The life of Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex was painted as a picture of success and glamour. A TV star of US award-winning drama Suits turned Royal Princess, Markle once seemed to be on an ever-ascending route to the very top. Yet just three years on from that picturesque, fairytalelike wedding in St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle, the Duchess and her husband Prince Harry cannot seem to get a break. In what is dubbed as a monumental expose on the Royal Family, Harry and Meghan are sitting down with Oprah Winfrey in an interview airing on Sunday 7th March. Already released footage suggests that the Royal Family are in for a rough ride. This is the latest episode in what has been a tumultuous period for the Duchess, but one cannot help but ask how Meghan, once so loved by the British people, has become vilified by those she calls family.
Prince Harry, once called the world’s most eligible bachelor, and Meghan met in 2016. Their whirlwind romance was kept private for the initial stages until they appeared together at the 2017 Toronto Invictus Games. From then, things escalated. Harry proposed later that year and in May 2018, the world witness the most watched British Royal Wedding in history, even eclipsing the future King William, Harry’s older brother.
There were signs at this wedding that the Sussex’s would do things their own way. For example, the traditional schoolboy choir was replaced with a gospel choir. The sermon was delivered by Bishop Curry, the first African American to serve as presiding bishop in The Episcopal Church.
In 2019, Meghan gave birth to a son Archie, born in the US. Seventh in line to the throne, the couple decided to not give him any royal titles.
Sadly, for Harry and Meghan, this is where married life as working members of the Royal Family peaked.
Throughout the pregnancy, Meghan had faced a relentless media onslaught, similar to the kind that the Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge has experienced in her early days of marriage. Such consistent scrutiny affected Meghan greatly and the pressure of public service as a Royal began to mount. Meghan recently won a lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday and Mail Online over the publication of a private letter from Meghan to her father. She claimed it was a breach of privacy.
In January 2020, the pair announced that they would be stepping back from their roles as ‘working’ royals. They had the Queen’s blessing as long as they would remove the term ‘royal’ from the branding of their business ventures. The transition was completed in March 2020, initially to Canada, and now the couple have set up base in California.
The pair have honoured their decision. They have recently announced business deals with Spotify and Netflix and are paying taxes in the States like everyone else. They even announced they are expecting a second child.
The issue I, and many others seem to share, is that both Harry and Meghan wanted to “step back” from public life and lead a “more peaceful life”. This on face value is entirely understandable. The British Press is notoriously shameless, and Meghan has felt the full brunt of it in the past. However, I find it hard to digest why Harry, who has recently said that the press was “destroying his mental health” and is evidently petrified of history repeating itself after the death of his mother, Diana, is willing to participate in such an interview. Is it not throwing petrol on the fire?
There is no way in any circumstances that Harry and Meghan are coming out of this interview unscathed. The notion that this interview is good for Harry and Meghan is bewildering. Whether you agree with it or not, The Royal Family will inevitably refute any wrongdoing that they might have done. They will vehemently deny any allegations.
Yes, the Royal’s reputation has taken a hit with Prince Andrew’s affiliation and blatant lies regarding the nature of his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, however, the Royal Family still garners plenty of respect and devotion from the British people. It is also a great shame to see the once unified brotherly relationship between William and Harry, now in tatters. Meghan’s attempt at dirtying the royal waters will not work. The waters are too established.
Sunday’s interview will be eagerly watched on both sides of the pond and indeed across the world. The public’s reaction will be heated, and everyone will have their opinion. I feel a certain level of sympathy for Harry and Meghan. They have been on the receiving end of vile abuse. But, I struggle to see how this interview is going to help them. Meghan is show-biz at heart. She is good in front of the camera. However, this time it may have graver consequences. This war of words will not end well for Meghan and Harry. Few people have challenged the Royal Family quite like this and come out the other side untouched. The gloves are off, and the stage is set. Round 1, California, don’t miss it.