During a 2 hour CBS special, Oprah Winfrey interviewed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they spoke about the events leading to their split from the royal family last month. Royal concerns regarding son Archie’s ‘skin color’ was a major factor, along with a lack of support regarding Meghan’s mental health.
Questions were raised back in January 2020 as the couple announced they would be taking a step back from their royal obligations on a 12 month review period. Having passed the year, it’s now confirmed both Prince Harry and Meghan have officially split from the family and will not be returning to royal duties.
The couple spoke openly about the treatment over the past several years and claimed there was a “lack of support” from what Meghan describes as “the firm”.
Events leading to Prince Harry and Meghan’s Departure
The primary allegation made by the former Duchess was regarding the colour of son Archies skin, which shocked viewers worldwide. When Oprah asked who made such comments, Markle refused to name, stating it would “be very damaging to them.”
Prince Harry, who was shocked by the comments said, “that conversation, i’m never going to share.”
Reports first unfolded back in 2018, during the lead-up to the globally televised royal wedding which claimed the Duchess of Sussex made Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, cry over a disagreement. Markle has confirmed, in fact, the opposite happened.
The dispute was over the flower girls’ dresses, and comments were made that hurt Markle’s feelings. Concern was then raised as to why the Royal family never corrected the story in public as Markle continued to explain a written apology was made to her by Catherine and that’s why the dispute was never brought up.
Markel then shared her battle with mental health while experiencing suicidal thoughts as she sought help from the family, including one of the most senior members, to get medical treatment.
Markle was told she was not eligible for help from the human resources department as she was a family member and not a paid employee.
The former Duke and Duchess realized the reality of leaving the family was near, due to “a lack of support”.
Markle also claimed her passport, along with her driver’s license and keys, were confiscated when she first joined the family.
When speaking with Oprah, Markle said, “When I joined that family, that was the last time, until we came here, that I saw my passport, my driver’s license, my keys.”
The lack of freedom clearly concerned the former Duchess, adding to her decision to step down as a royal “You couldn’t just go,” she added.
Historian and biographer Robert Lacey, who works as a consultant for Netflix’s awarding series, The Crown, including a biography on Queen Elizabeth II, stated, “Meghan had to hand in her driving license under security rules. If she went out driving on her own, she would not be protected.”
Reports, however, noted that Markel has gone on thirteen trips since joining the family, including a trip with Prince Harry to Lake Como with George Clooney and partying in Amsterdam.
Markle also visited New York for a baby shower upon welcoming son Archie in 2019.
Whether Markle’s claim about not having seen her belongings until moving to California with her husband and son is true, she would have certainly needed to present her passport to at least thirteen countries during her travels.
Prince Harry went on to speak about his relationship with his family, most particularly his Father, Prince Charles “I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar.”
“Of course, I will always love him, but there’s much hurt that’s happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try to heal that relationship,” he added.
However, the Prince reassured he still has a good relationship with his grandmother, the Queen “I’ve spoken more to my grandmother in the last year than I have done for many, many years”.
“My grandmother and I have a good understanding, and I have a deep respect for her,” he added.
The public reaction seems to shift on both sides of whether the couple were right to come out and express their feelings, although going against the Queen’s famous principle “Never Complain, Never Explain.”
Royal Biographer Penny Junor, who has written several books about the royal family, including works on Prince Harry’s parents, Dianna and Charles, stated, “What they have done is a real betrayal.”
“I don’t understand why they spoke to Oprah; I really don’t. They have lobbed this grenade into everything that Harry has known.”
“He may be angry at the moment, and he may be fine for Meghan to do a bit of bloodletting, but ultimately this is his family and his father and brother’s futures. And he has attempted to sabotage that.”
Junior then noted, “This was a mistake, and Harry will regret it.”
After two days of silence, an official statement was released by Buckingham Palace on behalf of her majesty, the Queen.
“The whole family is saddened to hear how challenging the last few years have been for Meghan and Harry.”
“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
“Harry, Meghan, and Archie will always be much-loved family members.”