The royal family actually does just that. They have a select group of reporters whom they trust, and they work closely with the royal rota to get the coverage they want. There's an understanding that in return for access to the royals, the royal rota will cover said royals in a favorable way. The only time that doesn't happen is when the news is bigger than something the royal family can control. See: Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein. Even then, it didn't really blow up until Andrew blew it up himself with that disastrous BBC interview. Another example would be the marital troubles of Charles and Diana. That was beyond something the BRF could control. Most politicians are the same way -- they establish a good relationship with a few trusted reporters and will selectively leak information to those sources.
The difference with Harry and Meghan IMO is how they've said the quiet part out loud, and made it clear who is on the good list and who isn't. I hate to make the comparison but it's a bit like the Trump news conferences where CNN, WaPo, NYT, and NBC get berated as "Fake News" and "terrible reporting" and Fox, OAN, DailyWire, and whatever else are given preferential treatment.
Having media contacts (formal or otherwise) and using them to get the official message out is not the same thing at all as being able to turn media coverage off and on at will. Yes, the royals have their trusted reporters, but that doesn't stop the non-trusted media outlets from running the "Unnamed sources say that Prince Philip is mean to the grandkids" type of story.
Thousands of public figures have found out the hard way that the media who give them flattering coverage during the good times are not going to go away during the bad times, even if they ask them to. No matter how many times they "ask for privacy during this difficult time".