By Dveen Hagopian
A recent interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey, in which she sat down with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to discuss their experiences within the British monarchy, has sparked lots of outrage and controversy across the globe. During the interview, Harry and Meghan revealed some deeply concerning conversations and scenarios that they experienced during their time as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The most disturbing of these occurrences is the conversation between Prince Harry and an unknown member of the royal family, in which he was questioned about what his son’s skin color would look like, and what that potentially meant for the royal family.
“In those months when I was pregnant…[there were] concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Meghan explained to Oprah during the interview, referring to her first pregnancy with her son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
As many people know, Meghan is mixed-race. Her mother is African-American and her father is white. When she first married into the royal family in 2018, the former Duchess of Sussex faced an extremely troubling amount of racism from the public, and it has now become clear that she also experienced racism and microaggressions directly from the royal family itself.
This bombshell has understandably caused an uproar of shock and anger amongst varying communities, and has reiterated the fact that no one ever truly knows what goes on in the royal family behind closed doors.
Meghan also opened up about her struggle with depression, which developed soon after she married into the family. She stated that, at her lowest point, she contemplated suicide and required professional help, help that she was refused by the royal family.
The interview was heavily criticized, especially by the British press. A review in the Daily Telegraph said, for example, “Sussexes deliver enough bombshells to sink a flotilla.” An ITV broadcaster said, “Harry and Meghan loaded up a plan and dropped bomb after heavy bomb on Buckingham Palace in their Oprah interview.” There were many examples painting the couple as an invading army.
The interview not only created outrage due to the fact that it shed some light on the issues that Meghan and Harry faced, but it also reminded the public of some of the royal family’s past scandals.
For instance, it is widely known that Princess Diana was poorly treated by her ex-husband, Prince Charles, as well as most of the other members of the royal family.
In her own tell-all, Diana admitted to self-harm after suffering postpartum depression and struggling to cope with the stress of being in the royal family. Diana also expressed not receiving support from the family.
Many are now also bringing up the family’s history of antisemitism in the aftermath of the interview. Both Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Phillip have been tied to disturbing claims of antisemitism in the past, especially Prince Phillip whose older sisters both married Nazis.
It is clear that the royal family clings to old customs and traditions, however with that comes the preservation of both old-fashioned and extremely restrictive views and mindsets. A monarchy, by definition, sets one group above the rest. There is no possibility of equality in a system that guarantees that one family receives grants, palaces, and special protection. This system argues that some people are born different and better than others.
Meghan and Harry’s interview illustrates the lengths to which the royal family will go to keep up this pretense.