Millennium Post

Turning point

Turning point

In some ways, what the Oprah interview with the Sussexes confirmed is exactly what many people imagined was happening behind the scenes. The very revelation that the interview would be a never before seen 'tell-all' arrangement invoked memories of another 'tell-all' interview that has continued to be controversial to this day — that of Princess Diana. In some major ways, there were similarities to the stories of Meghan and Princess Diana. Both spoke of isolation, a culture of silence and compliance, biased media coverage and thoughts of suicide.

But of course, unique to her experience, race and colour seems to sadly have played a part in Meghan's harrowing association with the royal family as well. When Meghan was first introduced to the British public and media, there were some uncomfortable racial undertones to the coverage and discussions at certain points. There were rumours that such discussions were taking place in the royal family as well. In the interview, the Sussexes confirm as much. Before their son Archie was born, there was some serious discussion and concern over what skin colour the baby would have. Meghan further revealed that she knew early on that her son would not be treated the same or indeed given a title or protection. She claimed to be shocked at the behaviour of the family explaining that being inclusive of her son would have been 'a reflection of the world today'. When prompted to name names in this regard, Meghan declined. Harry also declined to comment but dropped another revelation when he spoke of the whole skin colour episode. He revealed that the family had suggested Meghan should go back to acting because there wasn't enough money for her and that she wasn't going to be given the same security as the rest of the family.

Harry also mentioned his personal disappointment with his family for not coming and defending his wife when the tabloids took on a colonial tone in incessantly attacking her in an increasingly uncomfortable manner. Members of the UK Parliament came out against such a media attitude but his own family remained silent. While Harry was 'hurt', he has claimed to understand just how frightened the royal family is of the tabloids turning on them. The royals and the Queen, in particular, have always been concerned regarding their public perception and are keen to appear as beloved symbols of the UK. The constraining nature of the role they are thrust into shapes the royal family. Harry claimed to not have understood just how trapped he was until he met Meghan. He also claims to have huge compassion for his father and brother despite not really being on talking terms because they were still trapped by the system and could not leave.

Harry and Meghan also revealed the darkest point of the whole affair when Meghan was feeling suicidal and she claimed that she could not tell Harry initially because she was worried he would relate what had happened to his mother before to what was happening to Meghan. When Harry did learn of it and approached his family, he claimed the concerns were useless and his wife was denied the opportunity to seek help. This and more became the catalyst for the Sussexes finally leaving the family.

The rest of the interview had Meghan and Harry comment on their changing relationship with various members of the royal family but the Queen herself was conspicuously absent from much of the discussion beyond small tidbits. The Queen likewise has not deigned to comment on the interview and it is unknown if she will ever make a comment on it. What is clear is that this is likely a significant turning point. Anyone who thought Harry and Meghan could eventually reconcile with the royal family should now understand that no such thing is possible. It is unknown what sort of a storm this interview will set off but it is apparent that the palace and its media apparatus is ready to get personal and petty in retaliation if there is a need to divert the narrative away from the 'faults' of the royal family. For Meghan and Harry at least, there is hope for the future. They both claim to be deeply enjoying their freedom and are expecting a baby girl. Perhaps time will heal all other wounds.

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