It’s the fairytale that every girl of my generation grew up with: the prince falling for the cool, independent ‘just like us’ woman in jeans, and then going on to marry her against all the odds, writes Radhika Sanghani.
For millennials like myself, fed on a diet of Disney movies followed by The Princess Diaries and The Prince & Me, not to mention The Prince & Me 2, Harry and Meghan’s story was the fairytale we already knew off by heart.
And most of us were already predisposed to Team Meghan. As a strong, black, independent woman who’d carved out a successful career of her own before even meeting Harry, she was everything we admired.
It seemed like no matter what, Meghan could never win. Her Grenfell charity cookbook was claimed to have ‘terrorist’ links, her (and our) love of avocados was blamed for mass murder, and every time Harry expressed a slightly woke opinion, she was accused of the sexist and insulting crime of making him her puppet.
When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were leaving the Royal family, to create their own Happy Ever After, it was not a surprise. If anything, it was the perfect 21st century fairytale ending.
Why there’s no way back for Meghan, Harry and the Royal family
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah has raised questions about what it is the couple might have achieved with their revelations, according to The Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey.
“It was probably the most astonishing royal interview I have ever seen in my life”, says Camilla Tominey. In the two-hour interview broadcast in the United States, the Duchess of Sussex revealed she had suicidal thoughts as a senior member of the Royal family and that there were “concerns” about Archie’s skin colour before he was born.
But according to Camilla Tominey, the tell-all interview failed to reveal what was behind the couple’s unhappiness. “What has [the interview] achieved, apart from saying stuff that can’t be undone?”, she added.
The Duke of Sussex said he was suddenly told the Queen was too “busy” for him to visit her in the days before he and his wife released their shock statement saying they intended to step down as working royals, Gareth Davies reports.
Harry said his grandmother had told him to come and see her at Sandringham after he and Meghan arrived back in the UK from Canada in January 2020.
He said it made him “really sad” that some of the advice which he says the Queen as head of The Firm – the name by which the royal family is sometimes known – had received “has been really bad”.
The Sussexes released their statement on January 8 2020, saying they intended to step down and become financially independent, but still support the Queen – a dual role which in the end was unworkable.
In a previously-unseen clip from the interview, Harry said the contents of that statement had been put in a letter “to the institution, to my father, which was then shared at the end of December while we were in Canada”.
He said the Queen had already invited them to spend time with her at the estate in Norfolk, but that plans then changed.
Prince Harry and William to reunite at unveiling of Diana statue
The Duke of Sussex is determined to stand shoulder to shoulder with his brother at the unveiling of a statue of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, whatever the fallout from his Oprah appearance, writes Victoria Ward.
Prince Harry hopes that the brothers can present a united front at Kensington Palace on July 1, which would have been the Princess’s 60th birthday, in an attempt to move past their rift.
A source close to Prince Harry insisted that whatever had been said and done, he desperately hoped to attend the event and considered it a priority.
There is more uncertainty about whether the Duke might make it back to the UK for earlier events, such as Trooping the Colour on June 12 or the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday on June 10.
Despite the explosive nature of the revelations made to Ms Winfrey, the Sussexes consider the interview their last word on the subject and want to move on.
New Zealand ‘not likely’ to become a republic in wake of Harry and Meghan interview, says Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand’s prime minister says the country is “not likely” to become a republic in the wake of Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview, as Commonwealth countries face calls for the removal of the Queen as Head of State.
Jacinda Ardern was asked whether the unflattering picture of the British royal family painted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had given her pause about New Zealand’s constitutional ties to Britain.
“I’ve said before that I’ve not sensed an appetite from New Zealanders for significant change in our constitutional arrangements, and I don’t expect that’s likely to change quickly,” she said.
New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with The Queen as Sovereign.
But discontent is bubbling elsewhere – #AbolishTheMonarchy was trending on Twitter on Monday morning.
Are there more bombshells to come from still-unseen portions of the Harry and Meghan interview?
Two hours of the interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex failed to make it into the final edit, raising the prospect of further explosive revelations being drip fed by US television.
It has emerged that Oprah Winfrey interviewed first the Duchess of Sussex and then jointly with Prince Harry over the course of three hours and 20 minutes.
However, only one hour and 25 minutes made it into the prime time programme broadcast on the US network CBS on Sunday night, and repeated tonight on ITV for a fee of £1 million. A few further clips were shown on CBS’s breakfast programme hosted by one of Oprah’s closest friends.
