlessly elegant and understated" bouquet in August 2011, they accused Markle of endangering the children of the royal family with her blooms. The tabloid wrote in October 2019 that "the children's crowns were made of flowers that can be deadly, especially for children. Meghan's bouquet was made of forget-me-nots as well as sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, and astrantia."

Lily of the valley is "highly poisonous" and "could be deadly," so "having this flower on their heads could be considered a dangerous decision," said Express. The tabloid itself admitted, however, that Markle isn't alone in her choice of flowers, writing, "Other brides have also used this flowers including Kate Middleton, Princess Eugenie and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall."

Middleton's use of lily of the valley, however, didn't bring about accusations of negligence. Instead, Express wrote that "the lily of the valley [represents] a return of happiness."