Here is Sky News sharing with a startled world the full text of a letter or announcement sent by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to four UK newspapers.

Oh dear. Let’s while away the #COVID19 emptiness by going through it in all its ineptitude.

Wait … is it a letter or an announcement? If a letter, who sent it?

As The Duke and Duchess of Sussex now settle into the next chapter of their lives and no longer receive any publicly funded support, we (sic) are writing to set a new media relations policy, specifically as it pertains to your organisation.

First mixed metaphor: you can’t settle into a chapter.

Plus this is clunky drafting: … we are writing to set a new media relations policy, specifically as it pertains to your organisation. 

Like you, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex believe that a free press is a cornerstone to any democracy – particularly in moments of crisis. At its best, this free press shines light on dark places, telling stories that would otherwise go untold, standing up for what’s right, challenging power, and holding those who abuse the system to account.

Zzzzz. A weak list of clichés. Plus how can a free press be a cornerstone? Plus they miss the key point of a ‘free press’, namely to sell stories. Oddly enough, stories about wayward members of a Royal Family do rather well in that respect.

It has been said that journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex agree wholeheartedly.

Phew. Thank goodness they agree with such a noble ideal. Back in real life, the first obligation of any journalist is to sell stories if s/he wants to be paid. Sometimes that means telling the ‘truth’. I always quote veteran journalist Tony Robinson on the subject: “The truth is the best story”. Still that was then. Now we have the much more amusing and lucrative #fakenews.

It is gravely concerning that an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print – even when they know it to be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason.

Concerning? How can a slice insulate itself from taking (sic) accountability? #Mixedmetaphordisaster.

When power is enjoyed without responsibility, the trust we all place in this much-needed industry is degraded.

As, now, literally no-one places trust in ‘the media’ or thinks that it’s ‘much-needed’, this seems an odd claim.

There is a real human cost to this way of doing business and it affects every corner of society.

Ah. A cost affects every corner.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have watched people they know – as well as complete strangers – have their lives completely pulled apart for no good reason, other than the fact that salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue.

Salacious gossip keeps up ever-dwindling sales.

With that said, please note that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be engaging with your outlet.

Odd way to describe a newspaper: an ‘outlet’. And surely the case needs to be made if only in outline that these four ‘outlets’ have been especially naughty in ways that might deserve such withering disapproval?

There will be no corroboration and zero engagement. This is also a policy being instated for their communications team, in order to protect that team from the side of the industry that readers never see.

Ugh – instated. Zero engagement! Let’s see how that works out. But thank goodness that action is in hand to ‘protect’ the Sussex’s communication’s team from these AWFUL THINGS. Verily, they might swoon if they saw what really goes on.

This policy is not about avoiding criticism. It’s not about shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting. 

Phew. We were all so worried.

Media have every right to report on and indeed have an opinion on The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, good or bad. But it can’t be based on a lie.

Haha in their case the truth indeed is the best story.

They also want to be very clear: this is not in any way a blanket policy for all media.

What a pity. If only it were, and the Duke and Duchess decided to withdraw gracefully from public life.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to working with journalists and media organisations all over the world, engaging with grassroots media, regional and local media, and young, up-and-coming journalists, to spotlight issues and causes that so desperately need acknowledging.

Grassroots … spotlight … young … causes … desperate … need. Translated: they’re going to be at the forefront of each and every vapid social justice warrior cause du jour.

And they look forward to doing whatever they can to help further opportunities for more diverse and underrepresented voices, who are needed now more than ever.

Indeed. It’s all so needy.

What they won’t do is offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion.

Woo. Lively metaphor.

We are encouraged that this new approach will be heard and respected.

Let’s see about that?


Even if they’re not going to get UK public funds, one might hope that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex might scrape together enough groats to hire someone literate and sensible to put out such things, rather than the gormless teenager who in fact wrote it.