So, what happened when Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry sat down for an exclusive almost two-hour interview with Queen of Chat, Oprah?
If you were not one of the 11.1 million people that tuned into ITV’s Oprah With Meghan and Harry last night, spoiler alert; their time with the Royal Family wasn’t a fairy-tale after all.
When Meghan and Harry, announced just over a year ago on 8 January 2020 that they were stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family, it was the culmination of months of speculation that all was not right between the couple and “The Firm”. Following years of unrelenting attack by UK tabloids, Meghan and Harry appeared to have had enough.
During the explosive interview, the couple revealed that their security and finances were stripped “because they were no longer senior working members of the Royal Family”. Visibly moved, Harry talked about how he was desperate to protect his family. Movie and studio mogul Tyler Perry stepped up and they sought refuge and security at one of his homes.
The couple now live in their own home in Santa Barbara, California, apparently, not too far from Oprah’s home, with their young son Archie.
In the first half of the interview, Meghan spoke to Oprah alone, and revealed how she was told that her unborn son [at the time] would “not be given security” or a title. The interview was a hard watch in many areas. Particularly shocking reveals included Meghan talking about a member of the Royal Family asking if Harry was “concerned” about “how dark” Archie’s skin tone might be, while she was pregnant. Harry confirmed the accusation and said it was something he never wanted to discuss.
Another moving moment was when Meghan bravely admitted that she had thought about suicide, saying at one point, she “just didn’t want to be alive”. It was a lot.
“Meghan bravely admitted that she had thought about suicide, saying at one point, she “just didn’t want to be alive”
It’s been almost comical observing the UK tabloids awful coverage of Meghan, extremely obvious in comparison to their representation of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. The blatant racism and bullying by the British tabloids and the lack of support from the palace regarding this issue, is cited by Meghan and Harry as one of the main reasons they chose to leave the UK.
Hearing Meghan describe how she was not given support or any kind of help for her mental health issues even after explaining that she’d had “clear and frightening thoughts” about suicide was chilling.
Meghan cited one example of how the tabloid press vilified her and turned the Duchess of Cambridge into a victim. It was reported that Meghan had made Kate cry: “The narrative with Kate, which didn’t happen, was really, really difficult.”
Meghan revealed that Kate was the one who had actually made her cry: “The reverse happened… a few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining yes, the issue was correct about flower-girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings.”
There were more bombshells when Harry joined Meghan halfway through the interview. The two held hands, figuratively leaning into each other for support.
“my biggest concern was history repeating itself…and when I’m talking about history repeating itself, I’m talking about my mother.”
The couple denied “blindsiding” the queen over their decision to step down as senior royals. Instead, Harry revealed that he had “two conversations” with his father and even “put it in writing” before Prince Charles “stopped” taking his calls.
Harry was open about his relationship with his family and how he felt the palace and the tabloids treated his wife, “my biggest concern was history repeating itself…and when I’m talking about history repeating itself, I’m talking about my mother.”
On why they were coming forward to speak their truth now, Meghan said: “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that “The Firm” is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.”
The couple were keen to make clear an important point when they talk about the “Royal Family”. Meghan said: “So, 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 compartmentalise that, because the Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me.”
There were some light-hearted moments in the interview, Meghan and Harry beamed when the announced they were having their second child, a daughter. When Oprah visited them at their home, they looked at peace, happy and beautiful together.
While numerous headlines and TV debates dissected the details of the interview expressing shock at the revelations, Black women watched, while collectively nodding at Meghan’s words, reliving their own experiences of racism and bias.
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This interview has certainly shaken the foundations of the monarchy. At time of writing, we were all still waiting for a response from the palace.
Looking visibly relieved that they had been able to speak their truth. As the interview ended, Oprah asked Meghan, “So, your story with the prince does have a happy ending?”
She replied: “Yeah, greater than any fairy-tale you’ve ever read.”
We hope that Meghan and Harry finally get their happily ever after.
Oprah With Meghan and Harry is available to watch on demand on ITV Hub for viewers in the UK.
Nicole Hemming contributed to this article.