It’s the interview that’s got the whole world talking.
Meghan and Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah was dividing opinion this morning after it aired on ITV for British viewers last night.
Explosive accusations of racism within the monarchy and familial rifts have been probed in enormous detail.
Fleet Street has devoted reams of column inches to analysing the sit-down, with the media’s most seasoned royal watchers weighing in.
Below is a selection of some of the myriad reaction to the jaw-dropping interview.
Meghan and Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah was dividing opinion this morning after it aired on ITV for British viewers last night
Camilla Tominey –
Camilla Tominey said it was the most astonishing royal interview she had seen
‘It was probably the most astonishing royal interview I’ve ever watched in my life.
‘And I say that on the back of Panorama, and indeed, Prince Charles speaking to Jonathan Dimbleby. Even the Duchess of York’s Oprah outing had nothing on this…
‘…I think most people acknowledge that the Royal Family is quite dysfunctional. It’s not nuclear, it’s thermo-nuclear. And I think we’ve seen that over the course of the last few decades.
‘But they’ll be wondering: well you’ve got Megxit and by your own admission the fairytale has ended happily. You are now thriving as opposed to just surviving.
‘Why then did you feel you needed to unleash on people with whom you are struggling to maintain a relationship?
Celia Walden –
Celia Walden said ‘Meghan is the only celebrity interviewee I’ve ever seen to give such leading answers’
‘Meghan was so guileless, she assures Oprah, that she knew nothing about either the royal family or what she was getting herself into.
‘She has never looked up Prince Harry online. She ‘never researched what it would mean’ to be his girlfriend or become his wife.
‘She ‘honestly’ thought The Firm was looking out for her best interests – it was left to Meghan’s friends to inform her, again, how naïve she was.
‘She ‘didn’t have a plan’, and ‘genuinely hadn’t thought of’ profiting from her royal title with whopping Netflix and Spotify deals.
‘Journalists famously ask leading questions. Meghan is the only celebrity interviewee I’ve ever seen to give such leading answers she might as well have been pulling poor Oprah along by a leash.’
Carole Malone said Harry and Meghan have gone ‘as low as possible’
Carole Malone –
‘Meghan and Harry have chosen to go as low as possible – trashing his father, his brother William, and Catherine who he used to call his ‘big sister’.
‘Instead of going high, they’ve chosen the scorched earth route.
‘They’ve chosen division, destruction and to hurt people – in Harry’s case the people he loved most in the world after his wife and child.
‘He told Oprah he feared that what happened to his mother would happen to his wife, that ‘history would repeat’.
‘What tosh! Meghan did the royal role for 20 months. Diana was at it for 17 years, the last four without security or protection. So yes, she was besieged. Meghan was not.’
Allison Pearson said it looks ‘vengeful, self-absorbed and attention-seeking’
Allison Pearson –
‘The most shocking moment came when the Duchess confessed to having had suicidal thoughts and not wanting to go on in the face of relentless media scrutiny.
‘She and Harry gave a convincing account of the crazy, constricted cage that is being Royal, and their decision to bend the bars and fly away seems totally understandable – admirable, even.
‘But why give this deeply destructive interview now when Prince Philip, within three months of his century, is in hospital and the Queen waits at Windsor for her ‘liege man of life and limb’ who has been by her side for 73 years?
‘It looks vengeful, self-absorbed and attention-seeking…
‘…Above all, many of us will have felt the insult to the Queen. However loudly Harry and Meghan may have proclaimed their affection for the monarch there is no question that their interview was a devastating act of lèse-majesté.
‘The couple unleashed demons which could destabilise her beloved Commonwealth and threaten the future of the monarchy itself.’
Penny Junor (Royal biographer) –
Penny Junor said of the interview was ‘a tragedy’ from every perspective
‘From every perspective this is a tragedy. Damaging to the monarchy, to individuals within the Royal Family and to the UK. What’s more, it is history repeating itself.
‘Harry and Meghan’s wedding was not even three years ago. William was best man, a seemingly delighted Prince Charles walked his daughter-in-law down the aisle in the absence of her own father. Everyone was smiling, everyone apparently happy. Harry had found love at last.
‘Meghan’s welcome into the Royal Family seemed beyond doubt. That she was of mixed race was a bonus.
‘At last the monarchy would be of relevance to everyone. A bright future beckoned.
‘Today, with clips and quotes from the Oprah interview everywhere you look, those scenes feel like ancient history. The joy of that day, which so many millions of people shared, has turned to dust.
‘Between them Meghan and Harry said shocking things and made damning accusations. And whether true or false or somewhere in between, those accusations have gone global. It was much the same when Diana’s account on Panorama of her marriage and life within the Royal Family went global 25 years ago.’
