How Harry And Meghan Are Talked About Differently Than William And Kate Online

There are few sources of headlines as seemingly endless as the royal family. While the various members all get their fair share of headlines, all things are not created equally in the world of media. Case in point, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are discussed much differently online than Prince William and Kate Middleton. Whether it's online news coverage or social media, the two royal couples do not get the same treatment. 

In a January 2020 breakdown of news headlines, Buzzfeed found that even when discussing similar topics, British news outlets presented information in very different ways. Take the coverage of Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton's pregnancies roughly a year apart, for example. In reference to Middleton's pregnant body, Daily Mail released an article on March 22, 2018 that read, "Bumping along nicely! The Duchess was seen placing a protective hand on her tummy as she exited the event." Less than a year later, when Markle was preparing for her new addition, Daily Mail published an article stating, "Personally, I find the cradling a bit like those signs in the back of cars: Baby on Board. Virtue signaling, as though the rest of us barren harridans deserve to burn alive in our cars." 

Numerous other news items received the same treatment, and that is perhaps why Markle and Harry's website includes details about their new approach to interactions with the media; namely that they will not be participating in the royal press system that grants access to British news outlets.

Media treatment of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Recent research by Newsweek found that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had five times the online traffic than Prince William and Kate Middleton in September 2021. There was a difference in the coverage, as well. While Harry and Markle were referenced more often, William and Middleton had more positive references in the media, Newsweek found. American news outlets were "65% positive and 13% negative about William and Kate, compared to 44% positive and 28% negative about Harry and Meghan," the outlet reported. Coverage was similar in the UK with outlets being "63% about William and Kate and 20% negative, compared to 50% positive about Harry and Meghan and 33% negative."

Social media, too, seemed to favor William and Middleton but was more critical of the royals across the board. American social media and blog posts were roughly 35% positive and 19% negative towards William and Middleton. As for Harry and Markle, they got 28% positive coverage and 23% negative. British posts were similarly split with 38% positive and 14% negative when it came to William and Middleton; and 26% positive and 33% negative for Harry and Markle.

The Newsweek research seems to reinforce Markle's stance that the press has treated her unfairly. "It's hard for Meghan in London because the press is so vicious to her there," a source told Us WeeklyHer and Harry's determination to remove themselves from the media's laser eye might just be called for.