If you’ve been anywhere near social media over the past four days then you’ve almost certainly encountered news of the passing of Prince Philip.
Husband to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, Philip was a divisive figure in the final decades of his life:
Some praised his lifetime of service to his country, first as soldier during World War II, then as the longest-serving consort in the history of the United Kingdom.
Others pointed out his many old-fashioned ideas and his history of problematic behavior.
Perhaps the one thing both camps can agree on is that Philip lived a long and remarkable life.
At 99, his death certainly didn’t come as a surprise to anyone, especially since he was hospitalized for a full month back in February.
So why are so many British media outlets acting as though the prince was cut down in his prime by Meghan Markle?
Yes, the idea of blaming anyone for the death of a man who was born in 1921 might sound absurd — and it undeniably is.
But at this point, the British tabloid press could blame Meghan for a rainy day, and a certain segment of their readership would accept the explanation without question.
As a recent piece by Vox points out, several UK media outlets have used Philip’s death as an excuse to ramp up their negative coverage of Meghan.
There was a time when that reaction seemed so absurd that American Twitter users joked about it.
Sadly, it’s now become a reality.
So how did this happen? What emboldened British media outlets to the point that they now feel as though they can blame Meghan for literally anything?
Well, they’ve been making the Duchess’ life miserable from the moment that her relationship with Prince Harry first became public.
And in recent weeks their efforts to discredit and slander Meghan have become even more intense.
That state of affairs is a result of Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah which scandalized royalist viewers around the globe.
Over the course of a conversation that’s still being dissected for its many shocking moments, Meghan revealed that the mistreatment she endured during her time in the UK drove her to the brink of suicide.
She endured racism, xenophobia, and all manner of harassment from the UK press — and through all of it, the royal family failed to provide her with the support she needed.
Having been called out during one of the biggest television events of the past decade, the British tabloid press clearly feels that it has no choice but to double-down in its efforts to undermine Meghan’s credibility.
And like the vultures that they are, they saw the passing of Prince Philip as a golden opportunity.
Even though Philip had already been hospitalized at the time the interview aired, several UK "journalists" crafted misleading narratives in which they claimed there was a connection between Meghan’s revelations and Philip’s health problems.
So allow us to be perfectly clear on this:
That is absolutely not the case, and anyone claiming otherwise is involved in an effort to slander the Duchess of Sussex.
As Aja Romano at Vox succinctly stated, "The Duke of Edinburgh was 99 years old.
"Any efforts to place blame for his death reveal far more about the state of the media than about Meghan Markle."
Folks, it really is that simple.