Buckle up, Ma’am.
Warning signs are flashing that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey may involve the casting of several royal personages under one’s bus.
Courtiers and other royal hangers-on are said to have lived in fear of an Oprah interview ever since Winfrey was seated in pride of place at Meghan and Harry’s 2018 wedding, and now many believe their worst nightmares are coming true.
British newspapers this weekend were full of stories in which sources advised the royals to “hide behind the sofa” when the show screened, and now sources in Meghan’s camp appear to have briefed E! News that the couple will open up about the “tension” within the royal family in the “very candid” interview and that they will be “speaking their truth” during the highly anticipated CBS special on March 7.
We think this means: yes, they are going to be dishing, just in a totally authentic way.
Meghan’s camp is believed to have good contacts with E! due to both her previous career as an actress and her current role as a producer at Netflix, so their reports of what is in the interview should be taken seriously.
“There is a lot of tension between them and the royal family,” the source described as “close to” the Sussexes says. Most observers of the past year of guerrilla warfare between Montecito and London would describe that as an almost regally-restrained description of the state of affairs.
“The interview is going to shine a light on what they have been through.”
Does this mean the interview will finally publicly see the airing of long-rumored complaints about the racism, sexism, and snobbish contempt Meghan was subjected to?
If so, ouch!
While there have been no direct accusations of racist abuse of Meghan, the sympathetic biography of the couple, Finding Freedom, chronicled various micro-and-not-so-micro-aggressions.
Meghan, for example, was said to have been left wondering “if there wasn’t a message being sent,” when Princess Michael wore a racially insensitive broach to the first big party that Meghan was invited to. She apologized but, the book noted, “Some aides questioned the sincerity of the princess’ apology.”
The book’s co-author, Omid Scobie, who is of Iranian and British heritage, told an interviewer: “She was a biracial woman stepping into the House of Windsor. That was going to ruffle feathers. We only need look at the Duchess Difficult narrative. What is ‘difficult’? Difficult is pushy, aggressive. It’s all the things that we throw on Black women as a society regardless of what their actual personality is.”
E’s source also says that the couple will talk about the pressure on their mental health when they were royals. This recalls both Meghan’s interview in Africa, when she said nobody had asked her how she was coping, and a key passage of the book that claimed that Prince Harry felt they were “at once used for their popularity, hounded by the press because of the public’s fascination with this new breed of royal couple, and disparaged back within the institution’s walls for being too sensitive and outspoken.”
Harry likened the negotiations around his and Meghan’s royal exit to “standing in front of a firing squad,” the book claims.
It will also be odd if Oprah does not invite Meghan to reflect at length on the detailed circumstances of her departure from the royal family. The book claimed that Meghan tearfully told a friend: “I gave up my entire life for this family. I was willing to do whatever it takes. But here we are. It’s very sad.”
Another point of interest, of course, is the breakdown in the relationship between Harry and Prince William.
E’s source says it’s “still a very tense situation,” adding that “Harry and William are on two different paths.”
Robert Lacey explored the deteriorating fraternal dynamic in his book Battle of the Brothers.
Lacey says that William was so angry with the way his brother announced his departure from the royal family that he refused to attend a lunch with him before a meeting at the queen’s country house, Sandringham, to hash out the details of the exit.
If Oprah can get the couple to lift the lid on all this and more, the interview may represent a damaging blow to the already badly tarnished image of the British Royals.