The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s explosive Oprah Winfrey interview was significant for many reasons – and one of them was the number of times Prince Harry’s mum, Princess Diana, was mentioned.
The Duchess said she spoke to one of Diana’s friends about the pressures of joining the Royal Family, “because it’s like who else could understand what it’s actually like on the inside?”
Similarities were drawn between their experiences of being in the Royal Family.
Prince Harry said he had feared history was “repeating itself” before he and Meghan stepped back from their roles as senior royals.
Traditionally the Palace protects the family by drawing a curtain between the public, formal stuff and the personal stuff; its refusal to comment on the personal is a strategic interpretation of the family’s maxim – “never explain, never complain”.
The public/personal divide has always been an artifice. Royals get married in front of tens of millions of people, have state funerals, release photos on birthdays and anniversaries, exchange insights into their lives in return for easy-going and generous coverage.
But the divide, however often disregarded, remains the guiding principle of the family’s formal relationship with the outside world. Now the contradictions that spring from the mix of personal and public are playing out.
Harry Cole from the Sun says Britain has been portrayed as an “unwelcoming and racist country” in the wake of Harry and Meghan’s interview. He asks the prime minister whether that has “damaged this nation” and if he believes that “the Royal Family, Queen aside, is racist”.
The PM says: “I congratulate you on your very determined attempt to involve me in this story more than I’ve said already.
“But I really think that when it comes to matters to do with the Royal Family, the right thing for prime ministers to say is nothing – and nothing is the thing I propose to say today about that particular matter.”
As America digests last night’s revelations from Prince Harry and Meghan, Oprah Winfrey has appeared on CBS This Morning to show unseen footage which didn’t make the two-hour interview.
Here’s what we learnt from the new clips:
It was not the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh who made remarks about what colour Archie’s skin would be.
Meghan says she doesn’t know her half-sister Samantha who wrote a “tell-all” book about her. Meghan says she had seen her twice in the last 30 years and Samantha only changed her name back to Markle when she started dating Harry.
When Meghan joined the Royal Family in 2018 she was told ‘it would be best if you could be 50% less’, Winfrey says.
Meghan says she felt “betrayal” when she found out her father Thomas Markle was “working with the tabloids”.
Meghan says the Duchess of Cambridge’s treatment by the media was “rude” but what she experienced was “racist”.
Winfrey says the relationship between Meghan and her father was similar to that of Prince Harry and Prince William. But Harry says he will “always be there” for his brother. -BBC