Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle during the interview with Oprah Winfrey and broadcast Sunday evening in the United States on CBS.
HARPO PRODUCTIONS / REUTERS
A little over a year after their withdrawal from the royal family, the confidences of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle to the talk-show diva, Oprah Winfrey, broadcast Sunday, March 7 on the American television channel CBS , were expected as the last episode of The Crown, Netflix's hit series dedicated to Buckingham Palace.
The television channel, which did not hesitate to pay nearly 8.5 million euros for this exclusivity, had cleverly distilled all the week preceding extracts of what was shaping up to be a shock interview.
During the two hours of this interview which had been recorded two weeks beforehand, the revelations did not disappoint: the secret marriage, the suicidal thoughts of Meghan, the concerns of the royal family about the color of their child's skin. unborn, the refusal of Buckingham Palace to provide him with protection ...
If the couple refrained from personally scratching the queen, the portrait of the royal family that emerges from this interview should however leave marks.
The secret marriage.
"Three days before our wedding, we got married," said the Duchess of Sussex on Sunday evening, saying that they had said yes in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, before the high mass on May 19, 2018 . "No one knows.
But we called the Archbishop, and we just said, 'Look, this show is for the world, but we want our union to be between us,' ”Meghan Markle explained to Oprah Winfrey.
"Kate made me cry."
Meghan Markle said Sunday evening that she did not make her sister-in-law Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, cry shortly before her marriage to Prince Harry, contrary to rumors about this incident which made the cabbages of British tabloids.
"The opposite has happened," the Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey. "Everyone within the institution knew that it was not true", added the ex-American actress, affirming that this incident had been the beginning of a "real campaign of denigration" as well as "A turning point" in his relations with the royal family.
"A few days before the wedding, [Kate] was upset about the bridesmaids' dresses and it made me cry," said Meghan Markle, adding that she had "hoped" that Kate would have rectified the account that had then been delivered by the media.
According to Meghan, Kate would have apologized a few days later, bringing flowers and a little note of apology: “I do not wish to share this note so as not to denigrate Kate.
She's a good person. ” Asked why Kate had not seen fit to rectify the account given at the time, she simply replied: "Good question."
“The story of how I made Kate cry was the start of a real libel and they knew it wasn't true.
If they did nothing to put an end to things like that, then what were they going to do? ”Asks the Duchess.
It was really hard to reconcile because it wasn't until we got married and everything really started to get worse that I realized that not only was I unprotected but that they were ready to lie in order to protect other family members. "
"I was silenced and I was not protected." Responding to Oprah asking her if she chose to remain "silent" or if she was "silenced",
Meghan explained that everyone around her was given a "very clear direction" to never comment. from the moment it was common knowledge that she and Harry were dating.
She said she initially thought she was' protected ', but that quickly changed:' It was really hard to reconcile because it wasn't until we got married and everything went wrong. really started to get worse as
I realized that not only was I unprotected but that they were willing to lie to protect other family members.
But they weren't willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband. ”
“I couldn't have felt more alone”. The Duchess of Sussex has explained how life at Buckingham Palace has been a lonely experience for her. "I was not alone with him," she testified, alluding to Prince Harry.
There were times he had to work, he had to go, sometimes in the middle of the night.
There was very little that I was allowed to do. Of course, that breeds loneliness. ”
Meghan thus compared her loss of freedom to what people may have felt over the past year due to the lockdown linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
This conversation, I don't intend to reveal it, ever. At the time, it was awkward, I was a little shocked. But that was from the start. What would the child look like? "
Concerns about Archie's skin color.
The former actress, who is mixed race, also claimed that members of the royal family were concerned about the skin color of her son Archie before he was born.
From the start of the pregnancy, they expressed "concerns (...) about how dark her skin would be", "what that would mean and what it would look like," she explained.
The Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey that these words had been reported to her by her husband, without wanting to give the identity of the person or people who had this exchange with Harry because "it would be very harmful for them".
The Duchess of Sussex also indicated that Buckingham Palace has refused to grant protection to the child and that members of the institution believe that Archie should not be given a title of nobility, although this is the tradition .
“While I was pregnant, they wanted to change the protocol for Archie. Why ? she asks. There is no explanation. ”
Harry regretted that the royal family did not take a public stand to denounce what he sees as racist coverage by part of the British press.
In front of the presenter, however, he refused on Sunday evening to say more about the content of the conversations he had with his family about the color of his son's skin.
“This conversation, I don't intend to reveal it, ever. At the time, it was embarrassing, I was a little shocked.
