On Sunday night, the two-hour sit-down episode of Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview was aired in the USA, which was hot last month near Santa Barbara, California. Several personal details were laid bare by it. The interview pertained several details about the British monarchy and the manner in which it has approached the marriage of Meghan and Harry. There were concerns in their marriage right from concerns over the color of the skin of their son Archie to mental health crises.
In 2-18, Meghan married Harry who was a divorced biracial American actor. Right from the time the couple announced their engagement, nearly everything about the identity of Meghan Markle was seen as controversial.
The couple officially stepped down from their royal duties in 2020 and broke free from the monarchy.
Strong echoes were heard in Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview of the earlier interview of Princess Diana in 1995 where she had spoken at length to BBC journalist Martin Bashir on Panorama about the infidelity of her husband Prince Charles.
In the history of the English monarchy, “Bombshell interviews” have been important for they have often shown the cracks in the crown.
The repetition of history
When Harry was just 12 years old, Diana died in a car crash in 1997. On numerous occasions, the bereaved son has had not only cope up with the grief but also spoken of his concern about history repeating itself. He said that when he talks about history repeating itself, he is talking about his mother.
He believes that something far more dangerous than history repeating itself was happening in the case of his marriage to Meghan because race and social media are added to it.
What must be remembered while drawing the parallels between the explosive interview of Diana and Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview, that Meghan never really became the People’s princess in the UK. Diana moved her country right from when she shook hands with an AIDS patient in 1987 to her death.
This persona was added to by her troubles with the royal family. Diana and the press often shared a love-hate relationship because of all the excruciating scrutiny that she was subjected to by the British tabloids. In 1992, it was not just mere coincidence that the news was easily bulldozed by Diana’s revenge dress in the next day’s headlines after her separated husband gave his own tell-all interview to ITV. On the other hand, Meghan has been largely on the receiving end of racist hate.
Is the monarchy plagued by racism?
Since her engagement, Meghan has often been the victim of racism but it now seems that it was not limited to only trolls and tabloids. One of the most unsurprising yet disturbing information which surfaced during Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview was Meghan recalling concerns about the color of her yet-to-be-born son Archie. There were particular people in the palace who had conversations with her on how dark his skin might be and what could that potentially mean before Archie was born in 2019. The names of these members were not revealed by Meghan.
It seemed that Harry’s kin were more than happy to pass it if he believed that the race element could be an opportunity for the royal family to show some public support. An invisible contract could be the reason between the institution of the royal family and the UK tabloids. Harry says that racism was a big reason for why he and Meghan left Britain for America in a new clip of Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview published by CBS on Monday.
Racism within the palace of a monarchy that comes with a history of imperial conquest should not come as a surprise. The royal family, as of now, is yet to issue a statement regarding the matter.
Security being stripped away
There have been those who believe since Diana’s death that it was a security lapse that led to the tragedy. After her divorce, Diana had been stripped off her security but not because the royal family had demanded it. Over privacy, Diana had her personal concerns as to whether she was being spied.
Thus, the issue of security has always been somewhat of a double-edged sword as far as royal families are concerned. Meghan and Harry lost the right to their security a little ahead of their official announcement about stepping back from the royal family, in a world where some British royals have had security worth 500,000 euros per year. Both Harry and Meghan received several death threats. They depended on the security that was provided to them by Tyler Perry who owned the home where they moved in April 2020 in Los Angeles.