While Meghan gave us the tea, we also heard more about the infamous toast. During Oprah’s interview, she read snippets to Meghan from BuzzFeed’s article: Here Are 20 Headlines Compcaring Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton That May Show Why She and Prince Harry Left Royal Life. Contrast “Kate’s morning sickness cure? Prince William gifted with an avocado for pregnant Duchess” with “Meghan Markle’s beloved avocado linked to human rights abuse and drought, millennial shame.” Markle chuckled at the headline. With more grace and humor than I could muster if I were in her shoes, she quipped, “That was one loaded piece of toast.”
People are still digesting all of the contents of the interview. Days later tongues continue to wag on both sides of the pond. Though it aired on Sunday in America, it was only televised last night in Ireland and the UK. This morning I couldn’t resist watching additional CBS video clips that didn’t make the editing cuts. I’ve also been fascinated by the commentary following the interview. Have you watched any of it? One of my favorite moments was listening to Alex Beresford today. At the moment the video of him is trending at #1 on YouTube.
The main talking points seem to focus on the issues of racism and mental health. Like everyone else, I was surprised by how forthcoming the couple were as they spoke candidly to Oprah. I think Markle was very brave to speak so openly about having suicidal thoughts during her pregnancy. From the outside, it looked like the couple had it all. Even when there were reports about how stressed she was by the pressure and negative media coverage, I don’t think most people realized just how low she felt. It goes to show that money and privilege cannot safeguard mental health, and that we are all vulnerable to suffering regardless of how beautiful, talented, and famous we might be.
Hearing British commentator Piers Morgan say on Good Morning Britain that he “didn’t believe a word” about Markle’s claims was infuriating. I’m glad he has been criticized by Mind, a mental health charity. The sort of vitriol Morgan has spewed about Markle is exactly what led to her feelings of desperation. It’s ironic that Morgan works with Get Britain Get Talking, a charity which aims to encourage people to talk about their mental health. In light of his behavior the last two days, I hope he gets fired.
The other “shocking” revelation was about a Royal family member questioning what shade Archie’s skin would be during Meghan’s pregnancy. Context was not provided and Harry refused to name which family member made the comment, although he clarified it wasn’t either of his grandparents. In the interview we were also told that the baby would not be given the title of Prince, and that Archie’s security would not be provided. It was suggested that race may have played a part in these decisions.
Rude and racist are not the same thing.Meghan Markle (See above video of extra footage)
I’m a little confused by the uproar at the mere suggestion that racism exists within the Royal family. Those of us with black or brown skin are well aware of how prevalent (though often covert) racism is on both sides of the Atlantic. Everyday microaggressions are stressful, whether it’s in Great Britain or in America. In Markle’s case, it was magnified through the media lens for all of the world to see. Yet some commentators want to dig their heels in and deny that there could be truth to these allegations.
One of the things that struck me was the way Prince Harry talked about how his eyes have been opened to racism. Loving and marrying a biracial woman has exposed him to the reality of what many people of color face. Unless you have the lived experience, you will never fully know how it feels to be a minority in a predominantly white society.
The TV commentators who are angry and indignant about the claims of racism are white, which is why they can afford to be so dismissive. I’d like to know what they think Meghan and Harry stand to gain from “playing the race card”? Clearly the couple have been deeply hurt by their family members. What they wanted was support, acceptance and protection. No one benefits from the rift that has arisen. One can only hope that by bringing awareness to these issues, unacceptable attitudes will change.
I found the interview difficult to watch at times. Prince Harry’s pain and loss could be felt. Imagine losing your mother in tragic circumstances, only to have history begin to repeat itself with your spouse. As Meghan described how trapped and lonely she felt in the palace, I was reminded of Princess Diana. I know The Crown is a piece of fiction, but it is based on fact. The images from season 4 sprang to my mind. When Diana suffered with bulimia and depression, the Royal family weren’t there for her. They come across as being cold and uncaring.
Prince Harry seems like a genuinely decent human being who simply wants to protect his wife and children. He has sacrificed a lot for love. Having his father reject his calls and cut off his inheritance must have been a tough blow. It took tremendous courage to walk away from “The Firm,” and it couldn’t have been easy for the couple to speak out about their experiences.
I think the interview showed that Meghan and Harry are a strong couple on equal footing. The narrative that has been pushed about her forcing him to choose between her or his family of origin seems unfair and untrue. They appear to really love and respect each other.
Whatever the backlash, I hope the couple feels relieved about sharing their side of the story and dispelling lies that were circulated about them. I think Prince Harry especially would like to have healing and reconciliation with the Royal family. Sadly, it seems unlikely to happen after this extraordinary interview.
As for Markle’s family, her estranged father appeared on Good Morning Britain today for an attention seeking interview. What a pathetic man to go on television and invalidate his daughter’s claims about experiencing racism. He admitted to lying to her, yet feels entitled to her forgiveness simply because he apologized. Listening to him waffle on about himself made me even more sympathetic to Meghan. Meanwhile, she pointed out to Oprah that her mother stands in “silent dignity.” You can see the footage where she opens up about her family here.
On the positive side, it was sweet to see the couple’s excitement as they announced that they’re expecting a daughter next summer. My favorite line of the interview was when Meghan said, “The most important title I’ll ever have is Mom.” She seemed more than happy with that, which speaks volumes about her character. In the end, she found her prince and is creating her happily ever after as Oprah pointed out.
What are your thoughts?
*Final Note* Since I started writing this post, the story has continued to unfold. The Queen released a statement this evening. Piers Morgan also resigned after he stormed off the set of GMB this morning. We have Meghan Markle to thank for his quick exit. One more reason to love her!