By Gabriel Princewill-
Sarah Vine’s vested interest in the royal feud between the Sussexes and the royal family is under scrutiny after numerous articles in the Daily Mail and The Daily Express, over the past month, attacking Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Michael Gove’s wife is being examined by a team of professionals , not only because her estranged husband, Michael Gove (the couple announced a divorce earlier this month)is a cabinet minister, but because the Daily Mail journalist’s critical views against the Duke and Duchess Of Sussex have on occasions been actively promoted in two other Uk publications- The Daily Express And The Daily Mirror- besides the one in which she has a weekly column.
Ms Vine’s connection to her husband Michael Gove(also The Foreign Secretary) and her close connection to Kate Middleton , the Duchess Of Cambridge, has also been deemed to question the underlying credibility and integrity of Ms Vine’s attacks against the Duke and Duchess Of Sussex. Not only are her motives suspect, the propriety of her published writings are called into question, with respect to journalistic ethics. Some of her writings will be examined for any traces of misleading information which could constitute a breach of Ipso’s standards.
The move was sparked by a few professionals in The Eye Of Media.Com’s thinktank who feel she may have been abusing her power. in breach of Ipso’s regulations. The Independent Press Regulations(Ipso’s) guidance, sets the highest professional standards of which members who subscribe to it have agreed to undertake.
One of its guidance pertaining to accuracy, requires that journalists do not publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information. The issue of Ms Vine publishing misleading information can only exist in the context of spreading a certain position due to influences and allegiances, rather than based on genuine and unbiased intentions.
Sarah Vine was contacted three times in total by this publication in May, inquiring about her motives for being so involved in the dispute that has engulfed the royal family, given her marriage to Michael Gove, and her connection to the royal family. The Daily Mail journalist was also offered the opportunity of an off the record communication to address issues raised about the scale of her involvement in the royal dispute.
At the time of contacting Sarah Vine, we were unaware she would announce a divorce with her husband of 20 years within weeks of our first contact with her. In fact, one of my colleagues had contacted her a few days before she announced her divorce to her husband, Michael Gove.
After each contact, plans to publish an article in connection with our inquiry were abandoned, following internal debates about the propriety of such publication, without knowledge of her husband’s take on the matter.
We had asked Sarah Vine directly by mail, if she thought the fact she was openly being partisan in the royal family feud, reflected on her husband, Michael Gove, and put him in an unwanted position. Unsurprisingly, we received no response from her.
Michael Gove : His wife Sarah Vine ignored potential impact of her articles on his image Image:twitter
Conscious of the fact that a husband and wife can have divergent views on any subject matter, it was deemed too risky to publish an article with a negative reflection on the Foreign Secretary, whom we concluded must be aware of the active involvement of his wife in the royal feud between Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, and the rest of the royal family.
The question at hand is whether the wife of a senior cabinet minister should be so deeply engrossed in a sensitive royal dispute influenced by various factors that embody allegations and counter allegations. If the answer is in the negative, it exposes a major defect that has been at work in the process of the legitimate dissemination of information influence by Ms Gove. The proximity of her influence to the corridors of power in Westminster could create a conflict of interest in mixing a potential political agenda with the honourable expectation from the public of receiving credible and unbiased news.
The intuitive assumption is that Michael Gove must have been aware of his wife’s strident articles in favour of Kate Middleton and against Meghan Markle. Under normal circumstances, the logical deduction would be that he was approving, but in light of the subsequently known fractious relationship he had with his wife, he could have been powerless to stop his determined and independent wife for her ardent pursuit of recognition in royal circles.
Yet, any insinuation of Mr.Gove’s potential complicity in his wife’s involvement in the royal feud, openly posed the risk of unjustified negative connotations on the Foreign Secretary, which could potentially escalate to tension with his wife. In hindsight, our judgement was right. Our moral conscience would have been in trouble had we published at the time and made potentially far reaching assumptions.
Hot And Divisive
The royal dispute has always been a hot and divisive topic, characterized by rancour and ill feeling. It has been begging for a profound level of insight, measured assessment, and ultimately, an attempted effort to attain resolution where possible.
The impetus behind Sarah Vine’s public involvement in the royal dispute, is not difficult to see. Her writings were inspired by one of a few things. The desire to impress or favour a particular group, an intrinsic dislike for Meghan Markle based on the Duchess Of Sussex’s conduct, a prejudicial reason. or one or more of the above factors.
The quest for increased favour immediately stands out as one of the driving forces behind Ms Gove’s vehement support of Kate Middleton, and comprehensive discrediting of Meghan Markle.
Kate Middleton by all accounts, is a lovable and dignified woman with an attractive poise to her person. Those qualities allied to her position as Duchess Of Cambridge, makes her a potential magnet for friends and supporters. Something went wrong with her relationship with Meghan Markle, caused by many factors, some of which has been well documented. Why Sarah Vine was one of Middleton’s staunch defenders, is a matter of interest.
