Oprah’s interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
I have always admired the Royal family and wondered what it would be like to be addressed as “Her Royal Highness” and live in Buckingham Palace. I remember watching Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding. It was Saturday, May 19, 2018; I was at work that morning but I tuned into the live feed on my phone because I knew it was a moment I would not want to miss. Markle marrying into the Royal family was so much more exciting for me than when Kate Middleton married Prince William because Markle was the first American to marry into the family; it was like a dream come true. Although, if we are talking about wedding dresses, I did like the Duchess of Cambridge’s lace-detailed gown more.
In an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired on CBS on March 7, Markle and Prince Harry revealed the torture the Firm put them through during the past few years. I was surprised to hear that the Palace refused to provide medical care to the Duchess of Sussex when she was having suicidal thoughts. How would having helped someone in need stained the Firm’s reputation? Literally, the only job of the Royal Family is to set an example for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth by supporting charitable causes and making appearances. They have very little to no political power and are just figure heads – relics of an ancient institution. What kind of example are they setting by ignoring mental health concerns? I have always looked up to the Royal Family for their social work, but refusing medical attention was a selfish act. Expecting Markle to deal with the derogatory tabloid headlines because other Royal Family members had dealt with it was wrong on the Firm’s part. Although, I would assume that the Royal Family has medical staff at the Firm and as a pregnant woman, she would have had to be seeing a physician, so I wonder why she had a difficult time receiving that requested care.
I do not think Markle is lying about the Firm’s treatment of her. If she wasn’t speaking the truth, I do not think she would have revealed all that she has to the world because it would only end up hurting her more in the end. She has already gotten more than enough attention in the media since her marriage with Prince Harry. In fact, the toxic media attention contributed to her mental distress. The Sussexes also revealed the racist conversations that Royal Family members had with Prince Harry regarding Archie’s skin color. In response to this, Buckingham Palace is considering hiring a Diversity Chief. This move reflects the inadvertent confirmation by the Firm of the Sussexes’ claims, confirming that these alleged conversations took place.
“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,” the Palace said in a statement to Fox News. What bothers me from this statement is the “some recollections may vary” part. Who would not remember having that conversation about Archie? You either had that conversation or you did not.
Markle and Prince Harry may not have financial support from the Palace anymore or their status as Senior Royals, but they do have Princess Diana’s endowment and a roughly $20 million inheritance from the Queen Mother. With this large sum of “savings,” I do not see the need for them to complain about their financial situation and emphasize that they have been cut off from Palace finances.
Ultimately it is the Palace’s word over the Sussexes’, but the Sussexes do not have as much to lose — nor much to gain — by airing all of their battles. They were not paid for this interview; they had no incentive to lie. For that reason, I think they are telling the truth. As an institution and figurehead, the Palace is expected to worry more about its reputation. Although I understand this concern of protecting their traditional image in society, they need to be more transparent with their people and keep up with the world around them. Resolving issues behind closed doors, as Prince Albert suggested that the Sussexes do, is not a solid solution in the long run. It clearly hasn’t been doing them any good because problems still persist within the Palace walls and in Royal mindsets. It is a shame that the Palace did not cooperate with Markle and take care of her as they would any blood-related member of the Royal family. I am glad to see them reacting to the situation by hiring a Diversity Chief and acknowledging their flaws to some extent, but I hope they take on a more proactive role in the future and set an appropriate example for people.