Ms Winfrey has now disclosed details of how the interview came about – a three-year odyssey that culminated in the ‘bombshell’ interview of the decade that has wreaked havoc on the House of Windsor.
‘Americans were always Team Royal – but it’s clear times have changed’
When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex left Britain last March it was the Duchess of Cornwall who pointedly commented: “Our loss is America’s gain”, recalls Katie Nicholl.
For Britons, who have held Prince Harry in their hearts ever since he walked behind his mother’s coffin as a child, it was a sad moment. But across the pond there was excitement as America celebrated bagging “the fun prince” and his glamorous American wife. It was the ultimate homecoming and after their interview with Oprah, it’s clear that the couple now have the support of the American public – which is Team Sussex all the way.
The couple agreed to sit down with Oprah to tell “their truth” – but the knock-on effect extends well beyond family relations and tells us an important story about the growing transatlantic divide.
In Britain, where the Sussexes’ popularity has plummeted according to recent polls, the Duchess’s decision to publicly air her grievances has been largely perceived as insensitive to the Queen, given the Duke of Edinburgh is in hospital recovering from heart surgery.
In the States, however, the Royal Family’s popularity had nosedived in the run up to the interview, and after Sunday’s screening it appears to have hit an all-time low. There are even calls for the monarchy to be abolished.
How plans to slim down monarchy have spiralled into racism row
By raising the spectre of racism, Prince Harry and Meghan have pressed on a sore that has long been one of the Royal family’s weaknesses, writes Gordon Rayner.
For a monarch determined to slim down and modernise the Royal family for the 21st century, the Queen’s decision not to give her great-grandson Archie the title of prince made perfect sense.
Following controversy over the roles and publicly funded privilege of minor members of The Firm, the Queen and the Prince of Wales had already decided to shift the focus to Her Majesty and just six others.
What they could not have predicted was that two years later, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would try to weave that perceived snub into a new narrative – one of racism at the heart of the House of Windsor.
“They didn’t want him to be a prince,” the Duchess told Oprah Winfrey, “which would be different from protocol … we have in tandem the conversation of, ‘He won’t be given security. He’s not going to be given a title.’ And also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
Harry and Meghan leaving Royal family was foreseen by Diana, claims Duke
Prince Harry has revealed that he was financially able to step back from the Royal family because his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales left him an inheritance, our US correspondent Josie Ensor reports.
The Duke told Oprah Winfrey: “I think she saw it coming” as he revealed he was now living off money left to him by his late mother after he was “cut off financially” early last year when he and the Duchess moved to the US.
“I have what my mum left me and without that we wouldn’t have been able to do this,” he said of his new life in Los Angeles. “It’s like she saw it coming and she’s been with us through this whole process.”
The princes were left about £6.5 million each when their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, died 23 years ago. The sum was invested and gathered substantial interest, so Prince Harry inherited around £10 million on his 30th birthday.
Eccentrics, exiles, inventors, hippies, criminals: for more than 150 years, all have come to California seeking a new life in a place where their old world can’t touch them.
And, as we found out in Oprah’s two-hour interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, royals can do the same.
While the programme was full of accusations and revelations, in the background we also learned a lot about the life the Sussexes have established with their son Archie in the upscale seaside town of Montecito.
In particular, we saw a different side of Prince Harry, roughly 4,700 miles away from his royal duties and more than 6,800 from his service guiding in air strikes and piloting attack helicopters for the British Army Air Corps.
‘Kate made me cry’, says Meghan about row over bridesmaids’ dresses
The Duchess of Sussex claimed during her interview with Oprah Winfrey that the Duchess of Cambridge made her cry during wedding planning – not the other way round as had been reported, writes Josie Ensor.
Megan Markle said in a blockbuster interview that The Duchess of Cambridge made her cry during a discussion about the bridesmaid outfit that her daughter, Princess Charlotte, would wear.
The incident was first reported in The Telegraph which claimed that there had been a “row” over whether the young bridesmaids should wear tights for the Sussexes’ wedding in 2018.
The Duchess of Cambridge felt that they should, saying it was protocol, while the Duchess of Sussex reportedly did not want them to. In a rare statement, Kensington Palace denied the claims at the time.
