On March 7th, Oprah interviewed Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, on CBS. At the start, Oprah announced, "There's no subject that's off limits." The couple revealed some intense truths about royal life, including some things working against Prince Archie, and the Palace refusing to help Meghan during a dark time. Here are the highlights from this illuminating interview.
They Had A Secret Wedding Before Their Wedding
Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding aired live on May 19, 2018. But three days earlier, they had a secret wedding with just the two of them and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
"We called the Archbishop and we just said, 'Look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world," Meghan told Oprah. "But we want our union between us.'" Unlike traditional royal weddings, the couple created their own vows to recite to each other.
The Parents Worried That Archie Would Not Be Given Much
When Meghan was pregnant, she and Prince Harry allegedly had a conversation about Archie not receiving the same benefits as other royal members. "We have in tandem the conversation of he won't be given security, he's not going to be given a title," Meghan said.
Meghan and Harry also said that at least one person brought up concerns about Archie's title, although they did not mention who. So far, the Palace has yet to respond to these claims.
They Are Expecting A Girl
On February 14, 2021, the couple announced Meghan's second pregnancy. During this interview with Oprah, they revealed that the second child will be a girl. They are both thrilled.
During February, fans suspected that the pink sapphire ring that Meghan wore during their surprise appearance at Spotify's Stream On event symbolized a girl. However accurate the ring was, they were right. "To have any child would've been amazing," Harry said. "But to have a boy and a girl, what more could you ask for?"
They Probably Won't Have Any More Children
During the interview with Oprah, Harry and Meghan confirmed that they would stop having kids after two children. But fans have heard this before; Prince Harry has talked about sticking to two children.
During an interview with The Daily Mail, Harry said that he loves children, especially his nieces and nephews. However, he wanted to only have two children to be kinder to the environment. However, he did not mention the environment during the Oprah interview.
The Queen Does Not Make All Her Decisions
During an exclusive clip after the interview, Prince Harry mentioned that the Queen invited him back to the UK. But when he got there, a private secretary told him that she was busy. Orpah replied, "Doesn't the queen get to do what the queen wants to do?"
Harry answered, "No, when you're head of The Firm, there are people around you that give you advice." He also revealed that some of the advice "has been really bad" and makes him "really sad."
Meghan Had A "Frightening And Constant Thought"
While she was pregnant and a royal, Meghan Markle had a very difficult time with her mental health. She told Oprah that her depression was "real and frightening and constant thought."
Meghan recalled a moment when the couple went to a 2019 event at the Royal Albert Hall. Although Harry said that she should not go, she did not want to be alone. Harry gripped her hand so tightly that his knuckles turned white. "We are smiling and doing our job, but we are both just trying to hold on."
...And The Palace Did Not Help Her
One of the scariest parts of the interview was when Meghan detailed how the Royal Palace refused to help her. While struggling with her mental health, she went to the Palace's Human Resources Department. But they could not give her any aid.
"They said, 'My heart goes out to you, because I see how bad it is, but there's nothing we can do to protect you, because you're not a paid employee of the institution,'" Meghan told Oprah.
The Palace Has "Silenced" Meghan
Meghan revealed that, just after marriage, she was not allotted the same protections as the rest of the family. "They were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren't willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband," she said.
Oprah asked, "Were you silent or silenced?" and Meghan answered, "The latter." Her friends and family were all told to answer "no comment" to most questions to keep up appearances.
The Family Members Are Not "Running The Institution"
Although Meghan talked about the issues with the Palace, she did not mean her family. The Royal Family were all kind to her; but they are different from "the people running the institution."
In fact, Meghan said that "The Queen has always been wonderful to me." She told stories about how the Queen gifted her some pearl earrings and a matching necklace, and how she draped blankets over their legs in during a car ride. "It made me think of my grandma," she said.
Harry's Father Ended Communication For A While
Although Prince Harry had several conversations with the Royal Family before leaving, he eventually lost contact with his father, Prince Charles. He told Oprah that Charles "stopped taking [his] calls."
When Oprah asked why, Harry said, "Because I took matters into my own hands. "It was like I need to do this for my family." Eventually, Harry and Charles revived their contact, although their relationship remains strained. "I will always love him, but there's a lot of hurt that's happened."
Harry And William Have A Strained Relationship
While describing his strained relationship with his father, Harry said, "There is a lot to work through there." Apparently, the same can be said about his relationship with his brother, Prince William.
