WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! I hope I’ve waited enough for you all to watch the interview, so if you have, please join the discussion!
Before watching Oprah’s interview with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry, I felt a little indifferent about it, but I’m glad I decided to tune in. I found myself relating to Meghan in so many ways. I am a bi-racial black woman as she is, and it was relieving to hear that we had shared experiences. I already knew where this interview was going, so I wasn’t surprised by anything she or Harry said, but I am glad they got this opportunity and platform to discuss their experiences.
So, what experiences stuck out to me? I’ve noted some of the revelations below.
Questioning Archie’s skin color:
Meghan mentioned that there was a concern within the royal family about Archie’s skin tone. These conversations were had with Harry, who was upset and said he was stunned. He revealed that the conversation was not with the Queen or Prince Phillip.
In my experience, someone who is racist or biased will see a mixed baby as black. I’ve seen colorism come into play, so depending on how light their skin color is, they may be treated differently as in the racist may feel safer expressing their views or questioning the person on white privilege, etc. I find it “funny” that some black people don’t immediately consider Meghan to be a black woman. It’s similar to reverse colorism. Personally, it’s a complex experience to be in the “middle,” and I’m not saying I would wish for one or the other, but as a comment alone, there is a feeling of being misunderstood. For instance, I will never be white to someone racist, and I’ll never be considered black enough by some in the black community.
I am not an expert on royal protocol, but from what I understand, neither Prince William nor Prince Harry’s children would be given the title of prince or princess unless the Queen made it so. The Queen issued “letters patent” for William and Kate’s children, Charlotte and Louis, to ensure they were born princess and prince, but Archie, the son of Meghan and Harry, was not granted the same privilege. Once again, I’m not shocked by this. Denying Archie the title of Prince is something I expected, but at the same time was disappointed in. Meghan spoke of how hard it was for the first royal family member of color not to be offered this title, and I agree. Representation, even as adults, is everything, and it seems they “snubbed” him.
Photo Opportunity of Baby Archie:
THIS! It’s been a tradition for a royal mother to take pictures with their newborn outside of the hospital. I loved seeing Prince William and Kate bring out their newborn, it was so fun and exciting, and I didn’t see the same thing for Meghan and Harry. I thought Meghan and Harry chose not to participate in this; however, Meghan suggested that it wasn’t their choice not to take photos after giving birth to Archie because there was never an offer. Once again, I’m not surprised by this; what a letdown!
Harry Unaware of Racial Bias:
Harry voiced that he was unaware of racial bias until he lived in Meghan’s shoes. He said he could see where “it” was going and knew how far the media go, and he mentioned he knew the press would get away with it. Harry revealed that part of why they stepped back was because of the media and others’ racist attacks. Oprah even brought out articles written about Kate versus Meghan as examples. One article was written about how Kate enjoyed a healthy avocado toast for breakfast, while one focused on how Meghan’s favorite snack (avocado toast) fueled drought and murder.
Many people will still say, yeah, right, Harry doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but being a bi-racial black woman myself has given me insight into situations that I didn’t realize it would. I knew most people who were not of color would not understand the experiences Harry and Meghan had. I often think, “what if these people could have a little taste of living these experiences?” I hope it would cause a change in response and provide a little more knowledge and humanity surrounding the fight against racism. I’m proud that Harry admitted he was unaware, as I think many people can relate to this.
During the interview, Oprah asked Harry and Meghan about their decision to step back from being senior members of the royal family. Harry explained that they weren’t reinventing the wheel and discussed how he had spoken to the Queen beforehand about their decision. Meghan voiced that several other people have stepped back but are still there to support the Queen when called upon. It wasn’t until later that they received a dismissive response. Prince Harry thought the Queen was being given bad advice, as he did not blindsight his Grandmother.
It’s scary to see how Harry lost his security and, honestly, baby Archie as well, as he was born into the family versus Meghan, but you’ve guessed, I’m not shocked. Harry recalled how bewildered he was that he was losing security. Harry voiced his sadness of racism not being acknowledged or condemned by his family. Meghan also spoke about how she was not given help when suffering mentally (again, not surprised). Prince Charles and William seem to currently be at odds with Harry, as Harry added they were taking space to heal. I have experience of this personally, where racism is viewed as a difference in opinion, and that’s that. It’s harrowing to come to terms with that, as a person of color, because it’s apart of you that is being dismissed. I hope this being brought out in the open will cause change for the royal family and others.
Being able to tell your truth can be a powerful thing. This interview has welcomed hard conversations to come out, and I hope it will continue to do so. Oprah was the perfect person for this task; she was so in her element.
I look forward to seeing how Harry and Meghan navigate their new life in America. They briefly spoke about their upcoming deal with Netflix and Spotify through their company Archewell. Thank God for Diana!