New videos reveal Queen and Philip did not make racist Archie comments
The Queen and Prince Philip have been ruled out after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex claimed a senior member of the Royal family made racist comments about their unborn son.
In a series of new, unseen videos that have appeared in the aftermath of Prince Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview with US television host Oprah Winfrey, even more extraordinary claims have been made.
They include the fact the Sussexes left the UK in part due to racism, that Meghan believes her father betrayed her and the Queen being too busy to meet Prince Harry.
Prince Harry and Meghan’s ‘secret wedding’ an exchange of vows and not legal ceremony
The Duke and Duchess’s “secret wedding” was an exchange of vows, and not a legal ceremony as they claimed.
Prince Harry and Meghan suggested that they were married in their back garden by the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before their fairytale wedding.
In her interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey, the Duchess said the wedding at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, 2018 was a “spectacle for the world”.
However, the couple claimed that they decided to have their own private moment and married in their garden days before.
After the airing of the controversial interview on American network CBS last night, sources within both the Church of England and those working for the Sussexes moved to clarify that the vows presided over by the Most Rev Justin Welby in the garden did not constitute a legal marriage.
Instead, the “marriage” was merely a personal and private exchange of vows between the couple.
The 10 key moments that led to Sussexes split from The Firm
May 16, 2018: Harry and Meghan were secretly married in their back garden by the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before the wedding ceremony.
May 19, 2018: Harry and Meghan got married publicly in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in a “spectacle for the world”.
October 15, 2018: Harry and Meghan landed in Sydney ahead of their official royal tour of Australia, covering 76 engagements in 16 days.
November 2018: Multiple allegations that Meghan left the Duchess of Cambridge in tears in an incident before the Sussexes’ wedding were reported by this newspaper. Meghan now claims Kate made her cry.
January 16, 2019: Meghan attended a show at the Royal Albert Hall while pregnant. She said she is still “haunted” by pictures of her and Harry at the event and was “weeping” every time the lights went down.
January 29, 2019: An online story was published about Meghan eating avocados which said the fruit was linked to “water shortages, illegal deforestation and environmental devastation”.
January 8, 2020: Meghan and Harry announced – via Instagram – their decision to “step back as ‘senior’ members” of the Royal Family.
January 18, 2020: An agreement was reached that the couple would no longer be working royals, following a summit five days earlier.
March 2020: Meghan and Harry permanently moved into their new home in Los Angeles after they had lived in Canada for a few weeks.
February 19, 2021: Meghan and Harry will not return as working members of the Royal Family, Buckingham Palace confirmed.
Meghan told to be ’50pc of herself’, Oprah recalls
Oprah Winfrey also recalled a conversation she had with Meghan when she first approached her in 2018 and said: “She had just joined the Royal family and she shared a conversation with me then that made me feel somewhat disheartened.
“She said she had been told, been given advice, that it would be best if she could be 50% less than she was. That was the quote, if she could be 50% less.
“I remember hearing that in 2018 and I said to her, ‘I don’t know how you’re going to survive, being half of yourself’.”
CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King also clarified: “They were not paid for the interview and it was not at my house!”
Winfrey added: “It was filmed at a friend’s house, I’m not going to disclose the friend, I don’t want people going to try to find the friend, I have friends.”
Oprah, Harry and Meghan to have debrief later today
Asked how the couple is feeling today, Oprah Winfrey said: “I haven’t really spoken to them since the interview because we are in different time zones.
“I got a text from Meghan yesterday saying ‘How is it going?’ because she was putting Archie to bed waiting on the west coast feed and had no idea what was happening on the east coast. I said ‘I don’t either but from what I can tell it’s going well, I know it’s airing.’
“I will probably have a conversation with them later on today.”
Oprah compares Meghan-Thomas Markle relationship to Harry-William
Asked by CBS This Morning if Oprah Winfrey thought Meghan was open to repairing the relationship with her father, Winfrey said: “I didn’t pursue that conversation. From what I gathered the relationship with her father is similar to what is happening with Prince Harry and Prince William, there is distance there and maybe with time things will get better but for now, no.”
The TV star also discussed Harry’s relationship with the Prince of Wales and said: “I was surprised he was open and vulnerable because we could feel his pain when he was speaking about his father.
“When he talked about 72 Members of Parliament stood up and none of his family did and that hurts, I could feel he really deeply meant that.
