Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Interview with Oprah

Lydia McFarlane, Staff Writer

In March of 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made the decision to leave the UK and permanently leave their royal duties. On Mar. 7, 2021 the former royal couple met for a sit-down interview with TV host superstar, Oprah Winfrey, for their first televised interview since leaving behind their royal lives. The interview was highly anticipated, with CBS network releasing several teaser clips before the airing. In one of the teasers, Oprah was shown saying, “I just want to make it clear to everybody there is no subject that’s off-limits.” Later in the clip she said to Markle, “Were you silent or were you silenced?”

Days before the interview aired, reports suggested that Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton were “utterly aghast” at Harry and Meghan’s agreement to do the interview. Along with the shock of the royal family, the palace released reports of Markle’s alleged bullying towards staff of the royal palace.

“It’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say, ‘Yes … I’m ready to talk’ … to be able to just make a choice on your own and just to be able to speak for yourself,” Markle said at the beginning of her interview. “I don’t know how [the royal family] 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.”

In Markle’s one-on-one interview with Oprah, several topics of conversation were traversed, including the role that the royal family played in the decline of her mental health and racial tensions between herself and several members of the family. As the first person of color to be considered a part of the royal family, Markle faced years of harsh criticism from the press.

Throughout the course of the interview, Oprah’s reactions surely mirrored the reactions of viewers. Although she would not share who, Markle revealed that she and Harry were spoken to by some members of the royal family about how dark their baby’s skin tone would be and what that would mean for the family. On top of these revelations, Markle also revealed that the royal institution was trying to prevent their son Archie from the title and protection that should have been his birthright. When asked what the reasoning was, the couple got no answer, but they assumed it was in regard to the unborn baby’s race.

Markle also opened up to Oprah about how steeply her mental health had declined throughout the years she spent in the royal company.

“I didn’t want to be alive anymore,” Markle shared.

Under the strict hand of the ruling institution, members of the royal family are unable to complete even simple tasks without the approval. Markle felt trapped within the confines of royal life and was close to ending her life because of it. However, the royal institution saw seeking mental help as a sign of weakness and negative for the brand of the royal family, and it would not allow her to check herself into a mental hospital. Markle shared how heavily she leaned on her husband throughout those tumultuous years. Towards the end of the interview, she thanked Harry, saying to him, “You made a decision that certainly saved my life and saved all of us.”

About 36 hours after the interview was broadcast in the US, Buckingham Palace released a statement in response to the interview on behalf of the Queen.

“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” read the statement. “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”

Critics are calling the statement “too little, too late,” as many stand with Harry and Meghan since breaking their silence.