Trouble in paradise: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry speak out

Lauren Guinn, Opinion Editor

Meghan Markle’s existence became controversial to many when she got engaged to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. The British media, particularly the tabloids, have been known to be extremely critical of the royal family, especially those who marry into it. 

On March 7, Oprah had a sit-down interview with Markle that aired on CBS for the whole world to see. Oprah did not shy away from asking the most pressing questions, and this interview addressed much of the controversy surrounding the couple. 

Senior Sophia Lindquist described her reaction to the interview. “I thought the interview was eye-opening as it shed light onto the behind the scenes of the royal family,” she said.

Markle has been the subject of many critical and harmful articles — some of the headlines being “Meghan made Kate cry” and “My memo to Meghan Markle following her vogue editorial- we Brits prefer true royalty to fashion royalty.” Many people attribute the negative media attention to a variety of factors: Meghan being American, a divorcee, a successful actress and bi-racial all added vitriol to the stories. 

The aforementioned headline that includes a reference to Kate Middelton, Duchess of Cambridge, was a main talking point of the interview. Markle revealed that the situation was in fact true, but instead of what had been reported, Middleton was actually the one who made Markle cry over a situation involving a flower girl dress. This was just one of the examples where the media twisted the situation to paint Markle as a villain.

The British media even coined the term “Megxit” to describe Markle and Prince Harry stepping back from their roles as senior members of the royal family. Markle shed light to the period of time leading up to the eventual role change and explained the dire state of her mental health and the little response when she reached out for help within the institution.

PV teacher Jess Scadden, who holds a deep interest in the inner workings of the royal family, went into depth about how the royal institution brushed aside Markle’s mental health issues as well as the bravery it took to talk about it. 

“I want to point out how courageous and important Meghan’s discussion about her own suicidal thoughts truly was. William and Kate are the leaders of the Head Together initiative, a group that works to raise awareness of and reduce the stigma of mental health issues,” she said. “When asking for help, Meghan was essentially denied access to the resources she needed. It is clear that much work still has to be done in the way of mental health, both in raising awareness but also getting people the help they need.”  

Another prominent discussion in the interview fell around race. Many believe Markle being half-Black is one reason to blame for the unwelcoming response from both the media and the general public. However, the racism also occurred within the family itself too. 

At one point in the interview Meghan described a situation where Prince Harry had been involved in a conversation with other members of the royal institution to talk about the possibilities of their expected child’s skin tone. They feared that the child, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, would be too dark. This is what Markle believes caused the institution to deny Windsor a title and security. 

Eventually when Prince Harry joined the interview he drew a comparison between Markle and his mother, former Princess Diana Spencer. Spencer also faced a lot of controversy specifically about her divorce from Prince Charles (Prince Harry’s father) and eventually did a similar “tell-all” interview. 

Scadden also noticed similarities between the two situations and felt Prince Harry sent a larger message in the interview surrounding the issues. “Harry made it clear that he did not want his wife to suffer at the hands of the media or the Crown like his own mother did. It shouldn’t be overlooked that when he was cut off financially from his family, it was the money Diana left Harry that allowed him and Meghan to successfully start their own lives,” she interpreted.  

Markle faced an insurmountable amount of criticism as soon as she stepped into the picture with Prince Harry. This seemed to be exacerbated by the fact that she is African-American and eventually led to the downfall of her mental health. All of these truths  finally came to light within Markle’s most recent interview with Oprah.