Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. File/Reuters
Gulf Today Report
A two-hour TV special in which Oprah Winfrey interviewed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delivered a number of bombshell revelations that have been described as “devastating” and approaching “worst-case scenario territory” for Buckingham Palace.
Meghan revealed that she had suffered from suicidal thoughts and that the palace did not help her when asked. She cleared up a number of rumours regarding her relationship with other royals, calling the Queen “wonderful” and saying that the whole family had been very welcoming.
In a segment that caused Oprah’s jaw to drop, Meghan said that concerned conversations were had about how dark her child’s skin would be when she was pregnant. Part of the breakdown in relations with the palace appeared to stem from the fact that because Archie was not a prince, he wouldn’t receive protection. The couple revealed their second child, due in the summer, is a girl.
Harry spoke about the other members of the royal family saying that he remains close with the Queen, hopes time will help heal his relationship with his brother, and that for a while Prince Charles would not take his calls. He said that he feels “let down” by his father.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have revealed there were “concerns” raised during Meghan’s pregnancy about “how dark” their baby’s skin might be.
Speaking during a no-holds-barred interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired on CBS on Sunday night, Meghan said she was concerned about a number of issues that concerned the future of her unborn child, according to the Independent.
“In those months when I was pregnant ... we have in tandem the conversation of ‘He won’t be given security. He’s not going to be given a title,’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” she said during the interview.
Oprah asked:“Who is having that conversation?”
“That was relayed to me from Harry from conversations that family had with him,” Meghan replied.
The Duchess said she was baffled by this alleged side-lining of her future child in the royal hierarchy, and the risk a lack of security could put them in.
“We haven’t created this monster machine around us in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder,” Meghan said. “We’ve allowed that to happen, which means our son needs to be safe.”
Joining Meghan and Oprah after the first hour of the interview, Prince Harry also said he had been aware of conversations about the colour of his child’s skin.
That conversation I am never going to share ... but at the time it was awkward, I was in shock,” Harry said.
The Prince refused to be drawn on the matter further, telling Oprah he was not comfortable sharing what the question was but said it concerned what their children would look like.
Palace staff seized Meghan's passport, keys and driving licence
Meghan Markle has revealed that she was left suicidal and palace staff ignored pleas for help after seizing her keys and passport.
Meghan told Oprah Winfrey that while in the royal family she had “methodical” thoughts about taking her own life, but that when she approached senior officials to get help she was told it would not be good optics.
She then explained that the royal family had taken her passport, her keys and her driving licence when she married Harry, and she felt she could not get help on her own.
Prince Harry (left) with Meghan speaks about expecting their second child during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. AP
Meghan says she then reached out to a friend of Diana’s to talk to.
“Yes, this was very clear and very scary. I did not know who to turn to. One of the people I reached out to, who has been a friend and a confidante, was one of Diana’s best friends. Who else could understand what it is actually like on the inside,” said Meghan.
Meghan said that one one occasion she and Harry were due at an event at the Royal Albert hall and he told her she did not have to go with him.
“He said don’t go, and I said I can’t be left alone,” she said.
She then said that when the lights went down at the event she sat in the dark and wept, while Harry held her hand to get her through it.
An emotional Meghan told Oprah that her time in Buckingham Palace was a reason why people should always be kind, as it is hard to know what others are going through behind closed doors.
Oprah later asked Harry how he had felt when Meghan had told him she felt suicidal, and he admitted he was “ashamed” of admitting it to his family.
“I had no idea what to do. I was terrified, I was not prepared for that, I went to a dark place as well,” said Harry.
“I wanted to be there for her, I was terrified.”
Oprah then asked Harry if he had talked to the royal family about Meghan’s mental health situation.
“No, that was not a conversation that would be had. I guess I was ashamed of admitting it to them. I don’t know whether they’ve had the same feelings or thoughts. It is a very trapping environment they are stuck in,” he said.
The family have a mentality of, ‘This is how it is, you can’t change it, we’ve all been through it.’ But what was different here was the race element. That triggered the conversations with my family and palace staff where I said: ‘This is not going to end well.’”
Harry then said that it “hurts” his family never spoke out publicly in support of Meghan, but he is “acutely aware of how scared they are of the tabloids turning on them.”
“There were some real obvious signs before we got married, that this was going to be really hard,” he said.
During the interview, Meghan also suggested that the couple hadn’t, as some had reported, decided to avoid a royal photo opportunity after their son Archie was born, but rather the couple were not asked to take a picture. Even if it had gone forward, Meghan said she was worried for his safety, according to The Independent.
“We weren’t asked to take a picture. That’s also part of the spin,” she told Oprah. “There was a lot of fear surrounding it. I was very scared of having to offer up our baby, knowing they weren’t going to be kept safe.”
The Independent has reached out to the royal family for comment about these allegations.
Oprah reacted with shock to the description of what Meghan said she had heard, and asked what she acknowledged was a “loaded question”: did she think her child would be treated differently if he didn’t have a biracial parent? Meghan has an African-American mother and a white father.
Meghan said she “wasn’t able to follow up” on why those conversations were happening about her future child, but acknowledged that discrimination was a reasonable inference.
Much of the information came to her second-hand, Meghan said, “relayed to me from Harry”, following conversations within the “family”.
Asked who exactly it was having these conversations, the Duchess replied that she wouldn’t reveal their identity, saying it “would be very damaging to them”.
Continuing to speak on the issue of bias, Harry acknowledged that he hadn’t always been aware of it.
“I’ve spent many years doing the work and doing my own learning,” he said. “But then my upbringing and the system, in which I was brought up in, and what I’ve been exposed to, I wasn’t aware of it to start with. But my God, it doesn’t take very long to suddenly become aware of it.”
The Duchess is currently pregnant with her and Prince Harry's second child, whom the couple have confirmed is a girl.
“I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar. He knows what the pain feels like,” Harry said of his father. “I will always love him but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened.”
Harry described feeling "really let down" by his father Prince Charles, who had stopped taking his phone calls for a time. Both Charles — the queen's heir — and Harry's elder brother William were "trapped" by the conventions of the monarchy, he said.
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