Press-Telegram (Long Beach)
Royal pain: Harry, Meghan share conflicts with crown
LOS ANGELES » In a wideranging interview aired Sunday, Harry and Meghan described painful palace discussions about the color of their son’s skin, losing royal protection and the intense pressures that led the Duchess of Sussex to contemplate suicide.
The interview with Oprah Winfrey was the couple’s first since they stepped down from royal duties and the two-hour special included numerous revelations likely to reverberate on both sides of the Atlantic.
Harry told Winfrey that he felt trapped by royal life and was surprised that he was cut off financially and lost his security last year. He also said he felt his family did not support Meghan, who acknowledged her naivete about royal life before marrying Harry, as she endured tabloid attacks and false stories.
Meghan, who is biracial, described that when she was first pregnant with son Archie, there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.” The statement led Winfrey to ask “What?” incredulously and sit in silence for a moment.
In a rare positive moment in the interview, Harry and Meghan revealed their second would be a girl. The interview opened with Winfrey gushing over Meghan’s pregnancy and lamenting that COVID-19 protocols kept them from hugging.
The interview was in the United States a full day before it will air in Britain. The revelations aren’t over: Winfrey teased additional bits of the interview would be shown Monday morning on CBS.
In response to a question from Winfrey, Harry said he wouldn’t have left royal life if not for his wife, the actor formerly known as Meghan Markle who starred in the TV drama “Suits.” He said their relationship revealed the strictures of royal life.
“I wouldn’t have been able to, because I myself was trapped,” Harry said. “I didn’t see a way out.
“I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped,” Harry said, before adding, “My father and my brother, they are trapped.”
Harry acknowledged that he does not have a close relationship presently with his brother William, who is heir to the throne after their father, Prince Charles.
Winfrey at various points in the interview ran through headlines about Meghan and at one point asked about the mental health impact. Meghan responded that she experienced suicidal thoughts and had sought help through the palace’s human resources department, but was told there was nothing they could do.
“I was really ashamed to say it at the time and a shame to have to admit it to
Harry, especially because I know how much loss he suffered,” she said. “But I knew that if I didn’t say it that I would do it. And I just didn’t, I just didn’ t want to be alive anymore.”
Meghan said she grew concerned about her son not having a royal title because it meant he wouldn’t be provided security.
Meghan said processing everything while pregnant was “very hard.”
Meghan also said it was hard for her to understand why there were concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin color. She said it was hard for her to “compartmentalize” those conversations.
The couple married in May 2018, and their son, Archie, was born a year later. Harry and Meghan’s departure from royal duties began in March 2020.