On Sunday night on CBS, Harry and Meghan, the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex, sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a conversation about their experience with the British royal family.
In the interview, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex described being cut off financially from the monarchy, and recalled their confusion about the extent of security their family would have.Prince Harry also talked about how his family failed to speak out against “racist propaganda” in the British press. He also mentioned that his father, Prince Charles, temporarily stopped taking his phone calls.
Prince Harry described his family’s exit in terms of an escape from an oppressive system, and contrasted his situation with those of his father and older brother, Prince William: “They are trapped,” he said. “They don’t get to leave.”
The couple also revealed that before the 2019 birth of their son Archie, members of the royal family had approached them with concerns about his skin color.
There were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born” from members of the royal family.Meghan said she was not present at the conversations, but that she heard of them second-hand through Harry.
Meghan declined to name the member or members of the family who speculated about what her then-unborn child might look like. “I think that would be very damaging to them,” she said.
When Harry joined the interview, he also refused to name names. “That conversation I’m never going to share,” he said. “It was awkward. I was a bit shocked.” Harry added that he had this conversation early on in his relationship with Meghan. “That was right at the beginning,” he said. “What will the kids look like?”
According to them the palace also expressed reluctance to grant their son Archie a courtesy title, or to provide him with the security that normally accompanies that title, in violation of traditional royal protocol.
Meghan emphasized that she was not particularly concerned about Archie’s access or lack thereof to a title, but the lack of security gave her pause. She added, “the idea of the first member of color of this family not being titled in the same way” did not sit well with her.
Under such pressure, Ms. Markle experienced suicidal thoughts. She sought help from the human-resources department of the palace, and was denied official help because she wasn’t a paid employee of the institution, Ms. Markle said.
Meghan and Harry married in 2018 in a lavish and history-making royal ceremony. In January 2020, they declared their intention to step back from their day-to-day duties as senior members of the royal family. Shortly thereafter, they announced they would be relinquishing their “royal highness” titles. Sunday night’s conversation was the couple’s first lengthy interview since departing the royal family.