“Were you silent or silenced?” asks Oprah Winfrey to Meghan Markle during the most anticipated interview since Princess Diana‘s infamous 1995 Panorama sit-down. The iconic talk show host sat down with Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, at their home in Santa Barbara and was even given some eggs from Archie‘s chicken coop nearby. It was the picture of the perfect life, but the brave couple that broke with tradition and broke their silence have gone through anything but a perfect life.
They left it all on the table in an honest, open, and incredibly revealing bombshell of an interview, and while the couple did refrain from answering a few questions that might have been damaging to certain members of the Royal Family, they did not hold back on anything else. One important distinction that Meghan pointed out was that this is essentially a family business. So there is a big distinction between the members of the family and the people who run the institution.
However, it is still a family. Granted, it’s a rather unique family with pressures us common folk may never understand, but this family is having to deal with all their disfunction out in the open, and that must be rather difficult. For both sides. Harry and Meghan feel they were not given the opportunity to defend themselves when their character was assassinated in the press, or when lies about them were printed, and they also revealed that even within the family they did not feel they were given the support they needed for their health in dealing with the pressures that come from living your life in the public eye.
Winfrey gave them the conch, so to speak, and this is what Meghan and Harry had to say.
It's A Girl!
In maybe the only lighthearted moment of the interview, Meghan and Harry revealed that they were expecting a girl. The two of them were glowing with pride and smiling and Harry excitedly said, “What more could you ask for?”
Meghan Was Struggling With Severe Depression Without the Necessary Support
Meghan opened up about the feelings of isolation that she felt, and how there were times when even out in public while attending an opera, once the lights were down, she would just weep holding on to Harry’s hand, and then when the lights came back up, she would have to “put on a face.”
In a very emotional moment, she revealed that she had constant, terrifying thoughts of ending her own life. “I no longer wanted to live,” she told Oprah. She knew that if she didn’t speak up, something bad was going to happen, so she eventually told Harry, even though she was ashamed. She tried to get help by seeing a mental health professional but was told (by the institution) that it would make the family look bad, however, she was forbidden from seeking help outside. Harry tried to warn the family many times that they needed support, but in the end, they both felt they were never given the support they needed for their own mental health. Leaving was essentially their last option and the only way they could see to save themselves.
Regrets and No Regrets
Towards the end of the interview, both Harry and Meghan discussed their different regrets, but ultimately said they were just thankful that they had made it “out to the other side.” Meghan said her regret was believing that the royal family would protect her, and that if they had, it would have made all the difference. “We wouldn’t have left,” Harry said. He also said it was his relationship with Meghan that saved him, but Meghan said it was Harry’s decision which saved their whole family. To which Harry replied, “We did what we had to do.”
They Have Not Been On the Royal Family's Payroll Since Early 2020
Harry pointed out that they had never planned on Netflix and Spotify deals, but that his family had cut him off financially in the first quarter of 2020. The couple has been making their own way with the various projects they’ve undertaken as well as with what Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana, had left him.
Harry's Relationships With His Grandmother, The Queen
Despite popular belief, Harry said he has a really good relationship with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and that he has spoken more to her this year than he ever has before. The couple has even zoomed with the Queen so she can see her great-grandson. Both Meghan and Harry only expressed their immense respect for the monarch and matriarch of the family. Meghan also said the Queen has only ever been welcoming and kind to her.
Harry also pointed out that he did not spring the decision to step down as senior working members of the royal family on the Queen or the Firm prior to their leaving. Rather, he had discussed it continually and openly with his grandmother.
“I never blindsided my grandmother,” Harry said. “I have too much respect for her.”
Harry's Relationship With His Father, Prince Charles
At one point Harry’s father, Prince Charles, stopped taking Harry’s calls, and although he is taking them now, “there’s a lot to work through there.”
“I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar and he knows what pain feels like and Archie’s his grandson,” Harry said. “But at the same time, of course I will always love him but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship. But they only know what they know — and that’s the thing.”
Harry's Relationship With His Brother, Prince William
“As I’ve said before, I love William to bits — he’s my brother and we’ve been through hell together and we have a shared experience but we’re on different paths,” Harry told Winfrey when she asked about his strenuous relationship with his older brother, Prince William. “My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave,” said Harry. “And I have compassion for that.”
Archie's Skin Color Was Discussed Before He Was Born
This one was a complete shocker. Neither Harry nor Meghan would reveal names, but they both said the conversation about “how dark” Archie would be when he was born came up early on in her pregnancy by members of the royal family.
“In the months when I was pregnant… we have in tandem the conversation of he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Meghan said.
“What?” Oprah asked clearly shocked. “Who is having that conversation with you? What?! Hold up, there is a conversation about how dark your baby is going to be?”
“With Harry,” Meghan explained. “It was really hard to see those as compartmentalized conversations,” Meghan said.
Meghan Did Not Have Access to Her Passport, Driver's License, or Her Keys
The Duchess of Sussex told Winfrey that after her wedding, her passport, her driver’s license, and her keys were taken away from her and only returned when they had decided to leave. She talked about the feelings of being not only isolated, but captive as well.
Harry felt the same and also expressed concern for his father and brother. “My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave,” said Harry. “And I have compassion for that.”
Meghan Didn't Make Kate Cry — Kate Made Meghan Cry
Another bombshell that was revealed was that the stories that circulated about Meghan making her sister-in-law, The Duchess of Cambridge, cry over a flowergirl’s dress before Meghan’s wedding was completely fabricated. “Actually it was the reverse,” admitted Meghan. She would not go into details out of respect for her sister-in-law, who she said apologized with flowers and a note.
She did point out, however, that the entire family knew the true story, but not one person spoke up in defense of her when she was being smeared in the newspapers. “They were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”
They Married Three Days Before Their Actual Wedding
They revealed that they had in fact been married in a private ceremony held with just the two of them and the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before the televised “Royal Wedding.” “This spectacle is for the world,” Meghan said, “but we wanted the union just for us.”