” “But that was from the start. What would the child look like? It was at the beginning when it became clear that she (Meghan) would not have protection, when my family suggested that she could continue her acting profession because there would be no money for her. "
"I just didn't want to be alive anymore. And I’m they were constant, terrifying, real and very clear thoughts ”
"Thoughts of suicide".
Meghan Markle revealed that she had suicidal thoughts as a result of British media coverage of her person and that the royal family then refused to let her get help.
“I just didn't want to be alive anymore. And they were constant, terrifying, real and very clear thoughts, ”said the Duchess of Sussex. “And I went to see the institution (name given by the Duchess to the royal family, Editor's note), and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help.
I said that I had never felt like this before (...) and I was told that I could not, that it would not be good for the institution, she added.
I was really ashamed to say it back then, and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry in particular, because I know the loss he suffered, but I knew if I didn't say it, I would. would - and I didn't want to be alive anymore. "
"It's a girl !"
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, are expecting a girl, they first revealed to CBS viewers.
This is their second child after the birth of Archie, a boy, born in May 2019. "To have a boy, then a girl, what more can we ask for?", Rejoiced Prince Harry, who married Meghan Markle in 2018. The birth is expected sometime in the summer.
I was trapped by the system, as are the rest of my family.
My father and my brother, they are prisoners. They don't have a chance to leave, and I have a lot of compassion for that. "
“I was trapped”. When Oprah Winfrey asked him if he had turned his back on the royal family for Meghan, Prince Harry replied: “I was trapped too.
I couldn't see a way out. I was trapped but I didn't know it. (...) I was trapped by the system, like the rest of my family. My father and my brother, they are prisoners.
They don't have the option to leave, and I have a lot of compassion for that. ”
The rebellious child of Buckingham Palace also recounts his degraded relationship with his father, Prince Charles, and explains that at a certain point he did not even pick up the phone when he called.
Harry admits to having felt "really neglected " by his father, while he was going through a difficult time. “Because he went through something similar.
He knows what pain is, ”the prince adds . “There will be work” to improve their relationship, “but at the same time, I will always love him”.
Regarding his brother, Prince William, Harry explained that the two princes were "on different paths", confirming, hollow, that their relationship was strained, while reaffirming his affection for his elder. “Time heals everything, I hope,” he said.
By contrast, Charles and Diana's youngest son praised his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, saying he did not "take her by surprise" when he announced his retirement from the royal family.
“My grandmother and I have a very good relationship and an understanding,” he said. And I have deep respect for her. She's my colonel-in-chief. It will remain so.
The prince explains that Buckingham Palace cut him off at the start of 2020 and that he was then able to provide for his family thanks to the money left to him by his mother, Princess Diana.
And without hesitation, he draw a parallel with her tragic fate: “I can't imagine what it was like for her to go through it all alone for all these years, because it was incredibly hard on both of us - but at least we could count on each other. " "We have done everything possible" to stay within the royal family, he sums up.
The monarchy fights back
A few hours before the broadcast of this shock interview, which will be broadcast from Monday in the kingdom, the British monarchy had decided to stand up, offering the image of a united family during the annual celebrations of the Commonwealth.
In a pre-recorded televised speech, the Queen underlined the importance of the "selfless dedication and sense of duty" shown by caregivers during the pandemic, a sign that some are sure to interpret as a criticism of the princely couple. .
According to a source close to the Queen quoted by the Sunday Times, Elizabeth II did not intend to watch her grandson's interview and indicated that she would be more in the media next week to show that the monarchy "is focused on important questions ”.
The newspaper also indicates that members of the court, who did not hesitate to qualify the interview of "circus", are preparing to respond "with new revelations" on the behavior of the couple if the monarchy was attacked.
READ ALSO: Kate and William with Elizabeth II on BBC One: the "royals" prepare for war against the Sussexes
After confirming to the Queen their final withdrawal from the royal family, after a period of observation, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, married since May 2018, lost their last official titles in February.
The first moved to Canada, then to California, in Montecito, since March, the duo has already resolutely taken the tangent and capitalized on their image of modern couple, mixed, turned towards the humanitarian, in a country where the opinion is much, much more favorable to them than in England.
Since their move, the couple has created their foundation, Archewell, and has notably committed to producing programs for Netflix, for $ 100 million, according to several American media, and podcasts for Spotify. Added to this is a partnership announced with the Apple TV + platform, in collaboration with ... Oprah Winfrey.