Sat | Nov 27, 2021

UK royals absorb shock of revealing Harry, Meghan interview

Published:Monday | March 8, 2021 | 9:22 AM
This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Prince Harry (left) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, speaking about expecting their second child during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. "Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special" aired on March 7, 2021, as a two-hour exclusive primetime special on the CBS Television Network. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Britain and its royal family absorbed the tremors Monday from a sensational television interview by Prince Harry and Meghan, in which the couple said they encountered racist attitudes and a lack of support that drove the duchess to thoughts of suicide.

In a two-hour soul-baring interview with Oprah Winfrey, the couple painted a deeply unflattering picture of life inside the royal household, depicting a cold, uncaring institution that they had to flee to save their lives.

Meghan told Winfrey that at one point “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore” and that she had uncontrollable suicidal thoughts.

She said she sought help through the palace’s human resources department but was told there was nothing they could do.

Meghan, 39, admitted that she was naive at the start of her relationship with Harry and unprepared for the strictures of royal life.

The former television star, who identifies as biracial, said that when she was pregnant with son, Archie, there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”

Harry confirmed the conversation, saying: “I was a bit shocked.” He said he would not reveal who made the comment.

The pair, known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced they were quitting royal duties last year, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.

That split became official earlier this year, and the interview was widely seen as their first opportunity to explain their decision.

The implications for the interview — which was broadcast Sunday night in the United States and will air in Britain on Monday night — are only beginning to be understood. Emily Nash, royal editor at Hello! Magazine, said the revelations had left her and many other viewers “shell-shocked.”

“I don’t see how the palace can ignore these allegations, they’re incredibly serious,” she said.

“You have the racism allegations. Then you also have the claim that Megan was not supported, and she sought help even from the HR team within the household and was told that she couldn’t seek help.”

Anti-monarchy group Republic said the interview gave a clearer picture of what the royal family is like — and it’s not pretty.

“Whether for the sake of Britain or for the sake of the younger royals this rotten institution needs to go,” Graham Smith of the campaign group said.

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