Buckingham Palace Responds To Harry And Meghan’s Bombshell Oprah Interview
March 10, 2021
March 8, 2021
The pressure of being under the microscope drove Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, to thoughts of suicide, Prince Harry's wife said Sunday in an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey. She said she had been the victim of "character assassination" and that the pressure drove her to the point of self-harm.
In the wide-ranging interview, which aired on CBS, Meghan also revealed a troubling allegation about the royal family's views about race. In the months leading up to their son Archie's birth, Meghan said she and Harry were told that royal insiders had expressed "concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he is born." The revelation floored Winfrey, who responded: "What?"
"There are several conversations," Meghan said, "potentially and what that would mean or look like."
Winfrey pressed Meghan to reveal names, but the duchess declined.
"I think that would be very damaging to them," Meghan said.
"That conversation I'm never going to share. But at the time, it was awkward, I was a bit shocked," he said. "I'm not comfortable sharing it."
Buckingham Palace, along with Kensington Palace where Prince William is based, did not immediately respond to requests to comment on the interview. Meghan also revealed that she was brought to tears before her wedding in a disagreement with her sister-in-law Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Months after the wedding, tabloid headlines accused Meghan of bickering with Kate over flower girl dresses, which were reported to have brought Kate to tears. Meghan confirmed that there was a disagreement but insisted that she was the one crying.
"It made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings," Meghan said.
Kate apologized and even sent flowers, putting the issue to rest, said Meghan, who declined to explain more about disagreement.
"It wasn't a confrontation," she said. "I don't think it's fair to her to get into the details of that because she apologized. And I've forgiven her. What was hard to get over was being blamed for something that not only I didn't do it, but that happened to me."
Both Harry and Meghan denied that they blindsided the royal family with their move to dial back their royal duties. Harry said he had multiple conversations with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, his grandmother and father, about how the decision would be announced. At one point during the extended talks, Charles "stopped taking my calls," Harry said.
"I took matters into my own hands," Harry said of the royal departure. "I need to do this for my family. This is not a surprise to anybody. It's really sad that it's got to this point. But I got to do something for my own mental health, for my wife's and for Archie's, as well."
Meghan thanked her husband for making the final decision to take them away from the center of royal life.
"You made a decision that saved, certainly saved my life, and saved all of us," she said.
"My grandmother and I have a really good relationship," he said.
But when Winfrey asked Harry about relations with his father, the future king, he froze and took several seconds to compose himself. He hinted that they're at an awkward point, if even on speaking terms.
"There's a lot to work through that," Harry said. "I feel really let down, because he's been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie is his grandson. 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 to heal that relationship."
And with his brother, Prince William, another possible future king, the connection seemed to be only slightly less icy.
"The relationship is space at the moment," Harry said. "Time heals all things hopefully."
The family member who loomed large throughout the conversation was Harry's mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 when he was two weeks short of his 13th birthday. Diana, too, had divorced herself from the royal family, and Harry's departure has drawn comparisons.
"I think she would feel very angry with how this has panned out and very sad," he said. "But ultimately, all she'd ever want was for us to be happy."
Winfrey said no subject was off-limits in the interview, which has generated headlines around the world and was as hotly anticipated as the interview between Diana and BBC journalist Martin Bashir in 1995. Royal interviews are historically rare, and the family is scrupulously guarded in what they reveal to the public, but Diana shared intimate details about her marriage to Prince Charles.
Meanwhile, the royal family tried to maintain a semblance of normality. The queen delivered a televised message to mark Commonwealth Day hours before the interview with Winfrey. Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip, 99, Harry's grandfather, remains hospitalized after a heart procedure last week.
In a separate interview last month, Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, told the television host James Corden that Britain's "toxic" media coverage was destroying his mental health and that it was one of the reasons he stepped back from his life as a senior royal.
It has been less than three years since the couple married in a star-studded wedding at Windsor Castle, which Winfrey attended. Meghan was hailed at the time for modernizing the monarchy.
They announced in January 2020 that they were "stepping back" from their roles as senior members of the royal family, a decision they confirmed last month. Harry and Meghan announced on Valentine's Day that they are expecting their second child. Harry, meanwhile, is expected to return to the U.K. in July for the unveiling of a statue of Diana.
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