/ 09 March 2021

The Sussexes’ side of the story

The sad story of a young family who saved themselves from the unbearable pressure of Royal life, or a declaration of war against ‘The Firm’. There was something for critics and supporters of the Sussexes in their interview with Oprah Winfrey. Regardless of your viewpoint, some shocking disclosures – and some pleasant ones too – came out of the 2-hour access-all-areas tell-all.

Real deep… We’ll summarise into 3 Hs…

• The couple is hurt. And it started with the belief that the Royal family failed to protect them. Worse, Meghan’s said she found “that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family.” Case in point: she says it was Kate who made her cry before her wedding – not the other way around, as was widely reported. She says she hit rock bottom when Harry was asked by one unnamed family member about “how dark” their son’s skin might be. Racism towards Meghan from the UK press was one of the main reasons the family left the UK, they said.

• Hard times followed. Meghan’s mental health deteriorated to a point where she had “very, very clear” thoughts of taking her own life. After they left, Harry said his family cut him off financially. Hence the Netflix and Spotify deals. He’s working on restoring his relationship with his father Charles, who stopped returning calls or emails as they worked out their exit. As for his relationship with his brother William, Harry says they’re “different paths” but there’s love there.

• But in their relationship, they’re happy. Their secret was they were married 3 days before the public spectacle – “just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.” And now, they are set to have a baby girl in the coming months. Harry said “to have a boy and then a girl, what more can you ask for. We’ve got our family -the four of us and our two dogs.” And traditionalists will be happy to know he talks to Queen Elizabeth – a lot. “My grandmother and I have a really good relationship and a good understanding,” Harry said.

Reports say the reaction has been one of “universal shock” in the UK, and the pressure is on Buckingham Palace to respond. One thing that Labour MPs have noted is that the Royals were quick to announce an investigation into Meghan’s alleged bullying claims last week, and so claims of racism towards her should also be dealt with just as quickly. PM Boris Johnson says he’s made a habit of staying out of Royal issues, and he isn’t about to change that approach… The UK newspapers, which labelled by Harry as “bigotted” are yet to publish their infamous front pages since the interview aired. But in the United States, sympathy for the couple poured in after the interview. As for the real star of the show, Tina Brown, a former Vanity Fair editor and a biographer of Princess Diana, said we need to “bow down to the real queen here – Oprah.”

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