“You can feel his sadness and I think what he said in the interview last night on continuing to mend that relationship is what he intends to do but it is very sad.”
Did Meghan’s father ‘betray’ her, Duchess is asked
Meghan said there was an “obsession” with anything in her world including tracking down her parents.
She said: “I did everything I could to protect both of them in that media frenzy for over a year”.
Asked if it felt like “betrayal” when she found out her father Thomas Markle was “working with the tabloids”, Meghan said: “I’m just trying to decide if I’m comfortable even talking about that.”
She said of the story which came out just before she and Harry got married: “We called my dad and I asked him and he said ‘no, absolutely not’ and I said you know the institution has never intervened for anything for us but they can try to go in and kill this story, but if they do this once we’re not going to be able to use that same leverage to protect our own kids one day.”
Meghan said she had said to her father: “‘I just need you to tell me and if you tell me the truth we can help’. And he wasn’t able to do that, and that for me has really resonated, especially now as a mother.”
Winfrey said: “Not being willing to protect you?”
Meghan said: “And also me saying just full stop ‘if we use this to protect you we won’t be able to protect our own children one day, I’m talking about your grandchildren’.
“I look at Archie, I think about this child, and I genuinely can’t imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child. I can’t imagine it, so it’s hard for me to reconcile that.”
Asked about his accountability for his actions, she added: “Everyone has accountability. They (tabloids) hunted my mum down and you’ve never heard her say a word.”
Boris Johnson has made clear in the past that there is “no place in society” for racism, No 10 has said in the wake of the explosive Harry and Meghan interview, writes our Deputy Political Editor Lucy Fisher.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed Mr Johnson has not seen the interview yet, but said he has “spoken about racism previously, and about the fact that there is no place in society for it whatsoever”.
An indication was given that Mr Johnson is likely to respond to questions about it at a Downing Street press conference this afternoon.
Speaking to reporters at a Westminster briefing, the PM’s spokesman said: “It’s completely a matter for you what you guys ask him, but on issues such as this, I think it’s fair for the Prime Minister to respond to any such questions himself.” The spokesman sidestepped the question about whether Mr Johnson would agree with children’s minister Vicky Ford that it is unacceptable to ask about the skin colour of an unborn child.
‘There’s a difference between privacy and intrusion’, insists Oprah
Discussing the Sussexes’ bid for privacy, Oprah Winfrey said: “There is a difference between privacy and intrusion and being able to have boundaries.
“Yes you want privacy. You don’t want helicopters and people hiding in the bushes filming your baby outside playing.
“I think when people say ‘Oh they are talking now but they wanted privacy’ they don’t understand there is a difference between being a public figure who wants to have some boundaries and not be consistently intruded upon versus being private.”
Racism allegations and suicidal thoughts most striking, says Oprah
Appearing on CBS This Morning, Oprah Winfrey said her two biggest surprises during the interview came when the Duchess discussed her suicidal thoughts and the conversations about Archie’s skin colour, writes Rozina Sabur in Washington.
She clarified: “I was surprised that they were telling me about it” rather than shocked that the conversations on race had taken place.
Oprah Winfrey: ‘I wanted to ask Harry and Meghan why they left’
Oprah Winfrey said the full interview was three hours and 20 minutes long and was edited down to one hour and 25 minutes for the US broadcast, and the most important question she wanted to answer was “why did they leave?”
She added: “The stories about blindsiding the Queen were very damaging to them and hurtful to them, there had clearly been months and months of preparation before they moved to Canada.”
She also referred to a statement released by the Queen on Jan 18 which said their decision to leave followed “many months of conversation and more recent discussion”.
Winfrey added: “The Queen on Jan 18 actually said that there had been months of conversation but in spite of that there were still all those stories about blindsiding.”
In another clip, Harry said he had been suddenly told he was no longer invited to spend time with the Queen at Sandringham in January 2020.
Harry said the Queen had told him to come and see her there after he and Meghan arrived back in the UK from Canada.
He said: “My grandmother had said ‘the moment you land, come up to Sandringham, we’d love to have a chat, come for tea, why don’t you stay for dinner because it’s going to be a long drive and you’re going to be exhausted?”‘
He said “the moment we landed in the UK” he got a message from his private secretary at the time, passing on a message from the Queen’s private secretary.
He said it was “basically saying ‘please pass on to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that he cannot come to Norfolk. The Queen is busy, she’s busy all week’.”
