Meghan and Harry interview: Racism claims, duke let down by dad, and duchess on Kate

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56316659

Prince Harry and Meghan being interviewed by Oprahimage copyrightHarpo Productions – Joe Pugliese

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s much-anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey has aired in the US – with the couple sharing their side of the story about life in the Royal Family.

The couple spoke about their relationships with other royals, racism and how their mental health suffered.

Meghan spoke with Oprah for most of the interview, before being joined by Prince Harry.

The interview will be aired on ITV on Monday at 21:00 GMT and on ITV Hub.

1. ‘Discussions about how dark Meghan’s baby might be’

One of the biggest allegations from the interview was that there were “several conversations” within the Royal Family about how dark Meghan and Harry’s baby might be.

“In those months when I was pregnant [there were] concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born,” said Meghan.

She said the conversations were with Harry, who relayed them to her. Both she and Harry refused to say which royal said it.

“That conversation, I am never going to share,” said Harry. “At the time it was awkward, I was a bit shocked.”

Harry also said that it hurt him that his family never spoke out about the “colonial undertones” of news headlines and articles.

Meghan, Archie and Harryimage copyrightGetty Images

image captionThe couple’s first child, Archie, was born in May 2019

2. Kate ‘made Meghan cry’ – not the other way around

One story that circulated in the newspapers a few years ago was that the Duchess of Cambridge was left in tears by Meghan in the run-up to the wedding in a row over flower girl dresses.

But Meghan told Oprah the reverse was true.

“A few days before the wedding [Kate] was upset about the flower girl dresses and it made me cry,” Meghan said. She said Kate later apologised and brought flowers and a note to make amends.

“I’m not sharing that piece about Kate to be disparaging about her,” Meghan said. She said Kate was “a good person” and hoped that she would have wanted the false stories corrected.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Women's Singles Final of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Clubimage copyrightGetty Images

image captionThe media “really seemed to want a narrative of a hero and a villain,” said Meghan

3. Meghan said she was on the verge of suicide but was refused help

Meghan spoke about how lonely she felt after joining the Royal Family and the loss of her freedom. “When I joined that family, that was the last time until we came here that I saw my passport, my driver’s licence, my keys, all that gets turned over,” she said.

She said her mental health got so bad that she “didn’t want to be alive any more”.

“I went to the institution and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help, said I had never felt that way before and need to go somewhere, and I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

She said she went to “one of the most senior people” within the institution and then to the palace human resources department. “Nothing was ever done,” she added.

4. Meghan spoke to one of Diana’s friends

Princess Diana’s name came up many times throughout the interview – with similarities drawn between their experiences of being in the Royal Family.

“I didn’t even know who to turn to,” said Meghan, of the time when she was struggling. “One of the people I reached out to who’s continued to be a friend and confidante was one of my husband’s mom’s best friends.

“Because it’s like who else could understand what it’s actually like on the inside?”

5. Harry feels ‘let down’ by Charles

Oprah asked Harry about his relationships with his family and especially with his father, the Prince of Wales, and brother, the Duke of Cambridge.

At one point after stepping back as senior royals, Harry said Charles “stopped taking my calls”.

“I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like and Archie’s his grandson.

“But at the same time, of course I will always love him but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.”

On William, Harry said he loved him to bits and they have been through hell together. “But we were on different paths.”

Prince Harry with Prince Charles at the World Premiere of Netflix's Our Planet at the Natural History Museum, Kensington, in April 2019image copyrightGetty Images

6. But the couple’s relationship with the Queen is good

Harry said he has a “really good” relationship with his grandmother and he has spoken to her more in the last year – including video calls with Archie – than he has for many years.

“She’s my colonel-in-chief, right? She always will be.”

Meghan also praised the Queen and said she gave her some beautiful jewellery for the couple’s first joint engagement together as well as sharing a blanket with her to keep warm while travelling together.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a reception to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace on March 5, 2019 in London, Englandimage copyrightGetty Images

image captionHarry denied ever “blindsiding” the Queen when he stepped down as a senior royal

7. Harry ‘cut off financially’

In the first quarter of 2020, Harry said his family “literally cut me off financially”.

He said the Netflix and Spotify deals that he and Meghan have struck to make shows and podcasts were never part of the plan but “I had to afford security for us”.

“But I’ve got what my mum left me and without that we wouldn’t have been able to do this.”

The couple reveal that, after they were cut off, American billionaire and media mogul Tyler Perry provided Harry and Meghan with a home and security last year when they moved from Canada to southern California.

8. The truth behind a photograph

Meghan said that the evening after she told Harry that she was feeling suicidal, they had to attend an official event at the Royal Albert Hall.

Meghan spoke about a photo that has haunted her because of what it reminded her of.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Cirque du Soleil Premiere Of "TOTEM" at Royal Albert Hall on January 16, 2019 in London, England.image copyrightGetty Images

image caption“You’ve no idea what’s going on for someone behind closed doors,” said the duchess

She said a friend had commented how great the couple looked but she added: “That picture, if you zoom in, what I see is how tightly his knuckles are gripped around mine,” she told Oprah, as she became emotional.

“We are smiling and doing our job but we’re both just trying to hold on. “Every time those lights went down in that royal box, I was just weeping.”

9. Meghan ‘didn’t do any research’ on the Royal Family

Talking about the first time she met the Queen, Meghan said she was surprised to learn she had to curtsy.

She said she thought it was just “part of the fanfare” and didn’t happen inside the Royal Family

She described having to quickly practise curtsying before an impromptu lunch with the Queen. “I said: ‘It’s your grandmother,” said Meghan. “He said: ‘It’s the Queen.'”

Meghan added that she hadn’t done any research on the family before joining – and insisted she had never looked up her husband online while they were dating.

10. They exchanged vows three days before their wedding

Millions of people watched Harry and Meghan tie the knot at Windsor Castle in 2018. That ceremony was when they were legally married – but the couple revealed they also exchanged vows in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before.

Meghan said: “We called the archbishop and we just said, ‘look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world but we want our union between us… just the two of us in our backyard’.”

11. Archie’s favourite phrase is ‘drive safe’

Harry spoke about Archie, and the joy he gets from taking him out on bike rides. The interview included a clip of the toddler playing on the beach with his parents.

The couple joked that his favourite word for the past few weeks has been “hydrate”, and Harry said whenever anyone leaves the house, Archie tells them “drive safe”.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019image copyrightGetty Images

image captionArchie – who will be two years old in May – now says words like palm tree and house, said Harry

12. And… it’s a girl

The couple confirm they’re expecting a baby girl in the summer.

Harry said it was “amazing”, adding: “What more can you ask for?” – but said they would be done after baby number two arrives.

Towards the end of the interview, Oprah asked if Meghan had got her happy ending with Prince Harry after all. “Greater than any fairytale that you’ve ever read,” she said.

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