The much-anticipated interview by the one and only Oprah Winfrey with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex finally aired in South Africa tonight, a day after its release in the US on Sunday, 7th March. The two hours of frank conversation starts with Meghan and Oprah alone, sitting in the peaceful garden of a friend’s Santa-Barbara home (where both the couple and Oprah reside) before Harry later joins the two. No question is off-bounds, only a few get side-stepped or go unanswered, and there’s a lot to learn about this couple’s journey. Here are six things we learned:
1.There was a secret wedding
Meghan and Harry revealed that they were in fact married three days before the televised ceremony we all watched back in 2018. “This thing, this spectacle, is for the world,” Meghan said to the Archbishop of Canterbury, “but we want our union between us.” The Archbishop agreed to marry them in their garden, with just the three of them. Meghan said that it is the vows of this intimate day that are framed in their bedroom.
2. It’s the UK tabloids that made them move
Royals expect there to be some “catty gossip”, as Meghan calls it. However, the UK tabloids have held a vicious assassination of Meghan’s character from the beginning. The colonial undertones in articles of Meghan are not only worrying on a national level but have – and continue to – presented a racially charged threat to the safety of the couple and their children too. In the interview, both Harry and Meghan speak of the hurt felt by not having the royal family stand up against the press for their treatment of Meghan. The blatant lack of support from the royals, which allowed further relentless attacks by the tabloids, were the reasons behind the couple stepping down from their senior roles.
3. Harry is still very attached to the memory of his mother
Diana, the late Princess of Wales, is mentioned by her youngest son in the interview often. Particularly, Harry is concerned about history repeating itself. The bombarding manner of the press along with the lack of support from the royal family in Harry and Meghan’s story is similar to the story of Diana, whose life tragically ended in a car accident on August 31st 1997 trying to escape a frenzy of paparazzi. Harry is consciously learning from the traumas of his past to ensure the safety of his growing family and that tragedy is not repeated.
4. Harry has been financially cut-off
When the couple moved to Canada (a commonwealth country) in late 2019, the plan was to step away from their roles as full-time senior members of the royal family but to still serve the Queen as best, and whenever, they could. However, the royal family seemed to not have agreed with this move. Harry revealed in the interview that in early 2020 he was financially cut-off from his family, stating that it is what he inherited from his mother that has got them through this period. No doubt a little Suits cash too, let’s not forget how successful Meghan has been!
5. They’re a team
Right at the start, Oprah and Meghan talk about the couple’s baby due in the summertime. Pregnant Meghan lets on that they do know the child’s sex but she prefers to wait until her husband is with them to reveal it. With entwined hands, Harry beams as he later tells Oprah that they’re expecting a baby girl. A gender reveal that cannot be topped, right? But this is just one of the signs that Harry and Meghan are a strong team that are making all these decisions, and getting through each step, together.
6. Oprah’s still got it
Lady O proves her position and stature again in this interview. She is fair and gentle with Harry and Meghan, getting them to reveal their stories in as comfortable an environment as possible. But she’s still a stellar journalist and doesn’t back away from the tough questions. She probes if the couple were “trying to have it both ways” and asks Harry how an audience is going to believe that someone of the British royal family is “trapped”. She’s a damn fine example of what good television is and needs, even today.