Amid the explosive, scathing public reaction to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, defenders of the embattled couple have taken to comparing the furore to Prince Andrew's bombshell interview in November last year.

Noting the reaction from both the Palace and the public seemed far less damning of Prince Andrew after his bumbling defence of his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, many have labelled the response to Meghan and Harry opting to step away from royal life puzzling by comparison.

They've also criticised Buckingham Palace for not supporting the couple more in the lead-up to the bombshell decision, and the blatant finger-pointing at Meghan.

From a blind date to a war with the tabloids, a timeline of the events leading to Harry and Meghan stepping down. Video / AP / ET

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Many have labelled it racist.

After Harry and Meghan announced via Instagram on Thursday – reportedly without the Queen's permission – that they would be "stepping back" from their royal positions to become financially independent and give their son Archie as close to a normal upbringing as possible, Buckingham Palace was quick to issue a terse response.

In a statement which royal experts say smacked of a hurried effort, hinting at an element of surprise on the Queen's part, Buckingham Palace said: "Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through".

It came after several months of turmoil for the couple, including a rare insight into their struggle in a candid documentary during their recent African tour.

According to royal insiders, Prince William and Prince Charles are "incandescent with rage" following their announcement, and The Queen is reportedly "disappointed" and "saddened" by the news.

Following Prince Andrew's car crash of a BBC interview with Emily Maitlis last November, a statement emerged detailing that the disgraced prince would be stepping down from his role.

Amid the scandal, The Queen stood by her son, pictured with him the day after his humiliating interview and three days before his resignation. Similarly supportive was Prince Charles, his older brother, who attended a church service by his side.

The Duke announced he was stepping down from his royal duties for the "foreseeable future" shortly after the furious backlash, effectively resigning as a full-time working royal.

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"The duke has over 230 patronages. He will be stepping back from public duty and temporarily standing back from all his patronages," a spokesperson from Buckingham Palace said in response.

It has not released a statement regarding his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, and claims one of his victims Virginia Giuffre was forced to have sex with him.

During the interview that led to his demise, held inside Buckingham Palace, the Duke of York insisted he wasn't a "party prince", had once had a medical condition which prevented him sweating, and was "not one to hug" women as he repeatedly denied claims he had slept with Giuffre, one of Epstein's teenage sex slaves.

Among the many bizarre points in the interview was his alibi on the night in question – claiming he was at Pizza Express dropping his daughter Princess Beatrice to a birthday party.

Maitlis implied the Queen had given the interview her consent, while her former press secretary Dickie Arbiter suggested Andrew had "bulldozed" his way on to the screen.

The Queen, other insiders suggested, was "incredulous" and "alarmed."

Reports also claimed she cancelled the Duke's 60th birthday celebrations.

Here's the wash-up of the global media storm triggered by both Prince Andrew's interview and 'Megxit":

Australia

Australia's Today host Karl Stefanovic, who knows what it's like to be scrutinised by the public, described Meghan and Harry's decision as an "absolute farce".

"This is modern media and a modern landscape. Harry and Meghan going to Canada and (think) they won't have any cameras outside their place?" he said.

"(Prince Harry) has been supported financially for a long time. This is him spitting the dummy and going, 'Righto, I am out of here'.

"Does he think that the British people are going to like it?"

A chorus of angry followers also accused Meghan of "ruining" Harry while deploring the way they have handled the situation after Buckingham Palace released a statement that hinted it was unaware of the news.

"Well if that interview was meant to take the heat off Prince Andrew it's going to do exactly the opposite," she said on Sunday night's The Project.

She was disappointed at Andrew's lack of empathy for Epstein's victims, she said, while discussing the televised interview.

"The extraordinary thing is at the end he was asked 'is there anything we've left out?'

"At no point in 60 minutes did he find the time to condemn child sex trafficking around the world or express any remorse for what's happened to the victims of Jeffrey Epstein.

"Breathtaking," Lisa said.

Sunrise host David Koch similarly condemned the Prince.

"It was extraordinary. It was absolutely mesmerising for being so awkward … 49 minutes of you just shake your head," he marvelled in a radio interview on Adelaide's FIVEaa Breakfast.

"For me the clincher was when he said he was never really a friend of Geoffrey Epstein, he was more friends with Epstein's girlfriend … but when he decided to break off all contact with him he decided to fly to New York to tell him in person … and then stay the night at his house. I'm thinking that's a friend, that's not a plus one. Give me a break."

He went on to comment on Prince Charles' past scandals, and how the Queen must feel about her two sons.

"When you put Charles what he was doing with Diana and Camilla at that time … I wonder how the Queen would feel as a mum with the private lives of those two sons and their respect for women … the Queen who is one of the great female historical leaders of our generation but gee her sons have really disgraced her I think …"

The US

New York Post. Photo / Supplied
New York Post. Photo / Supplied

The New York Post this week ran with a front-page featuring Harry and Meghan as "commoners" on a couch — him chugging a beer while wearing a soiled singlet and her smoking a cigarette with rollers in her hair.

Others, however, praised the move as "brave" after their perceived mistreatment by the royals and British press:

In November, the reaction to Prince Andrew's plight in the US was nowhere near as prevalent.

Actress Rose McGowan was one celeb to weigh in, expressing her utter disbelief over his claims.

While President Donald Trump said of the scandal: "I don't know Prince Andrew, but it's a tough story," the US President told journalists in London, despite evidence of them having met before.

The UK

In the UK, the print media reacted to "Megxit" with dismay, as well as a hint of anger at how the bomb was dropped.

The Daily Mirror. Photo / Supplied
The Daily Mirror. Photo / Supplied
The Sun. Photo / Supplied
The Sun. Photo / Supplied
Daily Mail. Photo / Supplied
Daily Mail. Photo / Supplied
Daily Express. Photo / Supplied
Daily Express. Photo / Supplied

In a shocking move, Madame Tussauds London wax museum promptly removed the couple from its royal family display:

And Twitter erupted with brutal criticism.

And in November, the reaction to Prince Andrew was brutal as expected – with some shocking responses.

Royal biographer Lady Colin Campbell, 70, sparked outrage by suggesting it was OK for Prince Andrew to have remained friends with Epstein because people were overreacting about his sex crimes.

"You all seem to have forgotten that Jeffrey Epstein, the offence with which he was charged and for which he was imprisoned, was soliciting prostitution from minors," she said on "Good Morning Britain," according to The Sun.

For the most part, people on Twitter were highly critical of the Duke of York.

There was also an explosion of memes, tweets and false restaurant reviews in response to his bizarre "Pizza Express" defence.