Meghan Markle's pregnancy belongs to Prince Harry

After the Duchess of Sussex announced she was expecting a child, some tabloid headlines were expectedly sexist.

Lydia Morrish
Lydia Morrish NewsMavens, United Kingdom
Meghan Markle's pregnancy belongs to Prince Harry - NewsMavens
Meghan Markle. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

It's not often a pregnancy becomes international news. The front page of fertilization is reserved for celebrities, politicians and royals.

And when expectant mothers do attract the attention of the tabloids, the coverage is usually unashamedly sexist.

This was certainly the case for Meghan Markle, the 37-year-old actor who married the British Royal Family's Prince Harry in May.

Kensington Palace announced on October 15 that Markle was due to give birth next spring. Unfortunately many of the papers mistook her pregnancy for a chance to reiterate the archaic notion that women's bodies belong to men.

“Meghan Markle is pregnant with Prince Harry’s first child” was just the start.

The article title media just can't get right

  • An article by The Telegraph announcing the news of Markle's pregnancy bore the strapline, "Meghan Markle is pregnant with Prince Harry’s first child”.
  • It was criticized by people on social media who said it was sexist and outdated to attribute the pregnancy to Harry.
  • Other publications followed, with the Daily Beast publishing the headline "Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle is pregnant".
  • Despite old-fashioned rules regarding how the Royal Family acts and is referred to, Markle's name is now legally "Meghan, Duchess of Sussex", not "Harry's Wife".
  • After the uproar, The Telegraph changed its headline to "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting their first child in the spring". This headline is still active.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
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