Meghan calls to thank British female MPs for showing solidarity in open letter
Posted October 30, 2019 11:44 a.m. EDT
CNN — The Duchess of Sussex has called a British lawmaker to thank her and others after they wrote to her condemning her treatment by some of the UK's media.
More than 70 female MPs from across the political spectrum put their names to the open letter on Tuesday. The letter expressed support for Meghan in "taking a stand against the often distasteful and misleading nature of the stories printed in a number of our national newspapers concerning you, your character and your family."
Opposition Labour parliamentarian Holly Lynch told CNN affiliate ITV that she received a phone call from the duchess earlier on Wednesday while at Westminster.
"It was Buckingham Palace asking me was I available to speak to the Duchess of Sussex," Lynch said. "She was calling to thank myself and other women MPs for standing with her."
She continued, "Although in very difference public roles, we stand with her in solidarity to say that we shouldn't be tearing down women in public life through the press or otherwise... (The Duchess of Sussex) was pleased to have seen that letter."
Lynch said that as a "fairly new mom" she understood the challenges of being in the public eye, managing childcare and public responsibilities.
She then reiterated her concern that on occasion some of the press coverage of the duchess "had xenophobic undertones" and vowed to "do everything we can at this end if some of our national press do not have healthier, shall we say, interests in her life."
"I'm really concerned about some of the narratives, some of the articles, that have been incredibly sexist but also that she is not from this country, she's from elsewhere and that we're not happy about that," Lynch added. "I'm afraid that's unacceptable in this day and age.
"She's here, she's married our prince, they've got a young son. We really want to welcome her to our society and I'm afraid not all of the articles in our national press really reflect that and it's time that that stops."
Lynch had posted the cross-party letter to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. Signatories included the Labour MPs Jess Phillips, Stella Creasy and Holly Lynch, Tracey Crouch of the Conservatives, independent MP Antoinette Sandbach, Layla Moran of the Liberal Democrats and Joan Ryan of Change UK. In total, they account for more than one-third of the 208 women in the House of Commons.
The letter said that stories and headlines had sometimes "sought to cast aspersions about your character, without any good reason as far as we can see."
"Even more concerning still, we are calling out what can only be described as outdated, colonial undertones to some of these stories," the MPs continued.
They rounded off their letter by calling on the press to respect an individual's right to privacy.
The letter came days after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke in an ITV documentary of the pressures of constant media scrutiny.
Filmed during their recent royal tour of southern Africa, Meghan revealed that she "very naively" underestimated the British press as she was unfamiliar with them, being American, and that she had really tried to adopt a "stiff upper lip" attitude.
Toward the end of the tour, Meghan began legal proceedings against The Mail on Sunday for publishing a private letter she had sent her father. Concurrently, Prince Harry published a deeply personal statement slamming the UK tabloid press for conducting what he called a "ruthless campaign" against his wife.
Harry also accused the newspaper of selectively editing the letter to disguise "lies" the paper had told about the Duchess -- a claim that the tabloid specifically denies.
Separately, Harry also joined a legal action against the owners of The Sun and The Mirror for alleged phone hacking dating back to the early 2000s.
The couple are expected to take a six-week break for "family time" around mid-November once they have completed their current run of engagements and commitments, a royal source told CNN last week.