"I love William to bits," Harry told Oprah. "He's my brother. We've been through hell together. But we are on different paths." He hopes that space--both physical and time--will heal the relationship. "Time heals all things, hopefully," he said. Prince William has yet to respond to these claims.
Harry Could Not Have Left Without His Mother's Money
Because all of Harry's funds were cut off, he had to rely on his mother's inheritance money. "I've got all my mom left me, and without that, we would not be able to do this," the Prince said.
Harry also worried "about history repeating itself," referring to his mother. Princess Diana was also open about her mental health struggles and received little help throughout her royalty. "I think she saw it coming. And I felt her presence throughout this whole process," Harry admitted.
The Royal Family Cut Harry Off Financially
During the interview, Harry and Meghan said that their original plan was to move to a Commonwealth nation and retain their titles. But that did not happen. "My family literally cut me off financially," he told Oprah.
He and Meghan were cut off during the first quarter of 2020, shortly after they announced that they were leaving the Palace. Their deals with Netflix and Spotify were not part of the plan. "All I wanted was enough money to get security and keep my family safe," the Prince said.
They Also Have No More Security
Along with cutting off Harry and Meghan's money, the Royal Family eventually cut off their security detail as well. Specifically, Royal security ended when the couple moved from Canada to California. And in February 2020, Canada stopped paying for it as well.
During the interview, the couple expressed concern about losing so much security. Royal Family members have been subject to threats and invasions in the past, so the couple felt as if the Palace is letting them down.
Harry Thinks That William And Charles Are "Trapped"
The Duke of Sussex admitted to Oprah that he felt "trapped" in royal life. "[I was] trapped within the system like the rest of the family. My father and my brother are trapped," he said, referencing Prince Charles and Prince William. "They don't get to leave, and I have huge compassion for that."
Oprah then asked if Prince William wanted to leave. "I don't know," Harry said. "I can’t speak for him....It’s a toxic environment, but I’ll always be there for them."
The Couple Did Not Blindside The Palace
In early 2020, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan announced that they would leave the Royal Family. Despite reports that they "blindsided" the palace, Harry asserted that this was not the case.
"I never blindsided my grandmother," Harry argued. "I have too much respect for her." He told Oprah that he had three conversations with the Queen before officially leaving the Palace, and at least two with his father. "My grandmother had been welcoming throughout," he added.
Meghan Learned To Curtsy Right Before Meeting The Queen
During the interview, the couple shared a fun story. When they first started dating, Harry and Meghan were near Windsor where the Queen was attending church. Harry asked if Meghan wanted to meet her.
On the car ride there, Harry asked if Meghan knew how to curtsy. The pair ended up practicing right outside the church so that Meghan could curtsy in front of the Queen. "I apparently did a very deep curtsy, and then we just sat there and we chatted," Meghan said." It was lovely and easy."
Meghan's Father "Betrayed Her"
During an exclusive clip on CBS This Morning, Meghan talked about her estranged father, Thomas Markle. She told Oprah that, the day before her wedding, she figured out that Thomas had sent letters about her to the tabloids.
Meghan then called her father and said, "I just need you to tell me, and if you tell me the truth, we can help." Thomas denied that he never worked with the tabloids, but this bred trust issues in the Duchess.
Thomas Markle Has Never Met Harry Or Archie
Meghan Markle has been estranged from her father for years. But after learning that he worked with tabloids, she estranged herself even more. She brought up that her mother, Doria Ragland, never said a word to the press.
"[I remember] me saying, 'Full stop, if we do this to protect you, we're not going to be able to protect our children one day. We’re talking about your grandchildren,'" Meghan said. While Doria has met Archie and Harry, Thomas Markle has not.
The Queen Responds To The Bombshell Interview
During the interview with Oprah, Meghan claimed that the Royal Family was concerned about Archie's public profile as a bi-racial child. The allegation became one of the main focuses on social media after the program ended.
One day after the interview aired, the Royal Family released a statement that read, "The issue raised, particularly that of race, are conceding. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members"
They Only Have One Regret
Near the end of the interview, Oprah asked the couple if they had any regrets. "No," Harry answered. "I'm really proud of us. I'm so proud of my wife." But later, he mentioned that he had one regret.
"My regret is believing them when I said I would be protected," Harry said. "I regret believing that, because had I really seen that wasn't happening, I would have been able to do more. But I wasn't supposed to see it. I wasn't supposed to know."
