Photo credits: (Wikimedia commons)

After weeks of media fervour about our favourite royal’s relationship status, Prince Harry once again dominated headlines today – this time on his own terms.

The prince released a damning statement condemning the harassment suffered by his girlfriend, Suits actor Meghan Markle. This allegedly includes attempts from reporters to illegally enter her home, substantial bribes offered to her ex-boyfriends, and the ‘bombardment of every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life’ for information. Many will discredit this highly unusual move from Kensington Palace as simply adding fuel to the fire – calls for privacy from public figures often only increase public scrutiny, and go ignored by the press. However, I think it’s a stroke of genius. 

The drive behind the harassment of Meghan’s friends, colleagues and family members is the relentless need for another ‘source’ to feed the frenzy; a frantic hunt for the fire causing the smoke in the quest to prove the rumour true. By confirming the relationship with a formal statement in which he explicitly calls Meghan Markle his girlfriend, the Prince has answered the one question on everyone’s lips: yes, they are dating – and no, it’s not really any of our business. There is no scoop or exclusive left for anyone to chase  (or break into private property for) – the whole world has officially heard it straight from the horse’s mouth. For many of us, the statement is a sobering indictment of celebrity culture, and the reality of living in the public eye. With every frog you’ve ever kissed offered a lump sum to sell a story, dating a prince suddenly doesn’t seem all it’s cracked up to be. 

This clever, calculated move shows that the nation’s favourite rebel has come a long way from controversial costumes and naked LA party shots, and has learnt to play the media at its own game. Well played!