The fallout from Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey continues to be a polarising affair sending shockwaves through two British institutions: the Media and the Monarchy.
Large swathes of the British Media and the Royal household worked tirelessly to discredit the Harry and Megan’s Oprah interview before they had even seen it. The Times Newspaper reported on 2nd March 2021 that ‘Royal aides approached the paper because they felt that only a partial version had emerged of Meghan’s two years as a working member of the royal family.’
The complaint that the enquiry refers to was made by James Knauf, the Sussexes’ former communications secretary in October 2018 (just five months after Meghan’s Royal wedding). James Knauf currently works as the Chief Executive of Prince Williams and Kates Royal Foundation. In the statement, the palace said:
“We are clearly very concerned about allegations the Times following claims made by former staff for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Accordingly, our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved with the time, including those who have left the household will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned. The Royal Household has had a dignity at work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace.”
The statement released by a spokesperson for Meghan Markle makes it clear that Megan believes that this is a smear campaign. A spokesperson for the Sussexes has said that Meghan has been the victim of “a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation”.
“saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma”.
The fact that an employee of Williams and Kate’s Foundation chose now to approach a national newspaper is seen by many as clear evidence that the Royals were attempting to discredit Megan Markle before her interview with Oprah.
So what were they scared of? Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah was every bit as explosive as the worst fears of the Royals and their media allies.
Good morning to Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu only, who woke up this morning and dragged Piers Morgan pic.twitter.com/IeVRwcgpG9
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) March 8, 2021
Put Trisha Goddard’s one sentence annihilation of Piers Morgan in the history books pic.twitter.com/TjaNHr87E8
— Harrison Brocklehurst (@harrisonjbrock) March 8, 2021
Three Key Takeaways fron Oprahs Interview with Harry and Meghan
1. Suicidal Thoughts
Meghan’s emotional revelation that she experienced ‘suicidal thoughts’ whilst working as a senior member of the British Royal family was.
“I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. That was a clear and real and frightening and constant thought” Meghan recalled approaching the palace for support, saying, “I went to the institution and I said, I need to go somewhere to get help. I said I’ve never felt this way before I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t it would not be good for the institution”
Meghan Markle admits to having suicidal thoughts:
"Look, I was really ashamed to have to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, but I knew that if I didn't say that I would do it. I just didn't want to be alive anymore."#HarryandMeghanonOprah pic.twitter.com/EeBmtN2arC
— Jenna Amatulli (@ohheyjenna) March 8, 2021
2. Concerns about Racism
Meghan Markle told Oprah there were discussions about Archie’s skin that she believed to be rooted in issues of race especially when viewed in the context of the treatment Meghan herself received from the royal family.
“Concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born” Oprah response “What – who is having that conversation with you?”
Meghan did not want to name the person who had concerns about Archie’s skin color. But she made it clear that they were concerned about the potential of Archies skins coming out dark and the problems that might cause.
3. The British Media
Oprah shared with Meghan the differences in the way Meghan was covered in the British media compared to Kate and the difference was stark. From Meghan being accused of fuelling war by eating Avocados to being linked to the murder of Khashoggi. The British media have been as vi
Oprah: You know, there were several stories that compared headlines written about you to those written about Kate.
Oprah: Then there was a whole online piece about this – ‘Kate eating avocados to help with morning sickness.. and you were eating avocados’
Meghan: And fuelling murder, apparently.
Buzzfeed News gathered headlines from the British Press that shows the difference in the coverage of Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 13, 2020
The Royal family stands accused of entrenched racism and leaving her completely unprotected against the ferocious, bullying UK tabloids. For many Black people in the UK, the British medias relentless racist campaign of hate against Meghan Markle successfully dehumanised her. The response to Meghan’s decision to push back and reclaim her humanity was met with fury amongst many in the Royal family and British media. For many Black people in Britain, the racism on display is symptomatic of the racism endemic in British Society.
Join the conversation let us know your thoughts on racism and the royal family.