Your Burning Questions from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Oprah Interview — Answered
What's Meghan and Harry's real wedding anniversary — and what exactly is "the firm?"
What's Meghan and Harry's Real Anniversary?
Meghan revealed to Oprah that she and Harry exchanged wedding vows in their backyard three days ahead of their May 19 nuptials at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. However, the backyard ceremony wasn't official — in part because there were no required witnesses. A source close to them clarifies that their legal wedding anniversary is May 19.
Did Oprah Reach Out to the Palace for Comment?
No. "The interview was intended to be a conversation with the couple," says a spokesperson for Harpo, Oprah’s production company. "The Palace was not contacted to participate in or respond to the interview."
What Determines Which Royals Receive Security?
Meghan revealed that she, Prince Harry and Archie were told they would not receive royal protection.
"Like anyone else, if you leave the firm, you lose the perks," says former head of royal protection Dai Davies.
The security provided to the royal family comes from tax payers. It is determined by many factors, including public duties and place in succession to the throne. The decision is made by the Metropolitan Police with the British government.
What's "The Firm?"
Meghan told Oprah that the royals are a "family business," and Prince Philip is known to have called that business "the firm." When Meghan referred to "the firm" in the interview, a source close to her says she meant the institution rather than the family.
Who Is in "The Institution?"
Meghan and Harry referred to "the institution" in recounting their frustrations with aides. Like White House staffers, they are he taxpayer-funded royal aides. Led by private secretary Sir Edward Young, they advise the Queen along with government officials.
Where Is the Palace HR Office?
The complaint about Meghan’s alleged "bullying" of staffers was received by London's Clarence House (attached to St. James’s Palace)—a.k.a. Prince Charles's office. The office, which employs hundreds of people, is looking into how the bullying complaints were handled.
Would Prince Charles Step Aside?
Unlikely. Since Edward VIII exited the monarchy in 1936, thrusting Queen Elizabeth's father onto the throne, abdication has been a dirty word in the royal family.
Prince Charles is longest serving Prince of Wales — the title given to the immediate heir — in history, meaning he's well prepared to take the crown.
Why Was Meghan Denied Help?
Meghan revealed that she "didn't want to be alive anymore" during her pregnancy with Archie. She went to "one of the most senior people" but was told it wouldn't "look good" if she sought help.
It's unclear who Meghan went to for assistance and why it was denied.
Harry has been open in the past about seeking therapy for his own mental health struggles but told Oprah that he felt helpless in dealing with Meghan's.
"I had no idea what to do," he said. "I wasn't prepared for that. I went to a very dark place as well.”
Are William and Charles Really 'Trapped?'
A close source says that while Prince Charles and Prince William occasionally get frustrated at having to "do the duties" of royal life, they understand that "if you want the monarchy to exist, this is what it is." The source adds, "They get the rewards as a result."
Who Are the "Senior" Royals?
After Meghan and Harry's royal exit, the senior royals are Queen Elizabeth, her four children and their spouses and her grandson Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton.
The issue is blurred by one of the Queen's sons, Prince Andrew, who stepped back from royal duties in the wake of his disastrous 2020 interview about his friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Can Only the Monarch Bestow Titles?
Yes. "The basic principle of English peerage law is that all honor comes from the Crown," says Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms.
Awards such as knighthoods are conferred by the Queen as well as members of the royal family on her behalf.