By C. Paixão
Meghan Markle’s allegations
On March 7th 2021, Oprah Winfrey interviewed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The interview lasted 3 hours, airing on television in the United States and United Kingdom, with over 17 million viewers. The interview caught viewers by surprise as the couple revealed personal information and criticised the Royal family. Meghan had some allegations about the Royal family and shared shocking news, including her suicidal thoughts, and criticism regarding the family.
Meghan also commented that someone in the Royal family had “several conversations” with Prince Harry regarding the skin colour of their baby. The couple said that "at the time it was awkward, we were a bit shocked”. When the couple was asked which Royal raised such questions, both Meghan and Harry refused to say their name. However, Prince Harry contacted Oprah to make it clear that racially insensitive comments weren’t made by the Queen or Prince Phillip.
Meghan revealed that she had suicidal thoughts while pregnant, “I was ashamed to have to admit it to Harry”, later adding, “I just did not want to be alive anymore”. Meghan talked about getting help – she asked to be placed in under supervision until she got better, however, the senior royal mentioned, “this would not be good for the institution”. After being denied help, she went to the palace’s human resources department, where nothing was done about it.
Meghan explained that she and Harry attended an event at Royal Albert Hall. Before going, Harry told Meghan “I do not think you should go to this event tonight”, Meghan responded, “Harry, I cannot be left alone”. After sharing this with Oprah, she followed up with a question, “because you were afraid of what you might do to yourself?”, Meghan immediately nodded, confirming that she was afraid of what she would do to herself, as this was “a very clear and frightening constant thought.”
Meghan told Oprah that she was “naive” about what joining the Royal family meant and would be like. “It was not something that was part of conversation at home. It was not something that we followed,” she added. However, Meghan’s half-sister, Samantha Markle, disagrees. Samantha claims that her sister knew more about the Royal family than she had let on, pointing out that when Meghan was younger she had visited Buckingham Palace and had been “strategizing” to approach Harry, even studying Lady Diana’s persona. “Meghan went to great lengths to study Lady Diana, to mimic her clothing, to mimic her body language and to wear Lady Diana’s perfume on their first date’. She later added “do not tell me my sister did not know who Harry was”.
Prince Harry’s relation with the Royal family
In the interview with Oprah, Harry opened up about his relationship with his father, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. After stepping back as senior a royal, Harry said Charles “stopped taking my calls”, and felt “really let down because my father has been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like”. Harry told Oprah that "at the same time, of course I will always love my father”. Harry revealed that one of his top priorities is to try and heal this relationship with his father.
Harry explained that the relationship with his brother Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has become, given current events, “unproductive”. Harry said he loves his brother and says they have been through hell together. They have always been by each other’s side, however, according to Harry, “we were on different paths”. Currently, Harry’s conversations with his father and brother is unspecified and their last known conversation was after the Oprah interview.
Every year, the senior members of the Royal family receive money from the family’s fund in exchange for carrying out official engagements and doing their jobs as senior Royals. When Meghan entered the Royal family, members of the family suggested that she continued with her acting career as “there was not enough money to pay for her as well”. He said that there were signs that it was going to be really hard for him and Meghan.
With the stepping back of their senior roles in the Royal family and their decision to move to the United States, they stopped receiving money from the Royal Family. Harry states that, “My family literally cut me off financially in the first half, the first quarter of 2020”. He then said that his mother Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, left behind an inheritance for both her eldest and youngest son, William and Harry.
Harry received the money from his late mother’s estate following her death in 1997. Harry added, “I’ve got what my mum left me, and without that, we would not have been able to do this”. Although the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not received their money from the Royal family, they have Harry’s inheritance after his mother’s death.
Previous allegations on the Royal family
Although Megan and Harry were responsible for these allegations against the Royal family during their interview with Oprah Winfrey, it is not the first time that the Royal family are criticised by someone from the inside. When Lady Diana was still alive, she criticised the Royal family. Meghan and Diana’s claims were somewhat similar, such as: both did not receive any training from the family, felt “exhausted”, and struggled with depression.
Regarding the fact of both not receiving help, Meghan said that “there was no guidance, as well, right? There were certain things that you couldn’t do. But, you know, unlike what you see in the movies, there’s no class on how to . . . There’s none of that training”, and Diana said that “no one sat me down with a piece of paper and said: ‘This is what is expected of you’”.
On the claim that both were tired, Meghan said that “those tours are — I'm sure they have beautiful pictures, and it looks vibrant, and all of that is true. It's also really exhausting.” and Diana said that “the pressure was intolerable then, and my job, my work was being affected. I was constantly tired, exhausted, it was so cruel”.
On the claim that both Meghan and Lady Diana struggled from depression, Meghan commented that “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.” and Diana said that “I was unwell with post-natal depression, which no one ever discusses. You'd wake up in the morning feeling you didn't want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself”. There is an eerie similarity between Meghan and Diana.
During the Oprah Winfrey interview, Harry revealed that he left both because of a lack of understanding and because he feared history might repeat itself – referencing the death of Lady Diana, his mother, in 1997. “What I was seeing was history repeating itself. When I’m talking about history repeating itself, I’m talking about my mother,” Harry claimed. When comparing both situations from Meghan and Diana, one can clearly see that there has already been criticism regarding the Royal family from a Royal member, as Lady Diana had already talked about her issues, but was criticised by the media.
The Queen responded by stating, “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. 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.” In the interview, Meghan added that “the Queen has always been wonderful to me. I've loved being in her company", mentioning that the Queen reminds her of her own grandmother. Harry agreed with Meghan, saying that he admires his grandmother very much and he looks up to his grandparents. Both Meghan and Harry spoke very dearly of the Queen and Prince Phillip.