There was too much dirt in this interview for me to be able to summarize it in one post. So we’re going to go through the first hour of the CBS interview special in this post, and the second hour will be discussed in a second post. I’m only one person and there was SO MUCH CONTENT. So we need to break this into manageable chunks!
The first hour of the interview was just Oprah interviewing Meghan. We will get into the Harry and Meghan segment in the next post. Please be aware that there are comments about self-harm, depression, and suicidal ideations in the subsection “Mental health”. If you are struggling with mental health issues, you can reach out to SHOUT in the UK (text SHOUT to 85258 in the UK), Crisis Services Canada (text 45645), or Crisis Text Line in the United States and Canada (text HOME to 741741).
Oprah asks Meghan if she and Harry know if they’re having a boy or a girl. Meghan says that yes, they decided to find out the sex of the baby, unlike with Archie. She says this a few times during the interview – that she and Harry chose not to know the sex of their first baby.
This was what was said by Harry and Meghan’s royal office during Meghan’s pregnancy with Archie; however, Omid Scboie and Carolyn Durand write in Finding Freedom that Meghan and Harry did, in fact, know that they were having a boy basically their entire pregnancy. This is all but confirmed by the photos leaked from Meghan’s NYC baby shower – they knew it was going to be a boy. This is the first in a line of seemingly harmless fibs that Meghan and Harry tell during the interview. Why say something that’s provably untrue? Okay. We’re 3 minutes in. God help us.
Meghan not understanding the British Royal Family
When asked what she thought entering the British Royal Family would be like, Meghan said that she admits she went into it naively. She said that she didn’t grow up knowing about the royal family because she’s American. At this point, Meghan said that her mother asked if Princess Diana had ever given any interviews to the press about her time in the royal family, to which Meghan responded that she had, in fact, given a famous and explosive interview to Martin Bashir in 1995. (I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that the truth is being told here. If your daughter is marrying one of the most famous men in the world, you’re going to Google it. You’re going to watch Youtube clips. There is no way that the Panorama interview wasn’t part of that research.)
When asked about marrying into the family, Meghan said, “I didn’t do any research into what that would mean.” Again, I don’t believe this. She said that she had never Googled Prince Harry when they first started dating. Again, I can’t imagine that she didn’t. She also said that she and Princess Eugenie were friends before she met Harry. This is brand new information, and it leads to questioning whether Meghan is telling the truth when she said that she had never Googled Harry and didn’t know about the royal family in general. Again, weird things to fib about, but it appears that she did (or there is at least reasonable doubt).
We’re now 6 minutes in. Meghan says that she had no idea what it would be like to be a working royal and what that would look like day to day. This is clearly false. She was dating Prince Harry, who had been working as a senior member of the royal family after leaving his military career in 2015. Harry was doing the day to day work of a working member of the royal family with Will and Kate. The idea that Harry and Meghan went into this having no idea what “the job” would be like is ridiculous.
Next, Meghan says that she met Queen Elizabeth for the first time while at lunch at the Royal Lodge. If you’re unaware, Royal Lodge is the family home of Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of Sussex. Meghan said that she and Harry spent a lot of time at Royal Lodge. This is problematic because a lot of rumours have been put out by Team Sussex about how they were morally disgusted by the BRF, particularly because of its coddling and support of Prince Andrew after he was accused of sexual assault of a minor and solicitation with a convicted pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein. So to hear that Meghan and Harry were on such familiar terms with Andrew and Sarah that they often visited them at their house? It’s pretty problematic. (Granted, it’s not as problematic as being Andrew and Sarah. They are vile people. But if they were so repulsed by them, why were they going to their house all the time?)
Meghan said that Harry asked Meghan if she knew how to curtsy for her first meeting with the Queen. Meghan said, “I thought, genuinely, that was what happens outside. I thought that was part of the fanfare…and that was really the first moment that the penny dropped.” She also said that she had confused the idea of fame, having been raised in LA, with the monarchy, but that those two things are not the same.
Chickens and conversation and a wedding reveal
Oprah went to Harry and Meghan’s nine bedroom mansion the next day and Meghan showed her around the chicken coop. A voiceover told us that the chickens were rescued from a factory. “I love rescuing things,” Meghan said, wearing a jacket and Hunter wellies for undetermined reasons (well, the reasons are to look more British.)
In the chicken coop, talking about “getting back to basics”, Meghan disclosed that three days before their full Windsor wedding, Harry and Meghan “got married” by the Archbishop of Canterbury in their garden at Kensington Palace. She said that they exchanged vows and only she, Harry, and the AoC were there. (This caused a frenzy in the press and on social media – it was later clarified by “sources close to the couple” that Meghan had misspoken and that they did not get legally married until the Windsor ceremony – they just exchanged vows.) Once again, this kind of fib (“We got married” as opposed to “We exchanged our own personal vows privately”) is the kind of thing that drives people crazy. It’s me. I am people. It drives me crazy. We’re only 15 minutes in.
