10 Key Takeaways From Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Interview

10 Key Takeaways From Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Interview

10 Key Takeaways From Meghan and Harry’s Oprah Interview

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle opened up about tabloids, racism, and shocking details about the inner-workings of the British royal family.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle opened up about tabloids, racism, and shocking details about the inner-workings of the British royal family.

Text: Luana Harumi

A little over a year after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they would be formally stepping down as senior royals, the couple sat down with Oprah to clear some things up. On the two-hour special that aired on Sunday, the duo opened up about some of the reasons that led to their decision, including their dissatisfaction with media treatment and the restraint of their roles, and made shocking revelations about the behind-the-scenes of the British royal family.

This was the first time Meghan discussed her mental health state and thoughts of suicide during her period with “The Firm” – as the royal family is often referred to – and how some members expressed “concerns” about the skin color of the couple’s future children. Harry also revealed he felt disappointed with “the lack of support and lack of understanding” from his family. 

At the beginning of the interview, Oprah explained that there were no previous arrangements with the couple regarding the questions she would make and that they were not getting paid for their participation. Grab your tea and check out some of the biggest takeaways and reactions from the interview below:

Meghan didn’t really know what she was getting into

She told Oprah that while she was “of course” aware of the royal family, she didn’t know much about them and never really felt the urge to Google Harry when they started dating, leaving it up to him to share with her what he thought was necessary. “I've never looked up my husband online,” she said. However, she didn’t get a deep briefing of all the responsibilities and procedures that came with the role – and had to resort to Google to learn the national anthem and church hymns. “I didn't fully understand what the job was.” 

Meghan didn’t make Kate cry – but the opposite

One of the most infamous stories circulated by UK tabloids about Meghan was that a few days before her wedding to Prince Harry, she had allegedly made Kate Middleton cry over a situation involving Princess Charlotte’s (Prince William and Kate’s daughter) flower girl dress fitting. When asked about this, Meghan explained “the reverse happened.”

According to Meghan, there was a situation before the wedding where Kate said something to her that hurt her feelings and made her cry. She didn’t want to get into much detail but explained Kate later apologized and bought her flowers. 

There were “concerns” over Archie’s skin color

The couple revealed there were internal conversations with members of the royal family over “concerns about how dark [Archie’s] skin would be” before their son was born – the family was allegedly “concerned that he would be born too dark.” Both Meghan and Harry declined to reveal who made these comments, with Meghan saying it “would be very damaging” to the person and Harry adding that “it is a conversation I’m never going to share.” 

Meghan had virtually no freedom and couldn’t speak up

Meghan told Oprah she was forced into isolation in the palace while tabloids ran stories about her, being kept from leaving the building for months – a situation she compared to the quarantine many people experienced in the past year. She explained that upon joining the family, she had to hand over her passport, driver’s license, and keys and was always instructed to keep quiet to the press and public over controversies and false stories. She said it was a “sad irony” because she had advocated for years for women to speak up and use their voice and she was silent. Oprah then asked: “Were you silent or were you silenced?” “The latter,” Meghan said.

Meghan’s mental health was seriously damaged

The relentless scrutiny by British tabloids combined with the treatment she received from the royal family as an institution deeply upset Meghan, and the situation got worse after Archie was born. The wave of online abuse and racist comments made by members of the press made it “almost unsurvivable” for her. “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore,” Meghan said. She also revealed she was barred from getting professional help and treatment. Harry confirmed she didn’t receive any support from the royal family, adding “it was not a conversation to be had.”

Harry’s biggest fear was “history repeating itself” 

Prince Harry has been open for a few years about his trauma over Diana’s tragic death, which is believed to be deeply linked with the heavy media hunt she experienced. He told Oprah the main reason the couple decided to leave was because they “were asking for help and couldn’t get it,” referring to issues with the tabloids and no longer having official royal security provided for them. He explained he felt frustrated with the “lack of support and lack of understanding” from the royal family and that his “biggest fear was history repeating itself,” with the aggravating addition of race and social media to the situation. 

Prince Charles did not pick up Harry’s calls and the family cut him off financially

Harry told Oprah that his father, Prince Charles, didn’t pick up his calls for quite a long time. According to Harry, the royal family cut him off financially after the couple stepped down from their senior roles, and they were living off Diana’s inheritance before securing deals with Spotify, Netflix, and Apple TV+. He also added his late mother would probably be sad that the situation has come to this, but would also always want to see them doing what makes them happy. “I think she saw it coming,” he said. 

...but they’re on good terms with the Queen

The couple told Oprah they had been talking to Queen Elizabeth about stepping down for two years before publicly announcing their decision, clearing up rumors that they had "blindsided" her. Meghan expressed gratitude and emphasized she has always felt welcomed by the Queen. Harry said he has been talking to his grandmother more than ever during the past year and that he, Meghan, Archie, and the Queen occasionally chat over Zoom.

It’s a girl!

The couple revealed they’re expecting a baby girl, due this upcoming summer. 

And finally: yes, they’ve seen “The Crown”

At some point in the interview, Oprah referenced the hit Netflix series, casually asking if they had seen it before. The couple laughed and confirmed they had watched “some of it.”

Credits: Cover photo courtesy of CBS.


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