Feeling trapped, Archie's 'skin tone': Inside Harry and Meghan's explosive sit-down with Oprah

It was bombshells, sweet reveals and shocking claims as the duo spoke to Oprah Winfrey

08 March 2021 - 21:47 By Khanyisile Ngcobo
Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, give an interview to Oprah Winfrey in this undated handout photo.
Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, give an interview to Oprah Winfrey in this undated handout photo.
Image: Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Handout via Reuters

It was two hours filled with bombshells, shocking revelations and sweet moments when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, had a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey.

The couple had a “wide-ranging” interview with the queen of talk show where no topic was off limits.

The duchess and duke made startling revelations and shared big news during the two-hour special, which set social media abuzz a week before it aired first in the US and then in SA on Monday evening.

As reaction continues pouring in after the explosive interview, here's a roundup on some of the biggest issues tackled.

1. ON FEELING TRAPPED AND UNPROTECTED

The dominant theme throughout the interview was the lack of support and protection for the couple from the palace, during their tenure as senior royals and after they stepped down.

Meghan said she had been silenced by “the Firm” — which Elizabeth heads — and that her pleas for help while in distress at racist reporting and her predicament had fallen on deaf ears.

“I just didn't want to be alive any more. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. And I remember how he (Harry) just cradled me,” Meghan said, wiping away tears.

The duchess told Winfrey people within the royal institution not only failed to protect her against malicious claims but lied to protect others.

“It was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family,” Meghan said.

She later said she regrets trusting that the institution would protect her.

The prince also spoke of his feelings of being trapped within the royal institution, despite his privileged upbringing.

“I was trapped but I didn't know I was trapped but the moment I met Meg and our worlds collided in the most amazing of ways.”

Winfrey pressed the prince on what he meant by being trapped, to which he clarified that he was “trapped within the system”, like the rest of his family.

“My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don't get to leave and I have huge compassion for that.”

2. RACISM AND CONVERSATIONS ON ARCHIE'S “SKIN TONE”

Another pressing issue the duo discussed with Winfrey was the racism the duchess and later her son was subjected to.

The duchess detailed conversations that happened around her son Archie, including the decision to not give him the title of prince or security. This was in tandem to "concerns" about how dark his skin could possibly be.

Harry was later asked about this and while confirming there were conversations around that, refused to detail what exactly happened or who was behind those conversations.

“That conversation, I'm never going to share. It was uncomfortable, awkward,” he said.

The prince also spoke of his family's silence on the racism aimed at the duchess, despite UK politicians coming out in support of Meghan.

3. SWEET GENDER REVEAL

Of course it wasn't all bombshells and shocking revelations during the two-hour sit-down. There were sweet moments too, especially when the couple revealed the sex of their unborn baby. Harry and Meghan revealed to Winfrey they were expecting a baby girl later on this year, adding that this was the last child they'd have.

“Amazing, just grateful, like to have any child, to have any one or any two would've been amazing but to have a boy and then a girl. I mean what more can you ask for?

“But now you know, we've got our family ... it's great.”

4. BEING FINANCIALLY CUT OFF AND RELATIONSHIP WITH FAMILY

Prince Harry revealed that he was financially cut off after the decision to step back from royal duties and that his father, Prince Charles, refused to take his calls at some point. He revealed that the money his mother left him helped them weather the storm.

“She saw this coming,” Harry told Winfrey.

US director Tyler Perry also offered the couple a home and security when they initially moved to the US.

The prince divulged on his current relationship with various family members, saying he spoke with his grandmother regularly but “there's a lot to work through” with regards to his relationship with his father as he felt “let down”.

He reiterated that he'd always love his brother William “to bits” but that they were on different paths. He later explained that their current relationship was “space” and remained hopeful that time would heal the relationship.

5. BRITISH REACTION

While Buckingham Palace has not issued a statement in reaction to the explosive interview and is reportedly not expected to do immediately, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson did weigh in on the racism claims levelled against the royals.

“Obviously it is a matter for the palace,” his spokesperson said when asked about Meghan's comments that someone in the royal family raised concerns about how dark the couple's son's skin might be.

“You've got what the prime minister said previously about there being no place whatsoever for racism in this country, he's said that on a number of occasions.”

— Additional reporting by Reuters


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