Andrew Morton said Diana’s ghost ‘hovered over’ the interview
Andrew Morton (Diana’s biographer) –
‘Like the time-travelling whirlpool in the hit comedy movie [Hot Tub Time machine], I was spun back through the decades to the 1990s when Princess Diana talked to me about her torrid time inside the Royal Family.
‘It was as though her ghost hovered over the two-hour Oprah Winfrey special.
‘Time after time, Meghan spoke in the same language and with the same sentiments as the late Princess. It was uncanny.
‘Loneliness, suicidal tendencies, exhaustion, a prisoner of the Palace — but respect for the Queen.’
Melanie McDonagh –
‘The person who comes out really badly from all this is Prince Harry, not his wife. He is absent from the first part of the interview and poisonous in the second.
‘It was he who should have tried to explain to his intended about the nature of the royal role, though it’s hard to think of anything he could have said that would have deterred Meghan.
‘His assertion that they would have remained with their role had they been given greater support is malign to the people who did try to help them.
‘His declaration that Prince Charles and his brother are trapped inside the institution is ostensibly sympathetic and actually spiteful.’
Veteran Royal photographer Arthur Edwards said Oprah Winfrey was the only winner
Arthur Edwards –
‘Oprah Winfrey was the only winner in this incredibly sad spectacle.
‘Even after 44 years covering royal life ? in which I thought I’d seen and heard everything ? this confessional on American prime-time was shocking to behold.
‘Bombshell after bombshell was dropped in what was a devastating take down of Harry’s family.
‘Make no mistake, this is a knife-edge moment in recent royal history that knocks Diana’s Panorama revelations into a cocked hat.
‘Harry and Meghan have the best PRs Hollywood can buy.
‘I believe nothing in that interview was said by chance.
‘I feel desperate sorrow that it’s come to this.’
Quentin Letts –
‘This was Semtex in swaddling bands. Cyanide en gelee. The biggest act of strategic self-harm since the scuttling of the German fleet at Scapa Flow.
‘Although presented as schmaltz, this two-hour gloopathon was politically ruinous.
‘Life is about telling stories, right?’ said la Markle, all high-resolution lip gloss. ‘Telling stories through a truthful lens.’ Her eyes sparkled behind lashes long as ravens’ wings.
‘Stories were duly delivered, a steaming dump of indiscretions: whinges about money and titles and bodyguards and the rotten tabloid press (presumably quite different from tabloid television).
‘That Kate Cambridge? A B*I*T*C*H! ‘But I have forgiven her,’ purred Meghan with her truthful lens.’
Bel Mooney said the couple were ‘two surprisingly naïve, youngish souls who know astonishingly little about real life’
Bel Mooney –
‘Watching Oprah’s interview, I tried to feel furious with those hugely rich, pampered people, living in a gated paradise while whinging about how badly they have been treated.
‘But I’m afraid I couldn’t help but pity the couple as two surprisingly naïve, youngish souls who know astonishingly little about real life — and have instead revealed just how damaged they both are.
‘Was the decision to spill the beans to Oprah part of a strategy to promote their lucrative brand — or yet another yelp in one long cry for help?
‘This isn’t so much a case of ‘their own truth’ (as Winfrey would put it, in that wince-inducing phrase) as a painful revelation of how little they understand of what they are really saying.
‘They present themselves as truth-tellers, more sinned against than sinning. Yet they seem ignorant of the fact that ‘truth’ is a double-edged sword, and that by stating one thing you can reveal something quite different.’
Richard Kay said ‘the picture they painted of life inside the House of Windsor is scarcely believable’
Richard Kay –
‘What concerns those who have the goodwill of the monarchy at heart is how Meghan and Harry have wrought such damage on its image and reputation oversea with their wilful and groundlessly vindictive remarks.
‘A reputation, remember, cultivated over almost 70 years of tireless service by Harry’s grandmother, the Queen.
‘How tragic that at almost 95, she should see her life’s work jeopardised by such thoughtlessness. In Britain many with far fewer material advantages than this pampered, privileged pair will not have been bedazzled by their attempt to secure sympathy while at the same time attempting to destroy an institution that has, by and large, served us well for centuries.
‘For the picture they painted of life inside the House of Windsor is scarcely believable…
‘… The barbs and insults aimed with precision at William, Kate, Charles and the Queen are one thing, but their implication that our island nation is a country where racist attitudes flourish is a travesty. All this has been grist to the mill for those republican sympathisers to jump in gleefully and attack the monarchy.’
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