Prince Harry warned the media Tuesday against harassing his American girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle, in a rare statement issued by Kensington Palace.
The statement, which confirms the pair’s relationship for the first time, said that “the past week has seen a line crossed,” and accused the press and social media trolls of sexist and racial abuse.
“His girlfriend Meghan Markle has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments,” read the statement, which was issued by Prince Harry’s communications secretary through the palace Twitter account.
“Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” the statement read.
The prince, 32, asked for his statement to be issued so that the press behind the story could “pause and reflect before any further damage is done.”