Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with Oprah Winfrey

By Steffany Leung

Oprah Winfrey gave Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, the opportunity to express their struggles behind the royal rift and what the royal family has failed them.

In the past, Prince Harry had discussed his mental health and other taboo issues. However, the audience rarely hears Meghan speaking about her mental health.

On March 7, Meghan Markle openly discussed how her mental health as a “royal” had led her to suicidal thoughts while living and working as a member of the royal family. She has asked a senior royal to seek inpatient care but was told that it is impossible since it would not be appropriate for the institution. In this revelatory moment, when Markle speaks about her emotional fragility, the royal family failed to provide emotional support for her, and her effort to seek professional help was rebuffed. Ultimately, Meghan and Harry’s emotional support was denied, and they never received adequate support from the royal family when struggling with mental health. 

At another point, the Duchess mentioned one of the most shocking points about Meghan and his firstborn. Meghan had revealed that a member of the royal family expressed concerns about baby Archie’s skin color. A concern about how dark the son’s skin might be when he was born. Therefore, the royal family decided to deny Meghan and Harry’s son a royal title nor security protection due to his skin color. According to Lyall and Mzezewa in The New York Times, “She was subjected to relentless racist attacks.” Meghan has also received unabashedly racist comments after the royal family questions her race that then contaminated her relationship with the royal family. 

Harry also opened up about his father, Prince Charles. One of the most memorable moments of his wedding to the Duchess was the image of Prince Charles. Harry’s father showed to be a loving father and father-in-law in their wedding. When Prince Charles walked Meghan down the aisle, Harry appreciated and thanked him for being there and as a supporter in his new daughter-in-law. However, now things have changed. Harry said his father had stopped answering his phone calls and leaving things into writing when he and Meghan planned to withdraw from their senior royals’ duties. Afterward, Harry said his father is taking his phone calls again but with a lot to work through there. It had really disappointed Harry when he said, “I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar.” Alluding to when the media had persecuted his mother, Princess Diana.

Prince William was rarely mentioned in Ms. Winfrey’s interview. There was a decipherable shift in tone when saying, other royal members, especially in Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Charles. Lyall and Mzezewa in The New York Times write, “More than once, both Harry and Meghan drew distinctions between the queen and the rest of the royal family.” Harry revealed how he and his wife’s relationship with the royal family are in space and even more when they step back from the family. They discussed their interaction with Queen Elizabeth II during the time in London and after backing off from their roles as senior members.

There are always false narratives of the British royal family. Lyall and Mzezewa write, “The royal family failed to correct the false narrative around her.” Recalling when the tabloid reports said that Meghan had made Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and her sister-in-law, cry before the lavish event. It wasn’t only untrue, but the royal family did nothing to correct them; in fact, it was Kate who made Meghan cry. The tabloid stories were coming one after the other regarding her behavior, how she bullied her staff, and her relationship with her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.

Meghan and Harry did not get financial support either from the royal family. Each year, most of their family members receive money from the coffers to carry out official engagements. However, things were not the same after Harry introduced Meghan to the royal family. Harry said, “because there wasn’t enough money to pay for her.” This suggesting that Meghan should continue on her acting career as a sign that their marriage was not going to be easy. In fact, they were also denied a security detail. 

Afterward, Meghan and Harry left the royal family and moved to the United States to live. Since then, they stopped receiving money from the royal family. “My family literally cut me off financially,” Harry said. The Duke did not get money from the royal family after exiting, and he had to afford his own security. 

Prince Harry had mentioned what he had gotten from his mother as he is living his life in the United States. Without what Princess Diana left him, they wouldn’t be able to do it.

Harry had also confessed how was that feeling of being “locked” his life before he married Meghan and concluded by saying, “without question, she saved me.”

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