A British royals reporter is lifting the curtain on challenges he and other journalists have recently faced while covering Duchess Meghan.
Richard Palmer, the royals correspondent for the Daily Express in London, has been tweeting about reporting on the royal family — specifically the former Meghan Markle — and has shared some insightful information about why coming up with satisfying, newsy stories on Prince Harry's new wife can be tougher than readers realize.
"I'd like to make a couple of other observations as a reporter who's covered her engagements. Royal rota journalists are being kept further away from her than we were before the wedding. That means we can't hear what she is saying," Palmer explained in a series of tweets posted on July 31.
"If you can't get direct quotes from members of the Royal Family that often makes for dull stories. You go up afterwards and ask what she said. Mr Bloggs said: 'The Duchess expressed the hope that women would eventually get the same opportunities as men in this profession.' Boring."
He continued, "So, just as with [Duchess] Kate, that inevitably leaves you with little else to write about except what she wore and looked like. They are [two] lovebirds so it is quite sweet but these stories have limited shelf life."
Palmer said it would be nice if things changed as Meghan and Harry gear up for more appearances this fall.
"My hope is that when they come back from their summer break, Meghan will be given a bit of a freer rein to express herself (within earshot of the media) and get stuck into some of the serious topics she wants to tackle," he explained. "She has the soft power to help many people in this world. What she wears will always be of interest to some readers, of course, but it doesn't have to be all of the story."
When a follower chimed in to say say the newspaper correspondent couldn't possibly be surprised that the royal family wants to keep journalists at a distance considering some outlets' past treatment of Meghan, Palmer said he didn't think that was it. "I suspect keeping the rota further away is about settling her in and nothing to do with any previous stories," he said.
Palmer also made it clear that he — and other journalists who've been covering the royals — are big fans of the new Duchess of Sussex. "Like every royal corr and photographer I know, I am delighted she's joined the Royal Family. She's a breath of fresh air, beautiful, and – let's be honest – a new character in the royal soap opera. It all makes for good copy," he admitted.
He also defended the media for covering Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, and half-sister, Samantha Markle, when they speak out negatively about their royal relative — yet makes it clear he'd love there to be something else to write about. "Her estrangement from her father and that side of the family is a story. It's what people are talking about. To be honest, I can't think what else there is to say about it but if there is a genuine new line, I will happily write it," Palmer explained.
He even sounds sympathetic — to a point — and offers advice. "It's not difficult to see why she has frozen that side of the family out. I suspect the story will fade away if she doesn't fuel it," he added. "She does seem to be someone who moves on and discards people from her past so I have no idea if she still wants to be close to her father and half siblings. If she does, I'd suggest (a bit like in a peace process) there needs to be some confidence-building ie no leaking stories."