The 14 most explosive revelations from Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview

Clara Hill@clara_ish
Monday 08 March 2021 15:05
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Meghan and Harry talking to Oprah in an interview broadcast in the US on 7 March

(Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese v)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey aired last night, and it was brimming with explosive revelations.

The pair discussed racism, the pressures of royal life and their tensions with the Windsors during the candid chat, broadcast on US network CBS.

Here are some of the most noteworthy moments from the two-hour special.

Meghan had no clue what really going to happen to her

The Duchess of Sussex admitted she didn’t understand fully what was expected of her as a royal.

“I didn’t fully understand what the job was,” she said. “What does it mean to be a working royal? What do you do?”

‘Concerns’ about how ‘dark’ Archie’s skin was going to be

When Meghan was pregnant with Archie, an unnamed member of the royal family apparently raised “concerns” about how “dark” the baby’s skin would be.

This led Meghan to ask: “If he were too brown, that would be a problem?”

She also suggested it was Archie’s “birthright” to be a prince and the decision not to give him a title went against convention.

She said: “They didn’t want him to be a prince or princess, not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security.”

The lack of security provisions for Archie

Meghan expressed her shock at being told Archie would not get security and the idea of him “not being safe”.

She said she wanted him to have the title so he could have police protection.

Debates over press intrusion has dominated social media since the release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears – with some drawing comparison to the treatment of Princess Diana.

Meghan says Kate made her cry before her wedding

Meghan said her sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge made her cry in the run-up to the 2018 royal wedding.

Tabloid reports had previously claimed it was Meghan who made Kate cry during a feud over flower girl dresses.

“I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone because it was a really hard week of the wedding and she was upset about something.

“A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something. Yes, the issue was correct about flower girl dresses.”

Meghan felt vulnerable and silenced

The duchess said the Royal Family failed to protect her from the animosity from the British tabloid media.

She told Oprah: “I came to understand that not only was I not being protected, but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”

The reports that she made Kate cry were a turning point, she said, as they marked the start of a “character assassination” by the press.

Meghan’s lack of help for her suicidal thoughts

When she was pregnant with Archie, Markle said she was having suicidal thoughts.

She told Winfrey she had got to the stage where she “just didn’t want to be alive anymore”.

But when she turned to the institution of the monarchy for help, her request was turned down.

“I went to the institution, and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help.

“I said that I’ve never felt this way before and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

Prince Harry was motivated by his mother’s memory

Harry discussed the memory of his mother and the way she was hounded by the press in the 80s and 90s.

He said: “When you can see something happening in the same kind of way, anybody would ask for help, ask the system of which you are a part of – especially when you know there’s a relationship there – they could help and share some truth or call the dogs off, whatever you want to call it.”

Despite this, he was told: “This is how it is. This is just how it is. We’ve all been through it.”

He said his mother would be proud of him and Meghan. “I think she would feel very angry with how this has panned out and very sad, but ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy,” he said.

Meghan wants to show ‘life is worth living’

“I wasn’t planning on saying anything shocking,” Meghan told Oprah midway through the interview, “I’m just telling you what happened. It’s been a lot.”

Markle said that she was unwilling to live her life in fear so that is why she is speaking out, but wants to spread awareness that “life is worth living”.

Harry didn’t ditch the Queen without warning

Apparently, Harry has too much respect for his grandmother, who has been the UK head of state for nearly 70 years.

He said in the interview: “I would never blindside my grandmother. I have too much respect for her.”

But he cited a “lack of support and understanding” from both the press and the royal institution.

Harry and Prince Charles were estranged

For a time, Prince Charles refused to answer the phone when Harry rang.

Harry said: “By that point, I had taken matters into my own hands”.

There is still a lot to work through by Harry felt it was important for his young family to do something proactive about the situation, despite feeling let down and wanting his son to have a relationship with his grandfather.

He would not have done it without Meghan

Until meeting Meghan in 2016, Harry said he felt “trapped” and he “didn’t see a way out”.

But he did not know how unhappy he was until Meghan came into his life, saying “our worlds sort of collided in the most amazing ways”.

He also said he felt that both his Prince William and Prince Charles were trapped but they “don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that.”

The royals have an unspoken agreement with the media

Harry spilt the beans about the relationship between the UK tabloids and the royals.

He said: “To simplify it, its a case of you as a family member are willing to wine, dine and give full access to these reporters, then you get better press.”

Meghan added: “There is a construct at play there. And because from the beginning of our relationship, they were so attacking and inciting so much racism, really changed it... the risk level, because it wasn’t just catty gossip. It was bringing out a part of people that was racist in how it was charged.

“And that changed the threat. That changed the levels of the death threats. That changed everything.”

Meghan called the Queen after Prince Phillip was admitted to the hospital

In the interview, Markle revealed that she had rung the Queen following The Duke of Edinburgh’s entering hospital in mid-February.

Harry also recounted getting to have more contact with his grandmother, using Zoom to keep up with her and Archie.

He said: “My grandmother and I have a really good relationship and an understanding. And I have a deep respect for her. She’s my colonel in chief, right? She’ll always will be.”

They’re having a baby girl

Harry and Meghan revealed that they are having a girl.

Making the announcement, Harry said: “Amazing. Just grateful. To have any child, any one or any two, would have been amazing.

“But to have a boy and then a girl? What more can you ask for? We have our family, the four of us and our two dogs.”

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email [email protected], or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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