A monumental moment for Britons and internationals alike, ITV’s ‘Oprah with Meghan and Harry’ sought to put an end to the constant controversies faced by the royal couple on a daily basis. American TV show host Oprah Winfrey sat down with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to address the rumours that have plagued the lives of Harry and Meghan throughout their relationship, including questions of a major fallout between Meghan and Kate and the moment they realised their only option was to leave the Royal Family.
As somebody who has been a major supporter of the Royal Family all my life, this was a much-anticipated moment for myself and my household. The opportunity for Meghan to dispel mistruths about herself that had been bandied about by the media for years was not only catharsis for herself, but also for a nation who had spent four years navigating through a barrage of gossip and claims. Was this going to be a vague, stiff conversation in which ensuring privacy and secrecy was imperative, or was the royal couple ready to risk it all for the stark truth?
One of the critic’s favourite accusations to fire at former ‘Suits’ star Meghan Markle is the assertion that she entered into the 1200-year-old Royal Family lightly and with little thought of what that role entailed. Arguably the first opportunity for shock in this programme was the revelation that although the press claimed that Meghan made the Duchess of Cambridge cry in the lead up to the royal wedding, “the reverse happened.” Meghan said: “I don’t think it’s fair to get into the details of that” as “she is a really good person.” Despite Meghan’s praise, this reveal may challenge the glowing review many Britons award to Princess Kate no matter her intentions.
Before Prince Harry was welcomed to the scene, Meghan continued to disclose information previously kept behind closed Palace doors, this time about her severe struggle with mental health. When Oprah enquired whether she had experienced suicidal thoughts, she confessed “it was very, very clear” and that the help she received in overcoming this was less than minimal. Something that will hopefully resonate with individuals perhaps experiencing the same thing, she said: “It takes so much courage to admit you need help.” Emphasising the place of happiness she has now found herself in, Meghan is living proof that nightmarish experiences can lead to a peaceful future.Embed from Getty Images
The Duke of Sussex’s appearance on the interview was maybe a clearer response to the question of why they felt that to share their side of the story was necessary. His stance, clearly affected by the tragedy of his mother Diana’s death, centred around his fear of “history repeating itself”, even suggesting that Diana “saw it coming.” Heroic Harry made clear his intentions to remove himself and his family from any negative situation they may find themselves in, hence their controversial decision to step back from the Royal Family in early 2020.
Scattered throughout this interview were heart-breaking anecdotes of the issue of Archie’s welfare and status. Host Oprah Winfrey’s face of horror and disappointment as Meghan spoke of “concerns” raised surrounding the colour of their new-born’s skin was echoed by those in my household, as well as the revelation that if Archie was not given a title then security would also not be an option. With the release of this information to the public, we can only hope that changes will be made to the way that the Royal Family protect and are protected.
Some may consider this interview a source of gossip, an opportunity to fire hate and abuse towards other members of the family and a talking point for conspirators up and down the country. However, I don’t see it this way. Without this honest and candid discussion, who knows where the reputation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may have stood for the rest of their lives as they ‘mysteriously’ fled the Royal Family with no explanation. Each one of us has a story to tell, and our right to tell it truthfully and with integrity is a matter that could bring each one of us great peace.