By Maggie Peknic
“Someone just tell the truth.” Meghan Markle repeated these five words throughout her interview with Oprah, which aired Sunday, March 7 on CBS. The someone who would tell the truth–Meghan and her husband Prince Harry. From villianization to lack of support and racist issues, the two revealed the royal family’s problematic actions.
One of the first issues tackled in the interview was Meghan’s villainization. The press put Meghan Markle in a boxing ring with Kate Middleton – who do you root for? The press and the majority of the public took Kate’s side, as is evident when comparing news articles on the same subject between the two. During the interview, Oprah mentions articles praising Kate for holding her baby bump; meanwhile, the press criticized Meghan as being vain and prideful for doing the exact same thing. In addition to this contrast, Meghan was further villainized when the press stated that she made Kate cry. The irony – these articles came out months after the incident, which was over flower girl dresses. A simple controversy about dresses that was previously resolved between the two parties should not have blown up months after the fact. This villainization caused numerous rumours to circulate around Meghan, inducing this story about making Kate cry. Oprah gives Meghan the space to tell the truth. The public finally hears Meghan’s side of the story.
In addition to this villainization, which culminates with “Megxit,” the royal family was racist towards Meghan’s baby. One of the most shocking news to come from this interview was Meghan stating the royal family questioned her about the baby’s color. This question may be related to the royal family’s decision to not grant Meghan’s baby, Archie, a title or security. Rumours originally covered this up and stated that Meghan and Harry deliberately decided to not give Archie a title, but once again, Meghan tells the truth about the situation, which is that the royal family made this decision. This racism may be another cause for the villinazation of Meghan in the press. By coming forward with the truth, the public can start to hold the royal family accountable for their actions. As a response to these allegations, the Queen will also be appointing a diversity czar.
With vilianization and racist attacks, it’s no surprise that Meghan admits to having suicidal thoughts half-way through the interview. She also admits there was a strong lack of support towards her within the family, even stating that she was turned away when seeking mental help. Her declining mental health along with the nature of this interview reminded many of Princess Diana. “My biggest concern was history repeating itself,” Prince Harry stated, referring to his mother. He said this time it would be “far more dangerous, because then you add race in and you add social media in.” With this history, one would expect the royal family to state their support for the couple to the public. A simple statement of support and clarity, which could have cleared up misunderstandings that steamed from the villainization of Meghan, could have drastically helped the couple. Instead, nothing was said, and articles about Meghan continued to circulate. Meanwhile, women in UK’s Parliament released a statement of support; while the royal family remained silent.
Without any public support, the couple was hurt and decided to leave the family – an action the press dubbed as “Megxit.” Again, the villianization of Meghan is evident, as the press accused her of making Harry leave the royals; however, this was not the case. The couple also denied rumours that they blindsided the Queen, with Harry stating he had too much respect for her to do that. Harry also states he had to put into writing the details of their plan to leave, even writing the day they would announce to the public their departure. Harry’s father, Prince Charles, was the one who advocated for this document, after which he ignored Harry’s calls. The overall lack of support for the couple within the royal family is beyond saddening to hear.
However, some feel no pity towards Meghan. Many have criticized her for being narcissistic and “airing out the dirty laundry.” The most prominent example is Piers Morgan, who has expressed discontent with Meghan Markle in the past after she cut off her friendship with him. Morgan does not believe what Meghan has stated in the interview, and he even stormed off while talking about it on “Good Morning Britain.”
Personally, I think saying Meghan is victimizing herself is invalidating her feelings and further villainizing her. These critics may also discourage others to come forward about important issues, such as mental health. Despite all of this, Meghan said she wants others “to know there’s another side. To know that life’s worth living.” If you want to form your own opinion about the interview, you can watch it for free on CBS.com.