Prince Harry and Meghan have rocked the boat big time in May, with the multiple unguarded bombshells she dropped during her interview with Oprah Winfrey. Her comments will continuously be the subject of intense scrutiny, but not so much as objective an appraisal as expected from journalists expected to hold up the banner of integrity at all times.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been targeted by Michael Gove’s Wife Image: Cbs.Com
They accused the royal family of being racist , ignoring her cries for help for mental health issues she faced and wrongly denying her son the title of a prince when grows up. The latter was proven to be flawed after a revision made by Prince Phillip was announced. Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were not aware of that revision is currently unknown.
However, the publicly declared allegation sparked acrimony and resentment from all quarters- all hell broke loose. The race to debunk as many of the claims Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made was set in motion. Meghan made the imprudent statement that she and Prince Harry had actually married three days before the main wedding, sparking furore and frantic examinations of her claims, with the aim of quickly disproving and exposing them.
The Archbishop of Canterburry confirmed the legal wedding to have been on the Saturday, but fell short of stating whether he married them in any other context, insisting that their meeting was private. He did confirmed the couple exchanged a few vows, raising the question of why vows were being exchanged before a wedding. The truth is that it appears Meghan Markle had pursued a common law type marriage privately, in which she felt spiritually joined with Prince Charles, before stepping to the public podium where she could have feared a surprise objection to her marriage may be awaiting her.
Archbishop Of Canterburry did not directly address claims he married Harry and Meghan 3 days earlier Image: Church Of England.org
Meghan Markle was pilloried in the press for the seeming discrepancy in her claims, and if the Duchess Of Sussex dared explain the underlying sentiments of what she did three days prior to the public wedding, it would have ignited wider public condemnation that he had disrespected the highly paid public and legal wedding.
The Queen was undoubtedly not have been amused by her public claim to have undertaken process she construed to amount to a marriage before the official wedding the world witnessed. The day after a private conversation with the Archbishop, he protected his interests by asserting his involvement in only one legal wedding- a fact that was never disputed- but raised in a way actually peripheral to the object in question.
When the following month, Prince Phillip died, and Meghan announced a Wreath, Ms Vine came out raging. Expressing anger against Meghan Markle’s publicity of a Wreath following the death Of Prince Phillip in April, the columnist said : “She sent a wreath which was a nice thing to do
But even then it was all about her. Oh, I’ve chosen these special flowers and there was a press release.
“It’s not about you! You send a wreath and that’s it. Don’t tell the world how brilliantly you’ve done the wreath.”Mr Eden added: “Apparently the press release even included the name of the manufacturer.”
“Exactly. It’s not a commercial opportunity, it’s a wreath at a man’s funeral.
“Just send some flowers and shut up.”
Four days later, Sarah Vine took another dig at Meghan by describing Kate Middleton as the antithesis of Meghan Markle, expanding on her reasons for arriving at that conclusion. Sarah Gove lauded the work Kate Middleton has done behind the scenes over the past 10 years, ”gradually building her reputation with the family and with the public”.
She continued: ”And she is all about the duty and all about the family and trying to do what’s best for everybody.
I think it contrasts so starkly with this sort of ‘me me me’ thing that Harry and Meghan have got going on, where everything is about their emotions, all of the time.
“I don’t know what Kate’s emotions are, I don’t need to know what Kate’s emotions are.
“She is very good – she sort of shows just enough to show that she is human and a normal person, relatively speaking, but then she maintains this… I think she is quite good at managing that dynamic between being a public persona and being a real person, a mother with three kids who likes to take photographs”. It was a good piece of literary presentation; she would score full marks for top salesmanship skills.
Popular Kate Middleton has had many commentators rush to her defense Image: Charles Mcquillan/Getty Images
As the antithesis of Kate Middleton, the literal implication of Sarah Vine’s words is that Meghan doesn’t do enough to show that she is a normal person, or strike the balance between being a public persona and being a normal person.
That’s the deducible implication of the statement. Could it be true, or is it an implied smear, driven purely my Ms Vine’s allegiance to the Duchess Of Cambridge?
Meghan Markle is a polarized figure in the Uk, supported and disliked by the British public in almost equal measure her. Since her public interview with Oprah Winfrey, her public ratings in the Uk has reportedly plummeted.
An experienced journalist, Sarah Vine was a columnist for The Times for 15 years before joining the Daily Mail, a tabloid newspaper, in 2013.In 2019, she received the Columnist of the Year – Popular award at the Society of Editors’ Press Awards. Meghan was the total opposite of Kate Middleton. As the antithesis of Kate Middleton, Meghan doesn’t do enough to show that she is a normal person, or strike the balance between being a public persona and being a normal person.
In May, Sarah Vine finally came to her realization that Meghan Markle was not the only one to blame, but that Prince Harry, was also not quite to blame, but also complicit. Her stance on the matter was also featured by the Mirror, leading to the question of why the opinions of a prominent cabinet minister was being orchestrated and promulgated in the British press.
