Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s interview with Oprah Winfrey was nothing short of a shocker. The interview aired yesterday and was a bombshell of damaging revelations against the British Royal Family. It brought to light numerous issues that the Royals or now the ‘de-royaled’ couple have been going through inside what they called “the firm” or “the institution.” Meghan revealed that the situation had been so depressing that she thought of committing suicide and harming herself. Her suicidal thoughts had gotten to a point where she felt that she could not be left alone as she could have harmed herself. On the other hand, Prince Harry revealed that his father, Prince Charles, had stopped picking his calls due to a rift between the two. Even more shocking were revelations that there were conversations had with Meghan Markle illuminating concerns of how dark the shade of her then-unborn son, Archie’s skin, would be. In Meghan Markle’s own words, “In those months when I was pregnant … we have in tandem the conversation of ‘you won’t be given security,’ ‘not going to be given a title,’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin [Archie] might be when he’s born.”
Prince Harry’s sentiments entailed revelations about the allegations of racial slurs that “That conversation, I’m never going to share. But at the time, it was awkward. I was a bit shocked. That was right at the beginning when she wasn’t going to get security when members of my family were suggesting that she carries on acting because there’s not enough money to pay for her, and all this sort of stuff.” Buckingham Palace has since acknowledged that the allegations are “concerning” even as the “recollections” of what may have transpired “may vary.” The statement released by Buckingham Palace entailed the following. “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan, and Archie will always be much-loved family members.”
Meghan Markle is pregnant, and the couple is expecting a second child, and they announced in the interview with Oprah Winfrey that it would be a baby girl. Meghan seemed happy despite leaving England for Canada in light of the trolling and abuse emanating from the British Press and tabloids. The couple also felt “trapped” within “the firm” and had to leave for Canada. Prince Harry revealed that he had been “trapped” within the Royal Family and left. He said that his brother, Prince William, could not leave and that the relationship between them at the moment is that of “space.” Prince Harry indicated that there was a rift between him and his father, Prince Charles, and said that there was a lot of work that needed to be done to mend it.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey drew numerous parallels with the late Princess Diana’s BBC Panorama Interview back in 1995. It was sad to hear the pain and anguish that Prince Harry and Meghan have endured since they expressed intent to get married and even after their wedding. Meghan revealed that there was a secret wedding where she and Prince Harry had gotten married before their official wedding. Oprah Winfrey came out today and expressed having a conversation with Meghan in 2018, just before her wedding to Prince Harry, where she said that she had been told that the union would have been easier had she been “50% less” herself. It was so saddening to hear the anguish that Meghan Markle had gone through in the last 3-4 years, saying that it was “clear” that she was having suicidal thoughts. In her own words, “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening, constant thought. And I remember how he [Harry] just cradled me.”
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The U.K press and tabloids have been very abusive of the British Royal Family. The media frenzy surrounding the life of the Royals also contributed to the events that led to the demise of the late Princess Diana. In Meghan Markle’s words, “they don’t report the news, they create it.” Even for Prince Harry, with what happened to his mother, the late Princess Diana, he has to do all he can to avoid the same happening to him or his family. I believe that is one of the main reasons he left his Royal duties and England; to get away from all the media madness. Prince Harry said that he wouldn’t have left had it not been for Meghan and Archie, their son. In his own words, “I left to protect me and my family.” It was even more heartbreaking to learn that she was refused help as she was not ” a paid employee of the firm/institution.” Meghan said that “I went to the institution, and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help … And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution. I remember this conversation like it was yesterday because they said: my heart goes out to you because I see how bad it is, but there’s nothing we can do to protect you because you’re not a paid employee of the institution.”
Trouble in Paradise
Money truly does not buy happiness, and Prince Harry revealed that the troubles with his family had gotten to the point that he and his family were cut off financially. Sadly, he had even been snubbed by the Queen after being invited to spend some time with her in Norfolk. Harry expressed feeling “let down” by his father and cited an incident when 72 members of parliament came out in support of Meghan when his own family did not. The issue of race took center stage in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, with Harry saying, “I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped. Like the rest of my family are, my father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave, and I have huge compassion for that. For the family, they very much have this mentality of: ‘This is just how it is. This is how it’s meant to be. You can’t change it. We’ve all been through it.’ What was different for me was the race element because now it wasn’t just about her. It was about what she represented.”
On the other hand, Meghan revealed that she had felt betrayed by her father for his involvement with a story that came out about her just before her wedding. She implored her father to reveal whether he had spoken to the press and tabloids, and he denied it. She revealed that if she had used “the institution” to “kill the story,” then it would have taken away her ability to use her one chance to protect her children in the same way someday. Meghan Markle, however, lauded her mother for her “silent dignity” for not speaking to the press and only “watching” what had been happening from the sidelines. Meghan Markle has gone through a lot since her engagement and marriage to Prince Harry, least of all losing her would-be second-born son in July last year.
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Meghan Markle also revealed that she was estranged from her step-sister. Meghan expressed disillusionment with her step-sister from her father’s side, Samantha Markle. Meghan said that her step-sister had only changed her last name back to Markle after she [Meghan] got engaged to Prince Harry. Meghan Markle also points out that she and her nuclear family deserved respect and to be treated as human beings as they too have families and are people’s children and parents. She acknowledged the Queen’s and her husband, Prince Philip’s support and welcome, saying that the two had always been welcoming to her. Prince Harry and Meghan made it clear that Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip had always been supportive and loving. Buckingham Palace’s statement today, on behalf of the Queen, entailed acknowledgment that Prince Harry, Meghan, and Archie would always be beloved members and part of the Royal Family.
One of the most striking things to me about the interview was that there were indications and allegations that the Royal Family was drawing too much influence from external actors such as advisers. In the words of Meghan Markle, “There’s the family, and then there’s the people that are running the institution. Those are two separate things, and it’s important to be able to compartmentalize that, because the Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me.” Oprah Winfrey took note of this and asked whether the Queen did not have the ability to do what she wanted despite being the Queen and the head of the British Royal Family.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey made it seem like some ‘deep state’ within the Royal Family controlled the workings of “the firm” or “the institution.” Oprah Winfrey did a tremendous job as the interviewer, and the interview was set in a beautiful garden and outdoor setting. Today, Oprah said that she wanted to ensure that the main takeaway from the interview would be revealing why Prince Harry and Meghan left England and their official duties in the British Royal Family. Oprah Winfrey also revealed that the full interview was 3 hours and 20 minutes long, and her team ensured that they captured the said objective when they edited it down to an hour and 25 minutes.