In a wide-ranging interview, Harry and Meghan described painful discussions about the colour of their son’s skin, losing royal protection and the intense pressures that led the Duchess of Sussex to contemplate suicide.
The interview aired Sunday with Oprah Winfrey was the coupleâ€™s first since they stepped down from royal duties and the two-hour special included numerous revelations likely to reverberate on both sides of the Atlantic.
Harry told Winfrey that he felt trapped by royal life and was surprised that he was cut off financially and lost his security last year. He also said he felt his family did not support Meghan, who acknowledged her naivete about royal life before marrying Harry, as she endured tabloid attacks and false stories.
Meghan, who is biracial, described that when she was first pregnant with son Archie, there were â€œconcerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.â€ The statement led Winfrey to ask â€œWhat,â€ incredulously and sit in silence for a moment.
In a rare positive moment in the interview, Harry and Meghan revealed their second would be a girl. The interview opened with Winfrey gushing over Meghanâ€™s pregnancy and lamenting that Covid-19 protocols kept them from hugging. The interview was in the United States a full day before it will air in Britain. The revelations aren’t over: Winfrey teased additional bits of the interview would be shown Monday morning on CBS.
In response to a question from Winfrey, Harry said he wouldn’t have left royal life if not for his wife, the actor formerly known as Meghan Markle who starred in the TV drama Suits. He said their relationship revealed the strictures of royal life.
â€œI wouldnâ€™t have been able to, because I myself was trapped,â€ Harry said. â€œI didn’t see a way out.â€
“I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped,â€ Harry said, before adding, â€œMy father and my brother, they are trapped.â€ Harry acknowledged that he does not have a close relationship presently with his brother William, who is heir to the throne after their father, Prince Charles.
Harry disputed rumours that he intentionally blindsided his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, with his decision to split. He suspects the rumors came from the institution.
“Iâ€™ve never blindsided my grandmother,â€ he said. â€œI have too much respect for her.â€ Meghan, too, was complimentary toward the queen, despite saying at one point she realised some in the palace were willing to lie to â€œprotect other members of the family.â€ â€œThe queen has always been wonderful to me,â€ Meghan said. Winfrey at various points in the interview ran through headlines about Meghan and at one point asked about the mental health impact. Meghan responded that she experienced suicidal thoughts. She said she grew concerned about her son not having a royal title because it meant he wouldn’t be provided security. Harry said the royal family cut him off financially after announcing plans to step back from his roles.