Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a much-anticipated, much-teased interview at 8 p.m. on CBS. The interview proved to be as filled with drama as many expected, touching on the racist reception Meghan got inside and outside the Palace, and how the constant criticism and harassment challenged both Meghan and Harry’s mental health and ultimately forced them to step away from royal life.
As many royal watchers know, Harry and Meghan announced on Instagram that they were stepping down from their royal roles in January of 2020. Under terms brokered by the palace, the couple had to step back from royal duties, drop their His and Her Royal Highness titles and would no longer receive funds for royal duties.
Among the wildest revelations from the interview: Meghan had to learn how to curtsy five minutes before meeting the Queen; Kate Middleton made Meghan cry the week before their wedding, as opposed to the opposite which was widely reported; Meghan and Harry got married in secret before their televised wedding; Meghan says the Queen has always been “warm” to her; Royals were worried about how dark her and Harry’s son Archie would be; a serious mental health crisis and the lack of Royal support led to them leaving; Meghan and Harry are happy and living a “really fulfilling” life in California; they are having a girl this summer, their second child; Harry and Meghan told the Queen and his father, Prince Charles, that they were leaving their senior royal roles before they announced it in public.
Going into the momentous interview, the Palace adhered to its standard protocol of not commenting on speculation surrounding royals. They did, however, announce that they were investigating allegations that Meghan bullied members of her staff. The claims were made anonymously in a British newspaper; the Sussexes said, through a spokesperson, that the report was “a calculated smear campaign” in response to their expected revelations.
Queen Elizabeth, 94, attempted to share a softer side of the royal family ahead of the interview. Hours before their talk, she paid tribute to the heroes who came together in response to COVID-19. “Over the coming week, as we celebrate the friendship, spirit of unity and achievements of the Commonwealth, we have an opportunity to reflect on a time like no other,” the Queen said at the start of her speech. “The testing times experienced by so many have led to a deeper appreciation of the mutual support and spiritual sustenance we enjoy by being connected to others.”
The Queen also expressed hope that “we shall maintain this renewed sense of closeness and community.”
“Looking forward, relationships with others across the Commonwealth will remain important, as we strive to deliver a common future that is sustainable and more secure, so that the nationals and neighborhoods in which we live, wherever they are located, become healthier and happier places for all,” she said.