Last night, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sat down with Oprah Winfrey to share their side of the story after leaving the royal family. Here are 20 of the biggest takeaways from the interview.
In case you haven’t heard, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shocked the world in their 2-hour tell-all interview with Oprah last night. The couple did not hold back, revealing jaw-dropping secrets about the world’s most famous monarchy and sharing their experience as senior members of the royal family. For those who haven’t seen it yet, here are all the highlights.
They got married 3 days before their wedding
Meghan revealed that the couple officially wed a few days prior to the big day in an intimate backyard ceremony that consisted of just them two and the archbishop.
Kate Middleton made Meghan cry
Many of us had heard the slanderous rumor that Meghan made sister-in-law Kate cry over flower-girl dresses the week leading up to the wedding when in fact, the opposite happened. While the dispute was over flower-girl outfits, it was Kate that made Meghan cry. However, the two made-up when Kate apologized and sent flowers to the bride. The former duchess forgives Kate and does not want to disparage her, but needed to tell the truth since the palace wouldn’t.
The rumor was a “turning point”
The rumor that Meghan made Kate cry surfaced 6 to 7 months after the wedding, when her and Harry’s first tour had ended. During this time, Meghan realized that she was not being protected by the royal institution in the same way that other family members were. She had been told and assured that she would be protected by the media, and she believed them until this falsehood came out and nothing was done to squash it. And when staff, who had witnessed the situation, offered to speak to the press and clear up the rumor, they were told not to discuss it. Meghan also revealed that the institution was willing to lie to protect other family members, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect her and Harry. They allowed this media frenzy to play out.
Meghan says she was silenced
Oprah posed the question, “Were you silent, or were you silenced?” to which Meghan responded, “The latter.” The institution told her that she would be protected, and she believed them. So when she was told to say, “no comment,” she listened thinking that everything would be taken care of.
“The Queen has always been wonderful to me”
Throughout the interview, both Meghan and Harry maintained that they have a great relationship with the Queen and that they hold her in high regard. Meghan said that during their first joint public appearance together, the Queen shared her blanket with her because it was a little chilly and also gifted her pearl earrings and a necklace.
Nothing was what it seemed
In reference to how everything looked so perfect, Meghan revealed that it was quite the opposite. The image of this fairy-tale life was a facade and really, she was constantly being controlled. Meghan shared that for a period of time, she left the house only twice in 4 months because she was told to stay inside by an unnamed member of the family. According to the individual, she was too saturated in the tabloids and she should lay-low so she didn’t draw more attention to herself. The institution wouldn’t even allow Meghan to get lunch with a friend.
The institution did not grant Archie his title of prince, unlike his cousins, and refused to give him security
When Meghan announced that she was pregnant, the institution began the process to change the George V convention that grants the grandchildren of the monarch the title of prince or princess. Meghan and Harry were never told why the palace decided to do this. His lack of title then served as a justification as to why Archie did not receive security.
When Archie was born, the media spread many nasty rumors, one of them being that Meghan and Harry did not want their son to have a title. Again, no royal official came out to dispute this misconception. Another controversy surrounding the birth was the couple’s choice to break the tradition of standing on the steps and introducing the new member of the royal family to the world. In truth, they were never asked to do the photo-op and on top of that, they were told that their son would not have security making them afraid to bring him out in such a publicized setting. Unsurprisingly, no one in the institution contradicted the media’s narrative.
Several conversations took place about Archie’s skin-tone
Arguably the biggest bombshell of the entire episode is that several conversations were had about how dark Archie’s skin would be when he was born. When asked why Archie did not receive his title, Meghan answered that she did not know. However, she did bring up that concerns were expressed to Harry about their child’s skin tone, what that would mean, and how it would look to the public. Neither Harry nor Meghan would name the individual who expressed this worry as it would be extremely damaging to their reputation. This morning, Oprah relayed a message from Harry, sharing that neither the Queen nor his grandfather was involved in these conversations.
