Harry And Meghan Quit To Cut Tabloid Ties

So, who else turned on the news last night expecting to hear about Iran vs the US, only to find a transatlantic story of a very different kind?

Harry and Meghan have called it quits -- they no longer want to be senior royals, and they're going to try to make their own way in life as they split their time between the UK and Canada.

I guess we all knew something wasn't right between Harry and his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, and possibly the Duchess of Cambridge too. But quitting being a senior royal and half quitting London and the UK? It seems like a big step.

There is a lot in the papers today about the move, but The Guardian probably sums up what most of us in the media are thinking.

By no longer taking royal money to be senior royals, the couple can now decide to interact with the press how they see fit. There won't be photo calls as ribbons are cut on new hospitals where tabloids they believe have it in for Meghan are there to either cover the story or see what they can stir up.

There will also no longer be an obligation to do a "rota'" interview with one of the assembled journalists so the content can be shared across all outlets. 

It was only back in October when Harry fired a broadside off at the press -- particularly the tabloids -- for running a "vicious" campaign against his wife.

The couple are pointing out that they know it wasn't always the royal reporters who were at fault, but rather the hacks in the newsroom who would edit stories and add their own details to carry on criticising Meghan.

I remember sports journalist friends who always said their greatest fear was the main newsroom guys turning up to press conferences to try to get a big scoop or just put the knife into a manager whose job was in peril. It meant that after years of reporting on games, a sports journalist would be lumped in with the hacks and considered unfriendly, sometimes even leading to revoking of press passes for games. 

Instead of playing the royal photo opportunity and rota interview game, then, Harry and Meghan are deciding to stick to social media and working with selected "credible media" titles, prioritising giving breaks to young reporters.

The couple still need coverage and publicity, it's just they're now going to speak directly to outlets of their choice. 

For me, it's potentially at least a partial mistake. The couple are celebrities around the world and so are still going to be written about widely, regardless of whether or not a specific tabloid is on the "yes" list or the naughty step. 

Don't get me wrong -- it's totally their decision and their right to talk to whichever outlet they prefer, now that they are not senior royals.

But if they think that is going to stop their war with the tabloids, they can dream on. This move is probably only likely to pour petrol on the fire. 

To give them a break, though, you can definitely say they have at least done the one thing in their power, making sure they no longer work directly with the people and titles they despise. On the other hand, it still won't stop the reports.

So, I'd say it's probably honours even in this battle with the tabloid press.

They will continue trying to unearth prima donna behaviour from a woman who became a royal via a career, rather than high birth or wealth -- and Harry and Meghan will continue to complain, and even sue, when they feel vilified. Only now, the only space they will ever be forced to share is a courtroom.

Hard to pick a winner, but there is definitely now a battle drawn between the Sussex's and the tabloids. 

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