Oprah said: “After she’d just invited to you?”
Harry replied: “She’d just invited me.’The Queen is busy, she’s busy all week, do not come up here’.”
In January 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan announced plans to step back as senior members of the Royal family. In this exclusive clip, they tell @Oprah they were then invited to spend time with his grandmother, the Queen, but the plans abruptly changed citing she’s “busy all week.” pic.twitter.com/dLhq0SAgfN
Watch: The engagement immediately after Meghan told Harry of suicidal thoughts
The Duchess said she had struggled to admit her suicidal feelings to her husband. “I was ashamed to have to admit it to Harry, especially, because I know how much loss he’s suffered,” she said.
Meghan dabbed away tears as she said she eventually told him just hours before they attended the premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s Totem in January 2019 (you can see their appearance below), when she was around five months pregnant.
She said the Duke had told her he did not think she should attend the engagement but that she was so concerned for her own welfare that she told him she could not be left alone.
“It takes so much courage to admit you need help,” she said, “to admit how dark of a place you are in.”
Charles Anson, who was the Queen’s press secretary for seven years from 1990 to 1997, said the interview was “very significant”.
Asked about the claims that Meghan did not get help from within the Royal family when she expressed suicidal thoughts, he said: “There is a medical household and I remember it being very responsive both to members of staff and the Queen and her family.
“In my experience – seven years – nearly everybody wanted to do the best they could for their principals – about programmes, security and life.
The Duchess of Sussex has suggested it was her son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s “birthright” to be a prince and the decision not to give him a title went against convention.
She expressed her shock at being told he would not get security and the idea of him “not being safe”, and said she wanted him to have the title so he could have police protection.
Meghan also suggested that the decision was taken because of Archie’s race.
The duchess shared her upset at the “idea of the first member of colour in this family, not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be”. “It’s not their right to take it away,” she added.
Oprah Winfrey asked in the televised tell-all: “Do you think it’s because of his race? I know that’s a loaded question.”
Meghan replied: “In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we (had) the conversation of he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title. And also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
But Archie was not entitled to be a prince because of rules set down by King George V more than 100 years ago. And being a prince or princess does not automatically mean royals have police protection.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie’s security is no longer paid for by the taxpayer.
Body language expert: Harry’s ‘anger and resentment’ towards his father
The Duke of Sussex’s body language during the bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey showed “anger” and “resentment” towards his father, an expert said.
Harry accused the Prince of Wales of refusing to take his calls as he went public with his grievances about the Royal family. He revealed he and his father are estranged, adding: “I feel really let down.”
Author and body language expert Judi James said that while Harry showed “love” when discussing his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, he was “comprehensively” negative when it came to Charles.
“I think specifically what emerged was his anger about his father,” she said. “He spoke with affection about the Queen, he spoke with love for his brother, William.
“But when his father was mentioned the dramatic pause lasting several seconds before he spoke kind of said everything, really. And that’s when he started to do the fast blinking. He sighed, he did a leg judder, he did a tongue poke.
“So that’s where probably the key focus of resentment seems to lie.”
Ms James said “there was no real effort to mask his (Harry’s) response” to Charles.
‘No place for racism’ says minister over Meghan’s claims
Vicky Ford has said there is “no place for racism”, after the Duchess of Sussex claimed that a member of the Royal family raised “concerns” about how dark Archie’s skin would be before his birth.
Stressing she had not seen the documentary yet, the schools minister said it was “absolutely” unacceptable, adding: “There is absolutely no place for racism in our society and we all need to work to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Asked about Meghan’s claims that her mental health deteriorated to the point where she felt suicidal, Ford told Sky News: “Mental health and wellbeing is a really big issue,and that is part of the reason why we have prioritised bringing young children back into classrooms for their wellbeing support as well as education.”
Who is alleged to have asked about how dark Archie’s skin would be? The duke and duchess refused to say which member of the royal family had this conversation with Harry while Meghan was pregnant with Archie. Meghan said she would not reveal the identity because it would be very damaging to them. Harry followed suit, and said he will never reveal who said it and what was said, but this will not stop the speculation.
What damage has been done to Harry and Meghan’s relationship with the Royal family? At this stage, the damage could be irreparable. The duke has vowed to try to restore his relationship with his father, the Prince of Wales, and said he hopes he can heal his rift with William in time. The interview is likely to be seen as an attack on the whole family, and it remains to be seen how William will react to his wife being singled out.
