The Biggest Bombshells from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Oprah Interview
The couple didn’t hold anything back — good or bad — during their hours-long chat with the media mogul
Kate Made Meghan Cry
Toward the beginning of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Sunday night sit-down with Oprah Winfrey, the media mogul asked Meghan about the headlines surrounding a pre-wedding tiff that left Kate Middleton in tears in 2018. "The reverse happened," Meghan said. "And I don't say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding, and she was upset about something. But she owned it, and she apologized and she brought me flowers and a note apologizing." Meghan later called Kate a "good person" and lamented headlines that pit the two royal women against one another.
Meghan Was 'Silenced'
Meghan spoke of how she's always been an advocate for women's rights, and how ironic that felt as she was stifled by the institution. "Were you silent, or were you silenced?" asked Oprah. Meghan responded, "The latter," adding she was directed to give a "no comment" on questions directed her way once her relationship with Harry was public.
"That's my friends, my mom and dad. We did it, I did anything they told me to do," she said as she recalled thinking that she would be "protected" by the royal family.
"That was really hard to reconcile because it was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected, but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family," Meghan said. "They weren't willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband."
At the end of the interview, Meghan elaborated on that point, saying her biggest regret from her experience in the royal family was thinking she'd be protected from the harsh negativity she faced.
"I regret believing that because I think had I really seen that that wasn't happening, I would have been able to do more, but I think I wasn't supposed to see it," she said. "I wasn't supposed to know and now because we're actually on the other side, we've actually not just survived but are thriving."
Meghan and Harry Were Already Married on Their Wedding Day
Speaking to the public nature of their nuptials, Meghan revealed that the pair actually had a civil ceremony in their backyard with just the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before their lavish 2018 affair. The vows from that moment are framed and hanging in their California home.
Of their internationally televised ceremony, she said, "I think we were both really aware, even in advance of that just, this wasn't our day. This was the day that was planned for the world."
There Were 'Conversations' About Archie's Skin Color Amongst Royal Family Members
In perhaps the most shocking moment of the interview, Meghan said that within the royal family, there were "concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie's] skin might be when he's born." In a clip shared on CBS Monday morning, Winfrey clarified that Harry's grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, were not the ones who made the comments.
Meghan went on to say that though the public was told she and Harry did not want their son to have a title, it was actually the institution that made that choice, stripping their son of security and other privileges.
"They didn't want him to be a prince . . . which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn't going to receive security," Meghan shared.
What's more, she added, "we have in tandem the conversation of, 'He won't be given security. He's not going to be given a title.' And also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born."
They're Having a Girl!
One of the bright spots from the chat was the reveal of baby No. 2's sex: it's a girl! But it's also the last child for the pair, they added. "To have a boy then a girl — what more can you ask for?" Harry said. "Two is it." Meghan's due date is in the summer, they added.
Meghan 'Just Didn't Want to Be Alive Anymore' — and Couldn't Get Help
In her darkest days, Meghan had thoughts of taking her own life, she told Winfrey. "I was ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry. But I knew that if I didn't say it — then I would do it," she said. "I just didn't want to be alive anymore."
Meghan said she "thought it would have solved everything for everyone."
She recalled a January 2019 outing to see a performance at Royal Albert Hall after she had opened up to Prince Harry about her thoughts.
"I remember him saying, 'I don't think you can go,' and I said, 'I can't be left alone.' "
Meghan said she can see in photos from the night that Harry is tightly holding her hand despite their smiles.
"We're both just trying to hold on," she said.
When Meghan asked someone within the palace if she could seek treatment for her mental health, she was told "there's nothing we can do to protect you because you're not a paid employee of the institution," she said, adding she was also told it "wouldn’t be good for the institution" for her to check in to an in-patient facility for treatment.
The Pair's Exit from the Royal Family Was In the Works for a While
Despite the public's belief that Meghan and Harry's choice to leave their posts as senior working royals was swift and shocking to the royal family, Harry said the opposite was true.
"No, I never blindsided my grandmother," Harry said. "I have too much respect for her."
The prince continued that he had three conversations about the subject with the Queen and two conversations with Prince Charles — "before he stopped taking my calls."
Prince Charles then asked Prince Harry to put their plan in writing. Harry did, including telling his family the date that they planned to announced the news.
Meghan added that before their lives spiraled out of control, they had planned to remain working members of the royal family "forever."
"I wrote letters to his family when I got there saying, 'I am dedicated to this, I'm here for you, use me as you'd like,' " Meghan said, adding that she taught herself much about England and how to behave as a royal in public because, "I just wanted to make them proud."
Harry Was Cut Off Financially from the Royal Family
After Meghan and Harry ironed out the details of their exit last year, Prince Charles was helping the couple with some ongoing living costs as they worked on their transition to a more private life. However, Harry said his family officially cut him off in the first quarter of 2020, and that before inking their deals with Netflix and Spotify, the pair were living off the inheritance his mother, Princess Diana, had left him.
"Without that, we wouldn't have been able to do this," he said, likely referring to the family's move to California.
He added, "All I wanted was enough money to get security and keep my family safe."
Prince Harry Felt 'Trapped' in the Institution
Though Meghan's feelings on her place and liberties within the royal family were made quite clear, to Winfrey's surprise, Harry said he also felt "trapped" in the construct of the institution.
"I didn't see a way out," Harry said of royal life. "I was trapped but I didn't know I was trapped. Trapped within the system like the rest of the family. My father and my brother are trapped. They don't get to leave and I have huge compassion for that."
Prince Charles 'Stopped Taking' Harry's Calls
When talking about his exit from the family and financial independence, Harry mentioned his father had stopped "taking his calls" for a while, though the two are now working on their relationship again.
"I feel really let down because he's been through something similar. He knows what pain is like," Harry said. "And Archie's his grandson."
He continued, "Of course, I will always love him, but there's a lot of hurt that's happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship."
Harry and William Are 'Taking Space'
Harry said his relationship with Prince William "is space at the moment," but he "loves William to bits — we've been through hell together."
"And you know, time heals all things, hopefully," he said, adding that he’d “always be there” for his family.
Their Relationship with the Queen Remains Strong
Meghan and Harry both spoke fondly of Queen Elizabeth, touting her support from the beginning of their courtship through their move to North America to now (yes, she Zooms with Archie). As recently as last month, Meghan picked up the phone to call her when news broke that Prince Philip was in the hospital.
"That's what we do," she explained, "being able to default to not having to every moment go, 'Is that appropriate?' "