Suddenly, the world became one big stage, with the spotlight trained on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, as they dropped bomb after bomb after bomb during their two-hour interview with American talk show icon Oprah Winfrey.
Even the media mogul could not hide her astonishment hearing some of the revelations. If you haven’t seen it yet, here are the seven truths—at least, according to the royal couple—that made our collective jaws drop:
Truth #1: Meghan did not make Kate cry, it was the other way around
Six months after Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry, tabloid reports came out that she had a rift with the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, during the preparations. The fight, which is said to have brought Kate to tears, was due to Meghan’s strict demands over flower girl dresses.
In the tell-all, Meghan said “the reverse happened.” The Duchess of Sussex said there was indeed an issue with the flower dresses that upset her and made her cry. But the ladies had already patched things up—Kate owned up to her mistake and apologized to Meghan (complete with a note and flowers) and Meghan had forgiven the misstep.
Meghan said she was, however, shocked the issue resurfaced six months after the wedding, reaching media, when everyone in the institution knew the report wasn’t true. “They really seem to want a narrative of a hero and a villain,” she told Oprah. Meghan figured it was already part of a character assassination plotted against her, and she regretted thinking the monarchy was there to protect her.
Truth #2: There were conversations about how dark Meghan’s child might be
During Meghan’s pregnancy, there were obvious concerns within the Royal Family about how the skin tone of Harry and Meghan’s child might be and “what that would mean and look like.” In relation to this, there were also discussions about their child not being given the title of a prince or princess, which meant their son or daughter (they were still unaware of the child’s sex then) won’t be getting any security. Prince Harry refused to share the details of their conversation but admitted it was an awkward discussion and that even he was shocked.
Truth #3: Meghan sought mental help within the Royal Family, but was denied
The utter pain due to the loss of her freedom, the hurtful tabloid attacks and the lack of protection from “the firm,” the conversations about the baby in her womb not receiving a title and the security that comes with it, the exhaustion from her royal duties—these were taking their toll at one point on Meghan’s mental health.
“It was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought,” the Duchess of Sussex admitted to Oprah when the host asked if suicide was ever on her mind. Meghan said she “didn’t want to be alive anymore.” She approached one of the most senior members of the palace to confess she needed to go somewhere to get help, but she was told that it won’t be good for the institution. She also went to Human Resources, but “nothing was ever done.”
“When I joined that family, that was the last time till I came here that I saw my passport, my driver’s license, my keys… all that is turned over. I didn’t see any of that anymore,” she said.
Truth #4: ‘Lack of support and understanding’ triggered them to leave the palace
The couple desperately needed support, said Harry, and they sought all the places he thought he should go to for help. Unfortunately, none was given him. He said they decided to step back as senior members of the royal family, with the intention of still serving the monarchy in their own capacity. They also wanted to take a breather from the constant media barrage. “My biggest concern was history repeating itself,” said Harry alluding to her mother, Princess Diana.
“We’ve all been through it. But what was different for me was the race element, because now it wasn’t just about [Meghan] but it’s about what she represents. And it’s not just affecting my wife, but so many people as well,” explained Harry, talking about the colonial undertones highlighted by the press but the Royal Family chose not to address. “No one from my family said anything. That hurts,” said Harry.
Truth #5: Prince Harry’s been cut off from the monarchy financially
The Duke of Sussex said he had ceased receiving financial support from the monarchy since the first half of 2020—his family literally cut him off financially. Media mogul Tyler Perry provided them security and a place to stay when they relocated to Los Angeles. Three months later, they bought a home and settled in the Santa Barbara area in California. Harry said they would not have been able to start a new life if not for the money he inherited from his mother, Princess Diana.
“I certainly felt [my mother’s] presence throughout this whole process,” he said, adding that he’s relieved and happy that he and Meghan have each other. “I can imagine what it must have been for her going through this process by herself all those years ago.” The royal couple and their son Archie have been living in the California home since March last year.
When the Netflix and Spotify deals were mentioned, the Prince clarified that these weren’t part of the plan but he’s grateful that these allowed him to afford security for his family.
Truth #6: He feels ‘let down’ by his father, Prince Charles
Asked about his relationship with his father, Prince Harry said he feels really let down because he knows for a fact he has been through similar circumstances. “He knows what pain feels like,” Harry said. While he will always love his father, there’s a lot of hurt. He said he will see to it that healing that relationship is one of his top priorities.
Meanwhile, when it comes to his brother William, while he loves him and they’d been “through hell together,” they obviously are “on different paths.” He said there is “space at the moment,” when asked about the status of their relationship.
Harry also explained he understands the situation of his father and brother, who are trapped in a system. Although he would have wished they learned from history, referring to the similarities between the situations of Diana and Meghan.
According to the interview, Prince Harry and Meghan both have a soft spot for the Queen, who have been really good to the couple. Harry said they had spoken over phone calls on several occasions the past year, and also had video calls with Archie. Meghan, on the other hand, recalled a moment during a tour when the Queen offered to share her blanket with the former to keep both of them warm. She also shared she received a matching pearl earrings and necklace from her.
Truth#7: Harry and Meghan got married in secret three days prior to their wedding
“This spectacle is for the whole world. But this union is between us,” Meghan recalled their conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury. She said it was just her, Harry and the Archbishop who were present during the union, which took place “in our own backyard.” Meanwhile the fairy tale wedding, the spectacle, the one watched by millions of people around the world, was held at the St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom close to three years ago.