On Oct. 29, Duchess Meghan received a special letter that was signed by 72 women, all of whom are Members of Parliament in the UK. The next day, Meghan called one of the MPs about that letter.
Halifax Labour Party MP Holly Lynch told ITV’s Joe Pike that Buckingham Palace telephoned her on the morning of Oct. 30 and passed her through to Meghan. The Duchess wanted to thank Holly and her fellow women MPs for writing the note. In it, Holly and the 71 other MPs decried the tone of some of the press coverage the Duchess of Sussex has been receiving, saying it was “often distasteful and misleading.” It was signed by Conservative MPs in addition to Labour representatives.
“She was calling to thank myself and other women MPs for standing with her, sending the open letter to say we as women in public office absolutely understand what she’s going through – although in very different public roles,” Holly said.
“We shouldn’t be tearing down women in public life through the press or otherwise. She was pleased to have seen that letter.”
EXCL: 'I got a phonecall. It was Buckingham Palace asking me was I available to speak to the Duchess of Sussex.'
Meghan Duchess of Sussex called @HollyLynch5 this morning to say thank you. It comes after the Halifax MP sent her a cross-party letter of solidarity from female MPs. pic.twitter.com/8ykIEEvrbG
— Joe Pike (@joepike) October 30, 2019
Holly, who is also a new mom, said she and Meghan had spoken about the challenges of raising a child while being in the public eye and how to manage all their responsibilities. The Labour MP said she and those who signed the letter would continue to challenge some of the narratives they’ve seen in the media about Meghan “if some of our national press do not have a healthier, shall we say, interest in her life.”
“I’ve been really concerned about some of the narratives that have been incredibly sexist but also that she is not from this country, she’s from elsewhere and we’re not happy about that,” she continued. “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.”
In their letter, Holly and her fellow MPs said some of the stories and headlines written about the Duchess of Sussex have “represented an invasion of your privacy and sought to cast aspersions about your character, without any good reason as far as we can see.” Like Holly reiterated in her recent interview, the letter said the lawmakers would challenge such coverage when they see it.
Women MPs from all political parties have put aside our differences to stand in solidarity with the Duchess of Sussex today and are sending her this open letter. pic.twitter.com/ytLHG5qPf4
— Holly Lynch MP (@HollyLynch5) October 29, 2019
“Although we find ourselves being women in public life in a very different way to you, we share an understanding of the abuse and intimidation which is now so often used as a means of disparaging women in public office from getting on with our very important work,” the letter reads.
Earlier this month, Meghan and Harry drew worldwide headlines for appearing in an ITV documentary titled Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, shot during their 10-day tour of southern Africa. In it, they both discussed the press coverage they’ve received. Harry said every time he sees and hears a camera, he’s taken right back to the death of his mother, Princess Diana.
In a particularly heart-wrenching clip, Meghan told ITV’s Tom Bradby she found media scrutiny she’s received, at a time when she was becoming a new mother and making the transition to royal life, very difficult.
“You add this on top of being a new mom or trying to be a newlywed,” she said, before trailing off. “Yeah, well, I guess… and also thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m ok, but it’s a… very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”
“And the answer is… would it be fair to say, not really ok? As in, it’s really been a struggle?” Tom asked.
“Yes,” Meghan said.
Over the weekend, the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke out for Meghan, saying he supported Meghan and Harry’s reported decision to take a six-week leave.
“All members of the Royal Family are under a pressure that none of us outside it can possibly imagine,” he said. “Every personal action is scrutinized. Every statement is over-interpreted, over-read.”