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No holds barred: Meghan and Harry's historic interview
This undated image released March 7, 2021 courtesy of Harpo Productions shows Britain's Prince Harry (L) and his wife Meghan (C), Duchess of Sussex, in a conversation with US television host Oprah Winfrey. Britain's royal family on March 7, 2021 braced for further revelations from Prince Harry and his American wife, Meghan, as a week of transatlantic claim and counter-claim reaches a climax with the broadcast of their interview with Oprah Winfrey. The two-hour interview with the US TV queen is the biggest royal tell-all since Harry's mother princess Diana detailed her crumbling marriage to his father Prince Charles in 1995.
AFP/Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions

No holds barred: Meghan and Harry's historic interview

Thomas Urbain (Agence France-Presse) - March 8, 2021 - 3:00pm

NEW YORK, United States — Meghan Markle opened up about battling suicidal thoughts, Prince Harry disclosed a painful rift with his father — and both settled a fair few scores in their history-making interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The gloves came off as the pair lifted the veil on their dramatic exit from royal life, holding little back as they alleged racism in royal ranks, and a campaign of lies targeting Meghan.

But there was tenderness too as the pair spoke of their present-day happiness — and revealed the gender of their second child.

Here are key takeaways from the interview:

'Didn't want to be alive'

Opening up on a barrage of negative media coverage she faced as part of the royal family, Meghan, 39, said the British press drove her to the point where life no longer seemed worth living.

"I knew that if I didn't say it, that I would do it. And I... just didn't want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought," she told Winfrey in the two-hour CBS spot.

Asked by Winfrey if she was having suicidal thoughts while pregnant with her first child, Meghan replied "Yes. This was very, very clear."

Meghan said she approached the palace to tell them she was having a mental health crisis.

"I went to one of the most senior people just to — to get help," she said. "I was told that I couldn't, that it wouldn't be good for the institution."

Meghan said she ultimately reached out to one of the late Princess Diana's best friends for support.

"Who else could understand what's — what it's actually like on the inside?"

'How dark his skin might be'

Meghan, whose father is white and mother is Black, said Harry had revealed to her official concerns among the royals about the skin color of her unborn son, Archie.

"In those months when I was pregnant... 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," Meghan said.

"Those were conversations the family had with him."

Asked by Winfrey if the concern was that he might be "too brown," Meghan replied: "If that's the assumption you're making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one."

'Character assassination'

It was sensational tabloid fodder: the story of how of Meghan made Kate Middleton cry after a bridesmaid dress fitting for Princess Charlotte.

And by Meghan's account — it was entirely fabricated.

"Everyone in the institution knew it wasn't true," Meghan told Winfrey of the alleged incident, claiming that in reality: "The reverse happened."

Kate, she said, "was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologized."

"A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining — yes, the issue was correct — about flower girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings."

Meghan called the incident "a turning point" in her relations with the royal family.

"The narrative about, you know, making Kate cry I think was the beginning of a real character assassination," she said.

"And they knew it wasn't true. And I thought, well, if they're not going to kill things like that, then what are we going to do?"

"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.

'Let down'

Speaking candidly about his relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said had he felt "really let down" by his father throughout the painful episode — but that they were now talking to one another.

"There's a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down, because he's been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like," an emotional Harry said.

He described Charles — the heir to the throne — and Harry's older brother William as "trapped" by the conventions of the monarchy, but vowed that he would "always love" his father.

"My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don't get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that."

Harry went on say that he and Meghan "did everything we could" to stay in the royal family.

"I'm sad that what's happened has happened, but I know, and I'm comfortable in knowing that we did everything that we could to make it work." 

'Fairytale'

But it was not all darkness and score-settling. 

Offering royal fans a treat, the couple revealed the gender of their second child, chiming in tandem "It's a girl!" and confirming the baby was due in "summertime."

Asked if they were "done" with two children, Harry replied: "done."

"To have a boy and then a girl, I mean what more can you ask for?" he said.

"Two is it," quipped Meghan.

In a bucolic segment, Harry and Meghan offered viewers a glimpse of their "fairytale" life in California's beachside celebrity enclave of Montecito, showing off their chicken coop — and its hens rescued from a factory farm.

And Meghan wrapped up with a hopeful look to the future, saying Harry had made a decision that "saved my life."

"And now because we're actually on the other side, we've actually not just survived but are thriving."

Asked by Winfrey if her story "does have a happy ending," Meghan replied: "It does. Greater than any fairytale you've ever read." — with Ben Sheppard in Washington

BRITISH ROYALS MEGHAN MARKLE OPRAH WINFREY PRINCE HARRY
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: March 11, 2021 - 9:10pm

Follow this thread for updates on Prince Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah. Main photo: Joe PUGLIESE / HARPO PRODUCTIONS / AFP

March 11, 2021 - 9:10pm

Prince William on Thursday defended the British royal family after his younger brother Harry and wife Meghan accused them of racism in a bombshell interview watched around the world.

"We're very much not a racist family," William told reporters during a visit to a multi-racial school in a deprived area of east London.

The Duke of Cambridge, son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, added that he had yet to speak to Harry in California since the interview first aired in the United States on Sunday.

"No, I haven't spoken to him yet, but I will do," he said. — AFP

March 10, 2021 - 7:27am

Queen Elizabeth II is saddened by the challenges faced by her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, and takes their allegations of racism in the royal family seriously, Buckingham Palace says Tuesday.

"The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning," the palace says in a statement released on the queen's behalf.

"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." —  AFP

March 8, 2021 - 11:20am

Prince Harry says during a tell-all interview Sunday that he and his wife Meghan Markle "did everything we could" to stay in the royal family.

"I'm sad that what's happened has happened, but I know, and I'm comfortable in knowing that we did everything that we could to make it work," he tells Oprah Winfrey during the two-hour CBS spot.

"Oh my god, we just did everything we could to protect them," Meghan adds.

Harry and Meghan announced in January 2020 that they were stepping back from royal duties. Buckingham Palace announced earlier this month that the couple had permanently quit. —  AFP

March 8, 2021 - 11:16am

Prince Harry says he felt "really let down" by his father as he and wife Meghan open up about quitting Britain over her harsh treatment by the British press and the lack of support from the royal family.

Celebrity interviewer Oprah Winfrey asks Harry during a two hour CBS interview with the couple how his relationship had been with Prince Charles since they moved to the United States.

"There's a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down, because he's been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like," an emotional Harry says. —  AFP

March 8, 2021 - 10:52am

Harry says he feels 'really let down' by Prince Charles —  AFP

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