Her position as the wife of a minister appears to have been maximized to her benefit-potentially at the expense of her husband, who has been silent on the matter, including on their failed marriage. Perharps, he has no defense to make in the background scheme of things, or he is just a quiet man
Ms Gove unwittingly discredited her husband a week before the couple announced their marriage- highlighting in an insightful piece for the Daily Mail, the indiscretions of senior politicians in putting their family second to their political career.
She notably reminds us through that article, of her allegiance to Prince William and Kate Middleton. While loyalties and support are invaluable and necessary in life, it could sometimes compromise credibility and integrity in journalism.
Leading the army in discrediting the Duke and Duchess Of Sussex, for the sake of her allegiance with Kate Middleton, she ploughed on in her articles.
That same month, she wrote an article criticizing Prince Harry as playing a foolish game for accusing his family of neglect and accusing his father of not doing enough to break the cycle of pain and suffering that characterized his childhood. It was an audacious claim by Prince Harry, who was angry that his father did not intervene and put the press in their place when they were publishing what Prince Harry and his wife described as falsehoods.
”That would be painful, if true, but what is described as falsehoods could be version 0f events, mental health analyst, Deon Verhoven said. Prince Harry wanting his father to intervene in the press is tricky because of the historic custom, of not interfering in the press’s operation, but a royal son may still just expect his father’s power to be exercised to overrule custom. Both sides could be right, depending on all the factual circumstances of the case.
Ms Vine appeared to be on a mission to discredit Prince Harry and Meghan Markle due to some allegiance to Kate Middleton. A detailed analysis of all that transpired is the only way a well informed conclusion can ever be made on the royal feud that led Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to step back from royal duties, and publicly make allegations against the royal family. But all the facts will probably never come the open. There will always be an outpouring of information, and establishing the truth will often be a matter of intuition.
”Each revelation has less impact than the last, and instead of offering a rare glimpse behind the curtain, Harry is now in danger of over-exposing himself”, she wrote.
But Ms Vine seemed to be out to expose Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but shouldn’t be involved in those discussions.
An experienced journalist, Sarah Vine was a columnist for The Times for 15 years before joining the Daily Mail, a tabloid newspaper, in 2013.In 2019, she received the Columnist of the Year – Popular award at the Society of Editors’ Press Awards. Meghan was the total opposite of Kate Middleton. As the antithesis of Kate Middleton, the literal implication of Sarah Vine’s words is that Meghan doesn’t do enough to show that she is a normal person, or strike the balance between being a public persona and being a normal person.
Outside of her affiliation with the royal family and likely also the likes of Piers Morgan, her criticisms would have been viewed as just an expression of strong convictions against the conduct of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The existence of potential ulterior motives makes it difficult to take her criticisms to be genuine independent analysis of the feud.
Quite notably, The Daily Express pointed out that criticisms in the form of column inches by well known figures like Sarah Vine, Piers Morgan and Julie Churchill, became increasingly agitated and bitter, despite the fact Burchill had 2 weeks earlier been sacked and exposed as a racist, after the Telegraph journalist said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could have name their child Georgina Floydina- in reference to the African American George Floyd, who was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was jailed for murder last month.
Well known Julia Burchill was fired for a racist post about Prince Harry’s daughter Image: twitter
Churchill may have been a well known journalist, but her racist motives were exposed when she flopped and lost her job. Popularity is not always synonymous with substance, dignity, or integrity. Sarah Vine should take note.
An experienced journalist, Sarah Vine was a columnist for The Times for 15 years before joining the Daily Mail, in 2013. In 2019, she received the Columnist of the Year – Popular award at the Society of Editors’ Press Awards. Being well known and winning awards is not a reflection of either sound judgement or integrity. Such awards in journalism only provides affirmation of journalistic flair and general competence, attributes Sarah Vine cannot be denied to possess. Her literary prowess is self evident in her writings, but honour and integrity are independent of talent and ability.
Ms Vine has previously expressed anger at the fact Meghan Markle revealed that the media had lied that she made Kate Middleton cry when it was in fact the other way round, yet the minister’s wife has unashamedly never addressed why this lie was told in the press, merely expecting Meghan Markle to accept it and never challenge it.
The report that Kate Middleton made Meghan Markle cry after an altercation or disagreement should not have sparked fury with supporters of Kate Middleton if its true. If there were other important circumstances that preceded the particular incident culminating in the shedding of tears, it should be said, unless they are too sensitive and private to share.
Middleton could well have felt sorry that Meghan had got upset to the extent of crying, and given her flowers to make her feel better. It isn’t necessarily an admission of guilt, unless it was. There have been many voices heard, most there for there own purpose, but the whole truth still the most important and deciding factor of hat went wrong.
Sarah Vine will likely be in Kate Middleton’s good books, unless the Duchess Of Cambridge herself doesn’t want that level of support in the press. It would be wiser for the veteran journalist to focus her writing talent on other issues, where legitimate questions of integrity do not arise.