Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview points to big issues within the monarchy


Photo courtesy of Instagram @voguemagazine

Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on March 7

It’s no doubt that the Royal Family follows a tradition consisting of order, reputation and privacy. After Meghan Markle spoke out on March 7 in a 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey about her decision to leave the family, disclosing that they dismissed her thoughts of suicide, revoked her family’s security and perpetuated racism, it not only revealed that the Crown values a system of self-image over humanity, but that immediate changes need to be made within the institution. 

Meghan Markle discussed how the British media’s targeted attacks against her and her family made her “not want to be alive anymore.” After speaking about her struggles with mental health, Meghan revealed that when she approached a senior member of the family they rejected her treatment requests. 

After the interview, many people began highlighting the parallels between Meghan Markle and Harry’s mother, Princess Diana. Similar to Meghan, Diana spoke out in an interview that took place in 1995, just three years before her tragic death. In the interview, Diana opened up about her struggles with depression, bulimia and her unhappiness with her marriage, stating “I was constantly tired, exhausted, because the pressure was just, it was so cruel.” When Diana stepped down from the family and divorced Prince Charles, she lost her royal title along with her security.

We can respect that the Royal Family values privacy and preserving tradition, but this goes beyond that. Carelessly prioritizing reputation over mental health and safety is inexcusable. The tabloids quite literally killed Diana, and Meghan’s frustration with the institution’s negligence towards her deteriorating mental health is evidence that the British Crown didn’t learn its lesson, despite Diana’s tragic death.

With both Diana and Meghan, the monarchy actively worked to make these vulnerable women feel like outsiders and stood idly by as the press painted them as manipulators. At this point, it seems fair to conclude that the Royal Family doesn’t just lack an understanding of the concept of family, but has a serious problem with humanity. 

The major difference between Diana and Meghan’s experiences is the issue of race. As soon as Meghan and Harry publicized their long-term relationship, the media took to questioning her ethnicity, character and family history. Since then, there has been a repeated focus on her clothing choices and an extensive list of fabricated stories about her cruelty towards staff and family members. 

One of the most shocking moments of the interview was when Meghan shared that an upper member of the family expressed their concerns to Harry about “how dark” their son Archie would be when he was born. On Mar. 9, Buckingham Palace issued a statement in response to these claims, stating that “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” and that the situation would be dealt with “privately.”

The insincerity in this statement is disturbing and based on the contents of the interview, the Royal Family was not only aware of Meghan’s suffering, but was oftentimes the cause of it. Additionally, their decision to deal with the situation out of the public eye is part of the problem. It allows them to escape responsibility and avoid taking any real action, which leaves the opportunity open for history to repeat itself. 

The Royal Family has had more than a decade to reflect upon two realities of Princess Diana’s life and death. The first is that her struggles with her mental and physical health were prolonged and worsened by the Royal Family’s dismissal of her feelings and commitment to privacy. The second is that her death was a direct consequence of the removal of security after she lost her title. However, they’ve decided to ignorantly repeat the same actions that they took over 20 years ago by removing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s security, as well as denying Meghan proper treatment and support. Luckily, unlike Prince Charles, Harry appears to have Meghan’s best interest at heart and has already gone to great lengths to defend her. 

With this interview, the true colors of the Crown have come through, and they’re proof that the monarchy needs to trade in their traditional values for a system of humanity and transparency.