Kate Middleton Made Meghan Cry
During the interview, Oprah asked Meghan about rumors that she made Kate Middleton cry during Prince Charlotte's bridesmaid dress fitting in 2018. According to Meghan, it was the opposite. Kate was upset about the dress, and it made Meghan cry.
However, Kate later felt bad and apologized. "She brought me flowers and a note apologizing, which is what I would do if I knew that I hurt someone," Meghan said. ""She's a good person."
But The News Would Not Report The Truth
Duchess Meghan added that, despite telling news outlets the truth, she could not correct them. Many wedding guests even asked the communication team if they could report the truth for Meghan.
"So why didn't somebody just say that?" Oprah asked, referencing the tabloids refusing to report the truth. Meghan answered, "That's a good question. They really seem to want a narrative of a hero and a villain." She reminded everyone that you do not have to like one princess and hate the other.
Despite Being Public Figures, The Couple Wants Privacy
After the interview, Oprah revealed some facts about the couple during CBS This Morning. She said that nearly two hours of footage were cut from the final product. She also clarified the difference between privacy and intrusion.
"They want privacy—but they understand that they are public figures, and so the privacy is not to be intruded upon, which is the same thing everybody else in the world wants," Oprah said. The couple does not want helicopters flying over their house, but they will conduct interviews.
Meghan And Her Half-Sister Were Never Close
When asked if Meghan felt betrayed by her half-sister Samantha, she said, "bBetrayal comes from people you have a relationship with." She has not seen her sister for 19 years, and she never even met her until ten years before that.
Despite this, Samantha changed her last name to Markle shortly after Meghan and Harry began dating. "So you weren't close?" Oprah asked, and Meghan confirmed that they were not. Perhaps Samantha wanted to profit off the relationship.
The Couple Rescues Chickens
While the interview included many heavy subjects, it had some light moments too. For instance, the couple revealed that they rescued hens from a factory farm. "I just love rescuing," the Duchess said.
In their backyard, the couple built a home for these chickens, called "Archie's Chicken Inn." The building includes a plaque on the side that says, Established in 2021." It was glossed over in the interview, but internet fans want to learn more about it.
Meghan Tried To Protect Her Family From The Press
Although Meghan Markle has had some troubles with her family, she also tried to protect them from the paparazzi. "I did everything I could to protect both [my parents] in that media frenzy," Meghan told Oprah.
However, it seems that sympathy is running low for family member who take advantage of the notoriety. That is especially true for her half-sister Samantha, who wrote a "tell all book" on the Duchess. "It's very hard to tell all when you don't know me," Meghan said.
They Were Not Paid To Conduct This Interview
Before beginning the interview, Oprah confirmed that the couple were not being paid to talk with her. Both the Duke and Duchess confirmed that they were doing this on their own free will.
That has not stopped channels from profiting off of it, though. CBS reportedly paid $8 million for the interview, and it aired to over 17 million viewers. That's the largest primetime audience to ever tune into a TV channel since the 2020 Academy Awards.
Archie Already Has An Impressive Vocabulary
Duchess Meghan revealed that Archie, who will turn two in May, already has an impressive vocabulary. She said that his new favorite word is "hydrate," and he has been telling people to "drive safe" or "stay hydrated."
Prince Harry has been enjoying the outdoor walks and play time with his son. "The highlight for me is sticking him on the back of the bicycle in his little baby seat and take him on these bike rides, which is something I was never able to do when I was young," he said.
They Are Still Close With Their Family
Although the Duke and Duchess of Sussex relayed some issues with the Palace, they emphasized that they are still close to the family. For instance, in the month prior, the couple heard that the Duke of Edinburgh had gone to the hospital. They immediately picked up the phone and called the Queen.
"That's what we do," Meghan told Oprah "being able to default to not having to every moment go, 'Is that appropriate?'" The two spoke highly of the Queen and their family throughout the interview.
Under The Pressure, They Aim To Be "Authentic"
In the interview, Prince Harry talked about the pressure that hands over every member of the Royal Family. "For so many in my family, what they do is there's a level of control in that because they're fearful of what the papers are going to say about them," he said.
Despite this, he and Meghan aim to be themselves--and teach their children the same thing. "Just be genuine. Just be authentic. If you get it wrong, get it wrong, if you get it right, you get it right."