Prince Harry and Meghan – can anyone have a private life?

Can we relate to what the Royals are going through, and if so, should we be worried?

Technology nowadays has taken over the world. So much so that we rely on it every day in pretty much every situation; people can’t go an hour without checking their phone. Is it the need to be kept in the loop with everything or is it the fear of missing out? With the use of the internet, we can pretty much find out any information wherever or whenever we need to, right at that certain moment. People in today’s society are more desperate for up-to-date information, and with technology growing at an outstanding rate, how much does it affect our private lives?

Let’s take the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, for instance. In the early days of January, they both published online to the world that they had decided to take a “step back” as senior royals, with this sparking outrage across the British media. The couple, particularly Meghan herself, had come under scrutiny from the press over the past year, as the couple took more of a modern approach on being members of the royal family. A lot of tabloids spoke about her race in a massively unfair manner, in comparison to the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who the press hailed and admired immensely. Meghan explained in their documentary in 2019 that the British press took massive effect on her mental health, so much so that the couple felt that enough was enough and decided what was best for them. This is also after Harry likened the press treating Meghan like they did to his mother The Princess of Wales, Diana, who lost her life in car crash as the driver was fleeing from journalists.

Also looking at the popular case in 2014, when the famous singer Adele and her young son were photographed many times in public; the main one being his first family outing to playgroup. Adele and her husband Simon understandably felt that their son was “not public property” and so they took legal action against the paparazzi, successfully suing them as a breach of privacy. Along with this case, we can also liken this to Britney Spears’ tenure under the spotlight from the paparazzi, where her life was undoubtedly never private throughout her rise to fame. People were so obsessed with the superstar that she was named in the Guinness World Records as the ‘Most Searched Person’ in not only just 2007, but 2009 as well. Her breakdown in 2007 was one of the most highly-publicised events in modern history by the press, showing so much of her private life to the world.

But even this is relatable to our own lives. Apps like Snapchat and Instagram encourage us to share parts of our day-to-day lives as much as we can to an entire audience of people. ‘Snap Maps’ was released in mid-2017, where users can look on a map to see where their friends are, across the entire globe. People nowadays document their lives in Instagram posts, showing off to their friends about what they have been up to recently. It is ever-growing. So my question is, when will this stop or will privacy be a thing of the past?

Written by Matthew Nicoll