Prince Harry and his wife Meghan on Sunday (March 7) gave their first major TV interview to Oprah Winfrey since stepping back from the British royal family a year ago.
In the interview, Meghan, the wife of Prince Harry, accused Britain’s royal family of raising concerns about how dark their son’s skin might be. She also said that her son Archie, now aged one, had been denied the title of prince because there were concerns within the royal family “about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”.
Tonja Stidhum, a staff entertainment writer at the African American oriented online magazine The Root, said the interview was “very, very revealing and sobering.”
“It was just like, ‘Oh, my God, this is exactly what it’s like to be a Black woman,’ only on an upper-level class structure, right?”
Stidhum said she wasn’t surprised to hear about Markle’s experience but was devastated to hear the details.
“It was kind of like it, seemed like something that was kind of like in a silo or something that was like abstract. They say, like, I know she’s kind of dealing with racism, but you didn’t know the details and how far it went. I didn’t know it really until maybe when she did that ITV interview, when she said, ‘I’m not OK,’ right? That’s when I really got a vision of, like, what she was going through. And for her to go into further details, to share, to be vulnerable in this way – especially because a lot of people can relate to having depressive thoughts, to have suicidal thoughts,” she said.
The 39-year-old, whose mother is Black and father is white, said she had been naive before marrying in to royalty in 2018. Meghan said she ended up having suicidal thoughts and considering self-harm after pleading for help but getting none.
During the interview Harry said he felt the UK press is racist but not the country as a whole, which Stidhum disagreed with.
“There was a loss for a deeper conversation there, because while there is this symbiotic relationship between the UK press – and they’re very, very damaging – and the royal family, I think there is an inherent racism within the structure within the United Kingdom. And I, I think that’s also a disservice. That statement is a disservice to the Black people who live in the UK. So, the British Black people who have to experience racism every day and looking at this was just a re-traumatization even for them, I think.”
(Production: Alicia Powell)