Last night Prince Harry released a statement confirming his relationship with actress Meghan Markle and condemning the abuse she and her family have been subjected to since rumours of their relationship first started swirling.
It was a move that was unprecedented and goes completely against royal protocol to never discuss personal relationships.
So what made Harry snap?
"Some of this has been very public - the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments,” read the statement.
The “smear” reportedly refers to the Sun’s story about footage of a sex scene from Markle’s hit US show Suits appearing on Pornhub, an adult website. The publication ran with the headline “Harry girl’s on Pornhub”.
The Sun has denied this was a smear campaign, stating that they made clear the footage was from the US drama.
The story has since been removed from the Sun’s website.
Harry also expressed his anger over racist and sexist comments from both the media and on social media.
The Mail on Sunday reported that if the couple had children, “the Windsors will thicken their watery, thin blue blood and Spencer pale skin and ginger hair with some rich and exotic DNA”.
Another article on the Daily Mail was headlined, “Harry’s girl is (almost) straight outta Compton”. A reference to rap group NWA.
While much of the abuse has been public, the statement also references a number of alarming incidents involving Markle and her family.
"Some of it has been hidden from the public - the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life."
This is eerily reminiscent of the scrutiny that Harry’s own mother, Princess Diana faced and what ultimately led to her death.
Harry spike about his “disappointment" at not being able to protect Markle more in the first few months of their relationship and felt he could no longer remain silent.
“Given what she was going through in the press and what was happening privately, Harry no longer felt it was acceptable for someone in his position to sit quietly,” a palace source told The Guardian. “This is happening because of him, not her. The traditional no-comment position no longer felt acceptable to him.
“Never before has he [Harry] been so angry that he felt the need to go public with a statement confronting what has been written about a girlfriend by both the mainstream media and by the public through the skewed prism of social media,” Gordon Rayner writes in The Telegraph.
“The Prince is fully aware that in issuing such a public defence of his new girlfriend — and a plea to give her some space ‘before any further damage is done’ — he is confirming just how serious their relationship is.”
What the statement does tell us is that the relationship is the real deal, let’s just hope they can ride out the media storm and allow their relationship the time it needs to grow naturally.