What did Kate say to Meghan to make her cry? Meghan said it was Kate who left her in tears over the flower girl dresses, not the other way round as was reported. “It was a really hard week of the wedding, and she was upset about some things,” the duchess said. Kate apologised and sent flowers and a note. But Meghan said it was a turning point when the false story was not put straight.
Who did Meghan approach in the Palace for help when feeling suicidal? Meghan said she went to “one of the most senior people”. The duchess sent emails and begged for help and people said “Yes, yes, it’s disproportionately terrible… but nothing was ever done”, she claimed.
Why was Meghan not supported? Meghan said: “There was no guidance… there’s no class on how to speak, how to cross your legs, how to be royal, there’s none of that training.” She added: “That might exist for other members of the family” but said it was not offered to her.
Who was jealous of Meghan? Harry indicated that members of the Royal family were jealous of Meghan because of the ease with which she carried out royal duties on their tour of Australia and New Zealand.
What about Meghan’s father? The duchess has been estranged from Thomas Markle since her wedding, but Winfrey was not seen questioning Meghan about their relationship. Does she intend to reach out to her father, and he will ever meet Harry or their children?
Why did Meghan think Archie should be a prince? Meghan said she wanted Archie to be a prince so he could have police protection, and expressed her shock at the idea of the first member of colour in the family not being titled in the same way as other grandchildren. But seventh in line Archie is not at this stage entitled to be a prince because of rules established more than 100 years ago by King George V.
Why didn’t the Queen make Archie a prince? The Queen stepped in ahead of Prince George’s birth to issue a Letters Patent to ensure all the Cambridges’ children, not just George, would have fitting titles. But the Cambridges’ children are the offspring of a future monarch whereas Archie is not. He will be entitled to be an HRH or a prince however when the Prince of Wales accedes to the throne.
What about the alleged bullying Meghan is accused of? The interview was filmed before the Times revealed that a senior aide raised concerns over bullying and that Meghan allegedly drove out two personal assistants and humiliated another, which the duchess denies. Questions still remain as to what exactly went on and how Meghan treated her staff. Buckingham Palace has launched an investigation.
What will Harry and Meghan name their daughter? With the couple set to have a baby girl, the bookmakers will be predicting Diana as the frontrunner. Or perhaps even Elizabeth in honour of the Queen.
The royal family and their aides have some challenging accusations to answer about why a suicidal Meghan was not supported and given help, and about the allegations of racism.
The Queen, known for her calm approach, is never reactive or rash during challenging times, and The Telegraph understands that there will not be an official response this morning.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have long been vocal campaigners on the issue of mental health so questions remain about their involvement and what their response will be after both were named in the interview.
Kate made me cry, not other way around, insists Meghan
Contrary to reports, which first surfaced in the Daily Telegraph in November 2018, that Meghan had made Kate cry during a bridesmaids’ dress fitting, the former actress insisted it was actually the other way round, reports Associate Editor Camilla Tominey.
Harry and Meghan’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey could trigger “the start of a PR war”, a public relations expert has said.
PR consultant Mark Borkowski said his initial reaction to the interview, broadcast in the US in the early hours of Monday, was that it was “pretty damaging to the Royal family”.
He said: “Some of the accusations and some of the deeply personal insights into living inside a royal household will be judged, particularly by an American audience who are watching on primetime as pretty shocking.
“He (Harry) was very direct about the fact that he felt that his father (Charles, the Prince of Wales) had not given him the support, and he wanted to try and rebuild a relationship, the fact that he was close to his brother (William, the Duke of Cambridge), but obviously there was some distance between them.
“It certainly is their opportunity to give their side of the story, it’s depending on what is the counter view of that – we’ve already seen bullying accusations, this could be the start of a PR war.
“Or it could be a moment for everybody to draw a line in the sand and start talking and trying to heal some wounds here, because the wounds are very deep.”
The interview also revealed how Meghan felt suicidal while working as a senior member of the Royal family.
Mr Borkowski said: “There’s a lot of losers in this.”
Harry and Meghan sign £100m Netflix and Spotify deal
Harry said his family “literally cut me off financially” in the first quarter of 2020 and he went for the Netflix and Spotify deals to pay for his security.