Meghan and Kate -who made who cry
Oprah brought up the rumour that Meghan had made Kate cry during the lead-up to the wedding in May of 2018. Kate had just had Prince Louis a couple of weeks before and tension had been running high. But rather than Meghan admitting that she made Kate cry, she says that the reverse happened – that Kate made HER cry. Oprah and Meghan say that the issue in the story was correct – in the papers it had been reported that there had been tension over something to do with bridesmaid dresses (in America and Canada they are called flower girl dresses, which is what Oprah and Meghan call them in this interview). Meghan said that Kate had become upset but that she had owned it, apologized, and brought Meghan flowers.
Meghan also talked about how she was nice enough to keep this story about Kate to herself so as to not impact Kate’s image in a negative way or upset her. The direct quote was, “I would have never wanted that to come out about her.” Meghan seems not to understand that she was listing reasons why she kept this story quiet 10 seconds after having told Oprah and the entire world about it.
Silent or silenced
Meghan says that it was upsetting to have spent so many years speaking about empowering women and encouraging women to use their voices, and then becoming a member of a family in which she had to be silent. Oprah asks, “Were you silent or were you silenced?” Meghan’s response: “The latter.”
Again, for anyone who has researched the BRF, this is not news. It’s not a matter of gender, either. The purpose of the BRF is to unite the UK and the Commonwealth; therefore, members are generally not allowed to speak their feelings about matters in public. That’s just how it is.
Meghan also said that the family encouraged her not to be seen in public too much because she was “oversaturated”. We’re now 35 minutes in.
Archie’s birth, birthright, and skin colour
Meghan said that her interview with Tom Bradby from the 2019 Africa tour had revealed how lonely and unsupported she felt by the BRF, given that she had been reaching out and asking the institution for help for a long time at that point. It was about a year before the Tom Bradby interview, when Meghan was pregnant with Archie, when she and Harry learned that Archie would not become a prince upon birth or be styled with a His Royal Highness. Meghan says that this was a deviation from BRF protocol – it wasn’t. Only the children of the heir to the throne become HRH and prince/ss at birth, which is why Will and Kate’s kids are Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Archie could have been called Earl of Dumbarton upon birth, but Meghan and Harry chose not to use this title for him. It is clear protocol that Archie, upon Queen Elizabeth’s death and Charles’s ascension to the throne, will become a prince with an HRH style, as will Archie’s (currently unborn) sibling. However, Meghan was angry that the style of HRH and the title of prince would not be given to Archie at birth.
Meghan said in the interview (incorrectly) that only HRHs receive BRF-funded security officers, and that that is why they lobbied so hard for Archie to have the title and style. But Meghan also said that she felt that Archie was entitled to these things and that there was an air of him not receiving them possibly because he is the first person of colour born into the BRF. To be clear, Archie is not entitled to those things. Princess Anne’s children do not have styles or titles. Princess Eugenie’s son does not have a style or a title. Also, Archie is not the first person of colour born into the BRF – Queen Charlotte was likely of African heritage in the 1700s, and had 15 children.
Then, when asked about why they chose not to take a photo of a newborn baby Archie outside the hospital after his birth, Meghan said that no one had asked them to do that, and also that there was no need to do it since he was denied the title of prince (he wasn’t denied the title of prince, he will receive it when his grandfather becomes king). Meghan also said that there was a lot of fear around showing their baby so publicly when they knew he may not be protected due to the lack of security for him (Meghan and Harry both had BRF-funded security at the time).
Meghan launched a grenade into Buckingham Palace by saying that in addition to the talk of security and titles for Archie, that conversations had been happening regarding how dark Archie’s skin would be when he was born. Both Meghan and Harry (in hour two of the interview) refuse to say with whom they had these conversations, but they did say that it was a member of the family, and it was later clarified by Oprah that it was neither Queen Elizabeth nor Prince Philip.
After asking if there had been a breaking point, given that Meghan had said that her time in the BRF had been “almost unsurvivable”, Meghan said that at the time of her pregnancy with Archie, “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.” Meghan said that she went to one of the most senior people in the institution, meaning one of the most senior non-family members, and asked to be sent to a hospital or a place where she could receive help for her depression and thoughts of self-harm (my words – she said that she had fears of thinking about not wanting to live and wanting to act on those thoughts). Meghan said that she was told that, because she is not a paid employee of the British Royal Family, that there was nothing that could be done. She was also told that being checked in to a place to work on her mental health would have sent a bad message if it had gotten out to the press. She said that because nothing was done by the institution, she and Harry became aware that they needed to find another solution, which later led to them leaving the BRF.
Also, Meghan said that she was unable to travel herself to get help because that until she left the BRF, her passport, drivers licence, and keys had been confiscated and that she didn’t know where they were. (This is demonstrably untrue, as evidenced by Meghan travelling all over the globe, which would have required a passport. I am not commenting on her statements about her mental health – just about the passport comment.)
That’s it for now. I’d love to hear what you think about the interview and the worldwide reaction. America seems to be almost 100% supportive of Meghan and Harry; the UK and Commonwealth countries appear to be rallying around Her Majesty, Will, Kate, and the BRF.
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