Reputation is hard won and easily lost if you’re not careful. Today, as the judge dismissed multiple claims in Meghan Markle’s case against Associated Newspapers, her reputation is under the spotlight again and will be the subject of many headlines and debates, most of which will examine her motives and image and fuel the type of press coverage she would prefer to eliminate.
Who wins in the end is not the point. The moment this case proceeded, the Duchess lost further grip of the image she seeks to control, and fuelled the already poisonous relationship with the tabloids. Weeks of coverage will follow now, as the media ( rightly or wrongly – you choose) dissects her ambition and obsession with portraying a crafted and protected persona. The sad thing now is we all but forget the modernity and change that less than two years ago she symbolised.
As the Duchess seeks a new life with her husband the stakes are high for them both. There was time to drop this case and they may well have been advised to do so, but they seem immune to counsel. When courts are involved the winners are often those charging by the hour. So it’s worth pointing out, that whenever reputation is at stake and the media gaze is focused, the question to ask is; “At what cost?”. Time will tell.