Since leaving the UK last year, the pair have signed lucrative deals – thought to be worth well over £100 million – with Spotify and Netflix to give them the capital to pursue their new lifestyle and public goals.
They have also bought a multi-million pound home in the celebrity enclave of Montecito in California, and also launched a non-profit foundation called Archewell.
Meghan beamed as she spoke about her unborn child, a girl, the Sussexes confirmed.
The baby, a sister to Archie, is due in the summer – although no further details were provided about timings.
Harry said his first thought was “amazing” when he discovered they were having a girl, adding: “Just grateful. To have any child, any one or any two, would have been amazing. But to have a boy and then a girl, I mean what more can you ask for? Now we’ve got our family, we got the four of us and our two dogs.”
Asked if they were “done” with two children, Harry said “done” and Meghan said: “Two is it.”
No hints were given about what the couple will name their child, and, given they have sought to leave royal protocol behind them, it may be some time after the birth before the duo allow the world to see a picture of the latest member of their brood.
Harry and Meghan’s interview came at a time when the Royal family have barely been out of the headlines.
First, concerns linger about the health of the Duke of Edinburgh, who remains in hospital having undergone heart surgery last week.
Second, the furore over allegations of bullying made against the duchess by former royal staff.
Rumours are swirling about who will be called to give evidence in the Buckingham Palace probe.
Past and present employees are to be invited to speak in confidence about their experiences of working for the duchess, after it was alleged she drove out two personal assistants and that staff were “humiliated” on several occasions.
To fully examine the allegations Meghan would be needed to be part of the proceedings but it is not clear at this early stage what role if any she will play in the process.
Where do Harry and Meghan go next after Oprah interview?
After such enormous accusations, where to the Duke and Duchess go from here?
The next handful of posts will take a look at this issue.
The Sussexes’ decision to stand down as senior members of the royal family was always going to cause a great deal of upset.
But the extent of that rift was underlined when Harry disclosed his father, the Prince of Wales, stopped taking his phone calls during the build-up to the announcement that he and Meghan were leaving the royal family.
Likewise, Harry and older brother William were said to have fallen out some time ago.
While Harry clearly signalled stresses on his relationships with his father and brother, he expressed a desire for them to “heal”.
Meghan’s revelation that the Duchess of Cambridge previously made her cry is unlikely to be well received at the palace, given the long-standing tradition that disputes are not aired publicly. Some relationships might be easier to repair than others.
America reacted with deep sympathy for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and there was widespread anger at Buckingham Palace following their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, writes Nick Allen in Washington.
Much of the focus was on the revelation that a senior royal discussed the Duke and Duchess’s son Archie and “how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
The interview sparked a wave of goodwill for the Duchess in particular, and was widely seen as disastrous for the palace.
The Telegraph’s Associate Editor Camilla Tominey has written an analysis of the Oprah interview, complete with a number of “marmalade-dropper” moments.
“We knew it was going to be blockbuster TV. But what we didn’t anticipate about the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ Oprah interview is how unvarnished their “truth” was actually going to be,” she writes.
“Talk of Royals “hiding behind the sofa” ahead of the primetime, no-holds-barred chat appeared to underestimate quite what the couple had in store. “
New Zealand’s prime minister says the country is unlikely to become a republic anytime soon or otherwise break from observing Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was asked by a reporter whether the unflattering picture of the British Royal family painted by Harry and Meghan had given her pause about New Zealand’s constitutional ties to Britain.
“I’ve said before that I’ve not sensed an appetite from New Zealanders for significant change in our constitutional arrangements, and I don’t expect that’s likely to change quickly,” she said.
Asked whether Harry and Meghan had ever inquired about living in New Zealand, Ms Ardern said they hadn’t in any official capacity, as far as she was aware.
And asked about her personal friendship with Meghan since the couple toured the country in 2018, Ms Ardern said she had kept in touch. “It is fair to say in the past I’ve had contact here and there,” she said. “But ultimately, the matters that are being canvassed here I see as for Meghan and Harry to respond to directly. These are matters about their personal lives and their personal decisions, and I don’t think it deserves a commentary from anyone else.”
The Duke and Duchess revealed Hollywood mogul Tyler Perry provided a home and security for the couple when they moved from Canada to the US.
During their chat with Oprah Winfrey, the couple confirmed it was a Los Angeles mansion owned by Perry they fled to when leaving Canada early last year, days before the first coronavirus lockdown.
