18th April 2021
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah aired on British television on the 8th of March, attracting 11.3 million views in the UK. Making it one of the most watched tv shows of the year in Britain.
The tell all interview covered topics such as race, mental health and the British tabloids. The interview was packed full of revelations about the couple’s time working for the royal family. Meghan Markle disclosed that during this time, she struggled with mental health issues and suicidal thoughts. “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore”, Meghan tearfully revealed. While on this topic, Meghan referenced an image which was taken at the Royal Albert Hall in January 2019. This was the day she had had a conversation with Harry about her mental health, calling it an image which “still haunts” her.
They went on to reveal that Meghan had asked the Palace for help with her mental health struggles but was refused because “it wouldn’t be good for the institution”. In hindsight, it is unsurprising that the couple suffered in this way, the British tabloids were notoriously nasty in their coverage of the couple but especially about Meghan. Oprah brought up the many comparisons which have been made between the headlines written about Kate Middleton which had a significantly more positive tone, which led the discussion to the horrific racism which Meghan dealt with during this time. They described the situation as “almost unsurvivable”.
A quote from the interview which was particularly striking is when Meghan said “you have no idea what’s going on for someone behind closed doors. You’ve no idea”, “even the people that smile the biggest smiles and shine the brightest lights”. Unfortunately the royal fairytale which we all love to buy in to is not all that it seems. The glamorous, seemingly perfect lifestyle that is portrayed could not be further from the reality they experienced.
This interview although causing shock waves of its own, lead to presenter Piers Morgan chiming in with his controversial opinion. The discussion on Good Morning Britain caused its own controversy and led to Piers Morgan resigning. Following 41,000 Ofcom complaints about Piers’ extensive criticism of Meghan Markle. Stating “he didn’t believe a word” of what Meghan and Harry said in their interview.
The interview has caused widespread reactions from people both positive and negative. Which in turn has sparked a social media frenzy on the topic of speaking about mental health. Seeing that mental health issues even affect those who seem like they have it all, is a huge step in breaking the stigma about speaking out about these issues. The stigma around mental health has cost us so many lives and the sooner we can break this the better.