I’ve been laying low the past 24 hours. This past week of royal news has hit with the subtlety of an 18-wheeler, and I needed a break before tomorrow’s Meghan and Harry interview spectacular. As I said, I write about this subject specifically, for no money, just because I enjoy it – and even I was a little worn out by the news and gossip this week.
Here are some of my guesses of what we will see in the interview:
How Harry and Meghan met
Meghan (or possibly both of them, but I think just Meghan) will tell Oprah how they met and fell in love. It will be very sweet. She will say things like “It felt so right” and “We just knew.”
I think there will be tears. Meghan is pregnant and telling palace secrets to Oprah Winfrey and a camera crew. All of that stress/adrenaline/hormone surge points to tears. And with tears will come the discussion of whether they were real or put on for the cameras.
The state of race and racism in the United Kingdom will be discussed (probably via the incident in which Princess Michael of Kent wore a racist brooch to the first Christmas luncheon Meghan was invited to at Buckingham Palace). It will probably be juxtaposed with the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement gaining momentum last year.
I’ve read that footage of Archie has been included in the interview. It wasn’t taken at the same time as the Oprah interview, but is likely video taken by Harry and Meghan or a camera crew at their house. This also makes Meghan and Harry’s threat to sue anyone who shows the accidentally posted pic of Archie by one of Meghan’s friends make a bit more sense – the footage of Archie from the interview is valuable because his image has been closely guarded for so long. That exclusivity isn’t at the same level when there’s a random pic of Archie floating around Twitter the day before the interview.
Okay! A quick answer session from your Insta questions. PS: Thank you for following on Instagram (and for being here reading this)! I’m so happy you’re here.
Will Oprah be an objective interviewer? Or will she be a wholly sympathetic party?
Oprah will not be an objective interviewer. She has a vested interest in promoting Harry and Meghan (think future content on mental health and race, MM appearances at future Oprah-branded wellness summits, podcast visits, etc.). She also has a history of supporting members of the BRF who have left or embarrassed the family in some way. She paid Sarah, Duchess of York to have her own reality show on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Oprah also famously interviewed the first person to get to the scene of Princess Diana’s car accident and asked that person to confirm if Diana was pregnant or not (Does Harry know this?).
Oprah knows that the BRF is a cash cow and she intends to milk it. Her first priority in doing that is keeping Harry and Meghan on her side. That means the interview will be extremely sympathetic. Keeping Harry and Meghan happy is in Oprah’s best financial interests right now, so that’s how it will play out.
Do you think the interview will backfire on Harry and Meghan?
I do. I think it already has, actually. It has led to a groundswell of support from the vast majority of Americans who care about the royal family. However, it’s basically the last nail in the coffin for most people in the UK and Commonwealth.
The interview could backfire in two ways: in a general way, in which they come off as really bratty, unsympathetic people who are stressing a 94-year old Queen out; and in a really specific way, in which they say or do something incredibly untrue/inappropriate. When the interview will really backfire on Harry and Meghan is up in the air. It could blow up in their faces on Monday morning, when we know what’s in it and if they seem sympathetic. It could/will backfire when Prince Philip dies (hopefully a long time from now, but it will be mentioned in every story upon his death). Ditto the Queen. It could backfire in some unknown way at some point in the future, if something that one of them says in the interview turns out not to have been true. I’m pretty confident that it will blow up on them at some point. Just not quite sure when.
Why did Diana’s interviews go over well (maybe better with time), and Meghan’s so badly?
I think Diana’s interviews went over as well as they could have gone at the time because Charles was such an intensely unlikeable character. He’s one of the most privileged people in the world, married to a gorgeous, kind princess, and he still cheated? With a married woman who had children of her own? Plus, Charles was (and is) a weird dude. He talked about the environment all the time. He allegedly has his staff bring his own toilet seat with him when he travels. He’s a straight-up odd duck. Diana was always going to win the popularity contest. I think there was a sizeable amount of the British public that hated Diana for making the Queen’s life hard, but Charles was just as culpable in that as Diana was.
Now here is the uncomfortable part. When Diana died, she became a saint. There is no room for nuance in a story about a princess who is cheated on and then dies in a car accident in Paris. As soon as she died, the interviews she gave and her actions were portrayed entirely differently and in a much kinder way by the press. So I think Diana’s interview went over okay when it happened, and then became a whole different beast when she died. Diana, like everyone else in the royal family, was a complicated person. She was neither a saint nor a villain. But that doesn’t lead to clear newspaper covers.
Same thing with Meghan. In the States, she’s a victim. In the UK, she’s a villain. There is no room for nuance, because that takes more than 280 characters on Twitter. And nuance doesn’t sell. Absolutes sell. The truth is that Diana, Charles, Meghan, Harry, and pretty much everyone involved is a flawed person who has done good things and behaved poorly. But people don’t want to buy a tabloid to read about how imperfect royals are. They want a hero or a villain. And when Diana died, she became a hero.
Will they throw the BRF under the bus? Will they be aggressive or passive-agressive?
I don’t know and I don’t want to guess. Harry and Meghan are so unpredictable in terms of messaging, this whole interview could be a bunch of platitudes and hints at anger or sadness, or they could hand over incriminating Prince Andrew evidence. Or somewhere in between! I have no idea, but I’m excited to find out.
Was Harry resentful of his brother all this time, and we’re just learning about it now?
I think so. Stories have been circulating for along time about how Will would be invited for tea and meals with the Queen and Queen Mother while Harry had to stay home. That has to affect you at least a little. It isn’t that surprising. Watch Season 1 of The Crown, in which Princess Margaret is jealous of Princess Elizabeth for being the heir. On the other hand, there are videos of Harry saying that being heir to the throne is a role that nobody really wants. Not sure if he believed this when he said it. He’s probably at least partly jealous and resentful, which I don’t begrudge him.