They later bought a home in nearby Montecito, where they are living now. They told how Perry provided them with security after their UK tax payer-funded protection was removed.
Speaking of their departure from British Columbia, Canada, Meghan said: “We didn’t have a plan. We needed a house and he (Perry) offered his security as well so it gave us breathing room to try to figure out what we were going to do.”
Harry added: “The biggest concern was while we were in Canada, in someone else’s house, I then got told, short notice, that security was going to be removed. By this point, courtesy of the Daily Mail, the world knew our exact location.
“So suddenly it dawned on me, ‘hang on a second, the borders could be closed, we’re going to have our security removed, who knows how long lockdown is going to be, the world knows where we are, it’s not safe, it’s not secure, we probably need to get out of here’.”
American writer Roxane Gay suggested the Royal family was angry with Meghan for attempting to modernise the monarchy. “They cannot stand when someone marries into the family and soars to popularity they will never, ever have,” she wrote on Twitter.
Prince Harry revealed that his father Prince Charles stopped taking his calls while discussions about the couple’s future role were ongoing.
The prince denied blindsiding his grandmother the Queen with his plans to quit the UK, saying he had too much respect for her.
“I had three conversations with my grandmother, and two conversations with my father before he stopped taking my calls. And then he said, can you put this all in writing?”
Asked why Prince Charles had stopped taking his calls, Prince Harry said: “By that point I took matters into my own hands, it was like, I needed to do this for my family. This is not a surprise to anybody. It’s really sad that it’s got to this point, but I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, my wife’s and for Archie’s as well.”
Harry said he ultimately decided to step back because of a “lack of support and lack of understanding” from both the British press and the Royal institution.
Joining his wife for the second part of the interview, Prince Harry described the circumstances leading up to them stepping back from the Royal family.
The Duke of Sussex also revealed their security detail was removed when they stepped back from being senior members of the family.
Gripping Meghan’s hand, he said: “Their justification was a change in status. I pushed back and said is there a change of threat or risk?
“Eventually, I got the confirmation that no, the risk hasn’t changed but due to our change of status – we would no longer be ‘official’ members of the Royal family.”
Prince Harry said the couple had done everything they could to try to remain a part of the Royal family and considered living in a Commonwealth country like Canada or New Zealand in order to satisfy the Palace.
Asked about the “tipping point” which led the couple to quit the UK, Prince Harry replied: “I was desperate.
“I went to all the places which I thought I should go to, to ask for help – we both did, separately and together.”
Oprah asked: “You left because you were asking for help, and didn’t get it?”
Harry replied: “Yeah. Basically. But we never left.”
The Duchess said she reached “a breaking point” where she came to find her life unsurvivable and began to have suicidal thoughts.
“I just didn’t want to be alive anymore,” she said.
The Duchess said her friends and family’s reactions to the negative press coverage of her made her all the more aware of her impossible situation.
The Duchess grew tearful as she told Oprah: “I was really ashamed to say it at the time, and ashamed to have to admit it, to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he suffered.
“But I knew that if I didn’t say it that I would do it, and I just didn’t…I just didn’t want to be alive anymore”.
The Duchess described Harry cradling her and looking back on an event where he gripped her tightly by the hand to protect her.
But she added that the wider Palace institution denied her access to mental health help.
“I went to the institution, and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that I’ve never felt this way before and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution,” she said.
Meghan: ‘Royals aired concerns about Archie’s skin colour’
The Duchess of Sussex said that when she was pregnant with Archie there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”.
Meghan said she would not reveal who was involved in the talks, but said there were “several conversations” about Archie’s skin tone and “what that would mean or look like”.
“That was relayed to me from Harry,” she said. “Those were conversations family had with him.”
Pushed by Winfrey on who had those conversations, Meghan said: “I think that would be very damaging to them”.
The Duchess added that the decision not to give Archie a title was made by the Palace.
“They didn’t want him to be a prince or princess, not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security,” she said.
“In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we have in tandem the conversation of, you won’t be given security, not gonna be given a title and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
The Duchess has claimed the Palace was willing to “lie” to protect “other” members of the Royal family rather than correct reports about her.
“It was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected, but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family,” she said. “But they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”
However the Duchess stressed that the Queen was nothing but lovely to her, comparing their relationship to one of grandmother and grand-daughter.