• Garima Singh

The consensus on Harry and Meghan’s interview: An overview

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, delivered a revealing exit interview with Oprah Winfrey this week. On a Sunday evening, the world sat down to listen to the detailed retelling of the royal couple’s story so far - from when they were dating, to their wedding ceremony, life after marriage, and life after their firstborn, Archie Mountbatten Windsor.

The world reacted, rather unsurprisingly, to serious allegations of racism and biased treatment of Meghan within and by the Royal family. The couple referred to conversations about their soon-to-be child’s skin colour, saying the palace had conversations about “how dark his skin might be.” Meghan also spoke incandescently about the darker moments of her short stay at the palace, admitting to suicidal thoughts and struggling mental health. She sought help from the palace to no avail: they said she was not a “paid employee” of the institution.

The British monarchy has a history rooted in colonialism and slavery, and so it has not altogether been shocking to hear that racism still runs within its walls. However, for royal family members of such stature to speak out about it, on national television, is something to think about.

Harry and Meghan continue to be members of the royal family, and as such, their word has weight. The remarks have stirred a range of opinions, emotions, and conversations about the fundamental systemic issues of our time and the times before: racism and sexism.

Articles revisiting the monarchy’s racial history have swept the web since, in-depth examinations of the royal members’ conduct going back to the early days. Comparisons between Meghan and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, have resurfaced - focused on media coverage of the two leading women. The racial biases in media covered run deep, are unrelenting, and quite blatant.

Debates over the status, relevance, and legitimacy of the monarchy have been set in motion, with some wondering whether it should be abolished altogether.

As for the public, the interview has been an emotional or unsettling experience. For most, it was a reminder of the presence and impact of anti-Blackness in 2021. The fact that it continues to shake traditional grounds and disturb entire socio-political systems - first, the police and now, the monarchy - is as astounding as it is painful. That it continues in its persistence, its dehumanisation, is still hard for much of the world that continues to tirelessly fight oppression and discrimination on a daily basis.

The interview was more than just televised celebrity storytelling - it was a stark reminder of the depth of racial and gender bias in the world, and the heights it can reach.


The Washington Post

The Conversation

The Guardian

Telegraph UK