Unpacking The Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Oprah Interview
Now that it’s out, we have some answers—but also more questions from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview
It was the tell-all we’ve been waiting for: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview. Teased to perfection, it spawned headlines before it even aired. But now that we’ve watched it start to finish—feeling shock, disappointment and disgust through it all—we’re ready to unpack the items that stood out to us most. After all, no topic was off limits, and we love a tell-all.
With arms wide open
Let’s get this out of the way: The British Royal family did a wonderful job at welcoming Meghan into their growing circle—she and Harry said it just the same. Queen Elizabeth doted on the former actress, as did the other royals. Everything actually seemed like a real fairytale then, before Meghan formally became a Mountbatten-Windsor.
The villain becomes the victim
But since that fateful wedding on May 19, 2018 (which, as we all know by now, was actually just a show as the couple married in private three days earlier), things started to take a turn. English tabloids started to circle about Meghan bullying her sister-in-law and Britain’s future queen consort, Kate Middleton, as well as members of Meghan’s staff. It was everything from flower girl dresses to mid-evening call times and ridiculous demands.
And then when Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born, the world was shocked to learn that Harry and Meghan chose not to have him titled as Prince. We all thought this was the first sign that they were stepping away from the royal frontlines—but apparently, we were all mistaken.
On record, finally, Meghan said the “reverse” happened on the flower girl issue, that it was Kate that said something upsetting and made the then-bride-to-be cry. It was The Firm (unnamed individuals calling the shots at Buckingham Palace) that told Harry and Meghan that Archie would not be titled nor provided security.
Another bomb: When Meghan asked for help because she was feeling suicidal, she wasn’t given the help she needed. Which is weird, considering the mental health patronages that the royal family holds.
The narrative we’ve all been told, albeit through tabloids and anonymous sources, misled us this entire time—at least according to the Sussexes.
A question of race
But through every bomb that we heard in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview, the biggest was probably this: that members of the Royal Family were concerned about how dark Archie (and any potential siblings) would be.
We know it didn’t come from the Queen and we know it didn’t come from Prince Philip, but behind closed doors, there were several conversations about this. And I know what we were all thinking: Who gives AF about a child’s skin color, especially since we already knew that Meghan was biracial? Apparently literal optics are still a very concerning issue—and I believe it; this is, after all, a family that scoured high and low for a new last name when the original Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was feared to bring ill PR because of its German roots.
Am I looking to vilify or defend the Royal Family? No. I’m just saying I believe it.
Leave Prince William alone
I’ve seen the memes and attacks on Prince William that have been inspired by Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview. But why? Harry himself said very little about his older brother, and Meghan said nothing.
You can say it’s because he’s been silent throughout the years. He has not spoken up to correct the tabloids or the smear campaign against his younger brother and his new family. What we fail to comprehend as we attack his character, however, is that he can only do and say so much. If The Firm was so strict with Harry and Meghan, what more for the person who will one day wear the crown? Harry, as current fifth in line to the throne, saw an opening and he took it. No such opening is provided to William—not unless he wants to tear the monarchy apart.
As it was so often said in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview, you never know what is going on behind the scenes and photographs. So until William goes on record, let’s not point fingers. If we’ve learned anything at all in the last 48 hours, it should at least be this.
Who is behind everything?
But then everything raises a bigger question: Who is calling all the shots? If the Queen herself is so fond of Meghan, why couldn’t she get the help that she needed and asked for? Why did Harry feel the need to uproot his entire past and turn his back on everything he knows in order to save his family?
Harry and Meghan didn’t name names—and good for them, because it isn’t their place to do so. But whoever he is, she is or they are, here’s to the hope that they realize some things need to change. Or, at the very least, that not everything can be swept under the royal and historical rug.
And I would put the blame on the tabloids, too, but who are eating up everything they print anyway?
Some personal feelings
I think everything should be taken with a grain of salt. While it sounds like a cop-out, the recently released statement from Buckingham Palace holds some truth in saying that “some recollections may vary.”
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. Whilst 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.”
There is no denying that, in some moments of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview, it seemed like the former actress was playing the victim. Those quick glimpses of their hen house and adopted dogs and the casual conversation made me cringe and think, If that isn’t scripted, I don’t know what is. At the same time, I don’t think it’s right that the Royal Family stay silent anymore. Certain things need to be addressed as the issues have leaked out from their intimate circle and into the public.
People keep saying that this is a repeat of history (and that’s why the Diana documentaries and interviews and memes have been making their circles once again), but it’s worse. We are unafraid to call people out, no matter what they wear on their heads. The Royal Family cannot handle this the same way they are used to. Some traditions should stay in tact, but this one that needs a major upgrade.
Art Alexandra Lara