For those familiar with Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry’s relationship, Sunday night was a cultural reset. The couple sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a two-hour CBS special that delved into their relationship with the British monarchy, racism, why they left their full-time royal duties, tabloid fodder, and the media’s calculated attempt to demonize Markle.
“No question was off-limits” with the media mogul who keenly unpacked what Meghan and Harry’s lives have been like for the past four years.
Seated in the garden of a mutual friend’s home in California, Meghan and Harry shared why they left the UK, their relationships with family members (including Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II), and what their lives are like now. “That’s what was really tricky over those past few years, is when the perception and the reality are two very different things,” Meghan told Winfrey. “And you’re being judged on the perception, but you’re living the reality of it.”
On Twitter, viewers reacted to the many bombshells shared by the Duke and Duchess, the most shocking being “several conversations” had about what their son Archie’s skin tone would be. “[There were] concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Meghan shared.
Tweets ranged from confusion over their colorist concerns to reflections on how Meghan’s experience would have been if she had a darker complexion.
There was also discussion around Tyler Perry’s involvement in their move, as he allowed the couple to stay at his home in Los Angeles and use his security upon being cut off by the royal family. “So suddenly it dawned on me, ‘Hang on, the borders could be closed, we’re going to have our security removed, who knows how long lockdown is going to be, the world knows where we are, it’s not safe, it’s not secure, we probably need to get out of here,” Harry said about their move from Canada to the U.S. at the beginning of the pandemic.
Perry’s generosity “gave us breathing room to try to figure out what we were going to do,” Meghan added about the move.
The most startling topic was around Meghan’s mental health and how it was compromised by the media attacks, compounded by “the firm,” as she called the monarchy’s inner-workings, not willing to support her treatment after having suicidal thoughts. “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was very clear and real and frightening,” she shared.
She also shared with Winfrey that she sought help from the firm but was denied because of concern about public perception. This, along with the threat of no security for her and her unborn child, were two of the many reasons the couple left Britain. On social media, people were sadden and shocked by Meghan’s admission — but also proud of her honesty.
Ultimately, the interview sparked dialogue about the British monarchy, colorism, racism, the media, and familial toxicity. While Meghan and Harry live out their new lives, the world is watching and waiting to see how the royal family responds.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text Crisis Text Line at 741-741.