Palpable fears have gripped the British Monarchy after Markle Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, which is likely to be as explosive as Princess Diana’s sit-down with the BBC’s Martin Bashir back in 1995, which triggered a crisis that took the monarchy years to recover from.
CNN’s Max Foster and Lauren Said-Moorhouse reported that the Duchess of Sussex’s words could potentially be even more seismic than the late Princess of Wales’s because the questions she raised are harder for the palace to answer.
Meghan in her headline-grabbing interview with Winfrey narrated the harrowing experience she was allegedly subjected to by the British royal family and some sectors of UK media.
The two-hour special included explosive revelations likely to reverberate on both sides of the Atlantic, with Prince Harry and Meghan describing controversial discussions in the palace about the colour of their son Archie’s skin, losing royal protection and the intense pressures that led the duchess of Sussex to contemplate suicide.
Prince Harry told Oprah: “What I was seeing was history repeating itself, but more, perhaps — or definitely far more dangerous, because then you add race in.”
For Meghan, the feelings of loneliness and isolation that drove her to suicidal thoughts were only compounded when, in her last months of pregnancy, she was told their newborn would not be given a title. Being a prince or princess was of little consequence to the couple except that withholding a title meant their child wouldn’t have the security that comes with it.
In the meantime, several high-profile figures and thousands of social media users have thrown their support behind the United Kingdom’s duchess of Sussex as they denounced the “cruelty” she
was allegedly subjected to by the British royal family and some sectors of UK media.
The highly anticipated interview, broadcast on Sunday in the US, was the first by Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry since they stepped down from royal duties a year ago.
It quickly drew mass attention on Twitter, where several prominent public figures backed Meghan, a biracial actress whose mother is Black and father is white, for speaking out over the alleged discrimination she faced after marrying into the royal family in 2018.
Meghan’s close friend Serena Williams, the US tennis star, said she understood the “pain and cruelty” Meghan had experienced. Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slam titles, said Meghan had taught her “what it means to be truly noble”.
US television host Nina Parker tweeted: “You know why Black women believe Meghan? Because we know exactly what micro aggressions look like and how they slowly drive you insane.”
Others said Meghan and Harry’s withdrawal from royal duties symbolized the “cost of racism” for the country.
US poet Amanda Gorman, praised for her performance at President’s Joe Biden’s inauguration, tweeted: “This isn’t Meghan’s princess ‘happy’ ending. But sometimes change, the decisions that bring us the most hurt, aren’t about happiness, but healing.
Bernice King, Martin Luther King, Jr’s daughter, said Meghan’s experience showed “royalty is not a shield from the devastation and despair of racism”, adding such discrimination was a “traumatizing threat to the mental, physical, and economic well-being of millions and millions of people”.