Meghan bravely revealed that she was suicidal, and was denied help
Meghan said that the media scrutiny was so terrible that it was “almost unsurvivable.” She continued, stating “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.” At the time, she was embarrassed to admit that she was suffering, but was eventually able to find the courage to express her feelings. And when Meghan finally did share that she was having suicidal thoughts and asked to enter a mental health facility, the institution denied her request as it would be a bad look for the family. Not knowing what to do, Meghan then sent dozens of emails to HR begging for help. They sent their sympathies, but told her that because she was not a paid employee of the institution that they could not help her. Meghan instead found comfort in Diana’s best friend, who had helped the late princess while she was suffering.
It’s a girl!
The couple revealed that they are expecting a little girl sometime this summer! They also shared that the newest addition to their family, will be their last.
“My biggest concern was history repeating itself”
Harry shared that he saw history repeating itself, but this time it was more dangerous with the added race element and social media. He did not want to see what happened to his mother happen to his wife, so he asked for help from the institution and was continuously told that there was nothing they could do. Harry’s turning point was this lack of understanding from the palace, and even states that they would still be there if they had received that backing. He added that he was hurt and disappointed that no one in his family was willing to publicly show support for the couple even while the media was being blatantly racist.
Harry speculates that the institution spread lies about him
There were many rumors surrounding the couple’s exit from the royal business, however mainly that Harry had betrayed his family by leaving suddenly and without notice. Not only is the untrue, but he believes that the falsehood came from inside the institution. In Canada, he had 3 conversations with his grandmother and 2 with his father about the subject. Before he stopped answering Harry’s calls, his father even asked him to put the plan into writing. Therefore, the family was aware well in advance that they two were going to step down.
The tabloids control the royal family
Harry revealed that his family is scared of the tabloids turning on them. Currently, they work under an “invisible contract,” as he put it, in which there is an unspoken understanding between the press and the royals: if you are willing to give full access to reporters, they will give you better press. They are controlled by fear because the institution thrives on the public’s perception of them, and the papers can make or break that. The family even hosts holiday parties for the press at the palace.
Everything changed after the Australia tour
In the beginning, Meghan was welcomed with open arms by both the family and the commonwealth. However, Harry speculates that everything changed after their first tour, in Australia, when everyone saw for the first time how incredible Meghan was at the job. Meghan effortlessly took on the role and was able to connect with others in a way like Diana, and the people loved her. He alluded that jealousy may have played a role in this whole situation.
Does this story sound familiar? This is exactly what happened to Diana after her first tour, which also happened to be in Australia.
Harry was stripped of all security detail and was cut-off financially in the first quarter of 2020
The prince himself was left with no security or money. Fortunately, the money that his mother left him was enough to cover living and protection costs. However, the couple still needed to make a living and so they accepted deals with Netflix and Spotify, which they were heavily criticized for. It wasn’t all part of some grand scheme, as many perpetuated, they just needed to provide for their family.
“I was trapped”
Harry reveals that he would not have stepped down if it was not for Meghan, but only because he was trapped and didn’t know it. Once he met her, he realized he was stuck in the system. Harry also asserts that his brother and father are trapped, but they don’t get to leave, and for that, he feels sympathy for them.
Harry’s relationship is different with each family member
Harry shared that he has spoken to his grandmother more this year than any other year, and that the couple and Archie have spoken with her a few times over Zoom. The two have a good relationship and understanding, and he has the utmost respect for her. Prince Charles, on the other hand, has not been as supportive. Harry is hurt about a lot that has happened, but he is making it a priority to heal that relationship. And as for his brother William, Harry maintains that he “loves him to bits” but that the two are on different paths and need space at the moment. He ends with “time heals all, hopefully.”
Harry knew that things would be tough before the couple wed
Harry shares that there were signs even before they married that Meghan’s transition into the family would be difficult. Most notably, the institution suggested that she take on acting again to make money for herself as they would not be able to provide security for her.
Meghan regrets trusting the institution
When asked if they had any regrets, Meghan said she had one: believing the institution when they said she would be protected. If she had seen what was really happening, she could have done more to help herself.
They saved each other
Harry stated that without a question, Meghan saved him, and she said the same of him. According to Meghan, he not only saved their family, but also her life. After realizing that nothing was going to change, Harry did what was best and found them a way out.
Despite all of this, the couple did get their fairy-tale ending. The family is enjoying their lives in Santa Barbara, frequently playing outside and taking Archie on bike rides, something that Harry never experienced growing up. With a little girl on the way, Meghan and Harry are only looking forward and assure everyone that this is just the beginning.