The Nation and the World

Meghan and Harry reveal some, but not all, to Oprah

A highly publicized interview by Oprah Winfrey with Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry aired on March 7, 2021. The couple’s separation from the British royal family and their recent move to Canada and then Los Angeles gave rise to the interview, which was viewed live by almost 18 million people.

Although this interview was a “tell-all,” the couple did not actually tell all. Parts of the interview were very vague. 

Harry was present for only the second half of the interview, and the majority of the information was given by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. Viewers learned that she has struggled with her mental health and was suicidal for a period of time; that the royal family has cut the couple off and stopped answering their phone calls; that someone in the royal family made a racist comment regarding the skin color of their then-unborn son, Archie; that the couple chose to leave the family to get away from the the tabloids; and that the couple is having a baby girl this summer. 

Critics have questioned some of Markle’s motivations in doing this interview, as she says she doesn’t want the spotlight yet her actions suggest otherwise. They point out that she chose to move to Los Angeles, a very paparazzi-heavy city, and further chose to participate in a tell-all interview. Both of these actions are arguably putting Markle in an even bigger spotlight, simply because it is not every day that a member of the British Royal family leaves “the firm,” which insiders call the royal family, and moves to the States. The critics wonder why Meghan and Harry choose to do a tell all with Oprah, if they left the Royal family to get out of the spotlight. 

Praisers of the Duchess counter these negative arguments and suggest that this specific spotlight that Markle has put herself in is different. With Oprah, Markle is telling her truth and by doing so, is destigmatizing mental health and hopefully helping others. 

The Duchess of Sussex did not shy away from revealing to the audience her struggles with mental health. Markle revealed in the interview that she “did not want to be alive anymore” and that “these thoughts became so serious that I could not be left alone because I feared what I would do to myself.” The Duchess admitted her initial hesitation to tell Harry about these dark thoughts that were going through her head, given the amount of loss he has already suffered from the sudden death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.

Markle, while vague, revealed to the audience that she was denied access from human resources when she asked for professional help with her mental health because she was not a paid member of the royal family staff. 

Markle, who is the first Black member of the royal family, claimed that while she was still pregnant, there were several conversations in the royal family about how dark her son’s skin might be at birth and “what that would mean or look like.” She stated that she was told her son would not get the title of prince and therefore, would not be given security. Lack of security for Archie was a point of concern for her, given the amount of hate and racist backlash she had already received during her short time as a royal

She killed the widely believed rumor that she and Harry were the ones who did not want their son to be given a title, confirming that neither she nor Harry had expressed any concerns with their son being given a title. It is interesting to note that throughout this, Markle did not mention the most crucial factor, which is that Archie is not in direct line for the throne.

Although the couple did not reveal the identity of the family member who allegedly made these racist comments, Oprah did state in a follow-up interview with CBS that Harry told her neither his grandmother or grandfather were a part of those alleged conversations. 

Markle discussed the spotlight that has been placed on both her and Prince Harry throughout their going public with their relationship, marriage, and pregnancies. Markle suggested to Winfrey that the royal family did little to protect the new Duchess of Sussex when the tabloids continuously put her in a negative light and rather suggested that they may have been a part of spreading the negative lies. 

Markle blamed the British tabloids for the primary cause of her suicidal thoughts. She also suggested that the press is what led her and Prince Harry to leave the royal family and move to first Canada and then Los Angeles.

The full interview is currently unavailable for viewing, butt you can watch segments of it on youtube.

On April 9, 2021 Prince Phillip, Harry’s grandfather, passed away at the age of 99. 

Photo source: BBC News.

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