Two days after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sat down with Oprah in a revealing interview that crossed the difficult layers of race, class and claims of emotional abuse, Buckingham Palace remains eerily silent.
It also highlighted Meghan’s particular experience and the blind spots Prince Harry said he had to overcome around race. As a biracial woman with mostly European features, many felt she would evade the alleged attacks made against her, but the interview proved that assumption would be wrong.
Meghan’s first explosive claim included a revelation that she suffered from suicidal ideations while she was pregnant with the couple’s first child, Archie. She also stated that the royal family opted to break protocol and eliminated the possibility that Archie would receive a title or security after he was born.
But it was her third offering, that members of the royal family held concerns around her prospective children’s complexion, that made Black people everywhere ready to throw hands.
The couple refused to specify which family member or members were complicit. However, during the interview Harry confirmed that the questions began early in the couple’s dating stage.
On Monday, Oprah revealed that Harry told her neither of his grandparents, Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip, initiated the colorist line of questioning.
“He did not share the identity with me,” Oprah said. “But he wanted to make sure that I knew, and if I had an opportunity to share it, that it was not his grandmother, nor his grandfather that were part of those conversations. … He did not tell me who were a part of those conversations. As you could see I tried to get that answer, on-camera and off.”
Oprah also said in 2018 Meghan told Oprah about a conversation where she was advised to be “50 percent less” than she was. As we know, Meghan’s mother is Black and her father is white.
Social media went on a deep dive of conspiracy theories, but mostly summoned the “water is wet” conversation around the claims of racism existing within the royal family. We are discussing an institution that was grounded in colonizing countries with non-white inhabitants all over the world.
During the interview Harry and Meghan chose their words wisely, and while their vulnerability was appreciated, overall their conversation still protected the monarchy. Harry voiced that he grew closer to his grandmother in the last year and will always have immense respect and love for her. In several instances Harry was very blunt about the strained relationship with his father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince William.
At one point Harry mentioned that his father “stopped taking his calls.”
“There’s a lot to work through there. I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar,” he said in reference to his mother, Princess Diana. “He knows what pain is like. And Archie’s his grandson.”
“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 and heal that relationship.”
Regarding William, Harry said, “I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together. We have a shared experience, but we were on different paths.”
“The relationship is space at the moment,” he continued later. “And time heals all things, hopefully.”
Harry said he has “compassion” for his father and brother because they are “trapped within the system.”
“I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped. Trapped within the system like the rest of the family. My father and my brother are trapped. They don’t get to leave, and I have huge compassion for that.”
The interview with Oprah serves as a turning point for the couple who has remained mostly silent around their decision to step back from their royal duties in 2020.