Harry and Meghan’s shock interview aired last night with Oprah. The two-hour interview included no shortage of revelations about the treatment of Harry and Meghan whilst under the care of the Royal Family.
Starting the interview alone, Meghan revealed that the Royal Family were initially welcoming of her as one of their own. She spoke about the first time she met the Queen at Royal Lodge and was asked by Harry if she knew how to curtsey. This was a surprise to her, as she had thought of this as a formality only, to be done in public. She revealed that she did not do much research into the role that she was taking on and thought that she was told everything that she had needed to know. Despite this, she described the meeting as “lovely and easy”.
Hurricane Meghan: The Myth
Oprah then went on to discuss with Meghan the rumours surrounding “Hurricane Meghan”. They talked about the rumours of Meghan making Kate Middleton cry, to which Meghan responded with the inverse, that Kate had made Meghan cry over a discussion about flower girl dresses. Meghan did say, however, that Kate sent flowers with a note to take responsibility for upsetting Meghan.
They discussed that the Royal Family would go on record to disparage any negative news about the family. Yet, when it came to this rumour, they did not release anything to say that Meghan was not ‘Hurricane Meghan’. She had not made Kate cry. Meghan said that this is when she started to realise that the ‘protection’ that they had been promised was potentially not coming. Later, Harry revealed that the family have connections with the press, and it would have been straightforward for them to ask them to lay off Meghan for a while.
Meghan’s Mental Health Struggles
Meghan said that early into joining the Royal Family, her mental health suffered dramatically, and she revealed the devastating news that she struggled with suicidal thoughts and not wanting to be alive anymore. She said that she had gone to the ‘institution’ for help, and she was told that it would look bad on the family if she were to seek mental health support, so they would not help her.
She insisted on the compartmentalisation of the Queen from the “firm”, saying that the Queen has always been “wonderful” to her, and it was the institution that would not help her. However, neither her nor Harry would reveal exactly who ‘the institution’ was, referring to them only as ‘a group of people’.
Harry joined Meghan in the interview. They discussed as a couple how Archie was denied his rightful title as Prince. His status, therefore, meant he was not entitled to protection, despite being the son of the man who is sixth in line to the throne. Harry talked about how he feels “let down” by the lack of support from his father who had stopped taking his calls. He is concerned about “history repeating itself”, relating to how his mother, Diana, was treated in the Royal Family and said how angry she would be to see how this had panned out.
Racism in the Royal Family?
They also went on the give perhaps one of the most shocking revelations. Harry had told Meghan about a conversation with senior members of the Royal Family whereby they expressed “concern” over how dark Archie’s skin tone would be. All the above can be chalked up to poor management of the institution, jealousy of a new member of the family, yet this can only be described as racism.
There are now questions to be asked as to who is doing the ‘bullying’ in the family or the institution. There is a bigger question to be asked whether Meghan would have been treated better if she was not a woman of colour, and if Archie would be protected had he not been mixed race. If the answers to these questions are what we think, I would suggest that there needs to be real action to be taken to ensure that the monarchy is not discriminatory to anyone, irrespective of race or anything else.
The interview to me can only be comparable to the interview given by Diana in 1995. The strength and bravery radiated in the interview are similar to that given by Diana, and only the two of them could understand the courage that it would take to come out and talk about the most powerful family in Britain, especially for Meghan, from the perspective of a woman of colour.
A Happy Ending?
Despite all of this, The Sussexes said that they have no regrets about stepping back from the Royal Family and spoke fondly of their lives together as a family. They revealed that their new baby is to be a girl and said that they are excited for them to have the four of them together with their dogs in their home, which Meghan described as feeling like “peace”. Oprah asked Harry if he felt that Meghan had saved him to which he replied “Yeah. Without question”. I imagine that Diana would be proud of her son and Meghan, for speaking out against their struggles in the way that she did, and I would hope that they get the peace and respect that they deserve.
Written by Caitlin Curtis