Meghan Markle has black friends

"Revelations worse than Palace could have feared" - whatever the royal family expected from this interview, it was worse, the British analyzed the morning after Times. The tabloid Daily Mail has innumerable articles on the subject on their homepage, there is talk of explosive revelations ("bombshells") here. Previously, the eagerly awaited conversation between Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry with presenter Oprah Winfrey had been broadcast. There were no direct attacks on individual members of the British royal family, but the emotional conversation was tough. The 39-year-old Meghan repeatedly reported about racism. Even within the royal family. And of suicidal thoughts. "I thought it would solve the situation for everyone."

"I just didn't want to be alive anymore," Meghan said on the US broadcaster CBS on Sunday evening. At that time, she was afraid of being alone because she could have harmed herself. She asked her husband, Prince Harry, and the palace for help. "I was scared because it was very real. This wasn't an abstract idea, this was systematic and this wasn't who I am."

In the conversation with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan also reported racist behavior during her pregnancy with son Archie. There have been concerns and discussions about "how dark his skin could be when he is born," Meghan said. That emerged from conversations between the family and her husband Prince Harry. She did not want to go into more detail because it would be "very harmful" for some people. Harry himself said that he found the conversation in question "embarrassing in places" and that he was "a bit shocked" that a brown baby was clearly a problem for members of his family. The American's mother is black.

Prince Harry laments a lack of support

The conversation broadcast on Sunday in the USA, which will also be shown in Germany on Monday afternoon, is the first interview by Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry since the couple gave up their royal duties a year ago and first moved to Canada and then to the USA was. Contrary to expectations in the British press, the couple refrained from personal attacks but complained about a lack of support.

Harry in particular became clear on this point: The Queen's grandson feels left alone by the royal family, especially when it comes to racism. In the years that Meghan spent in the palace, no family member had ever stood up against racist attacks and "colonial undertones" in reporting, he criticized.

But the couple made an obvious effort not to tear down all bridges. Harry also named his grandmother as a role model. Meghan praised her sister-in-law, Prince William's wife, Kate, as a "good person", contradicting reports of a breakup. And Harry is also hoping for a reconciliation with his brother William. "Time heals all wounds, hopefully," he said. The prince only criticized his father, Prince Charles. "I will always love him, but there have been a lot of offenses." For example, when Harry and Meghan resided in Canada at some point, Charles stopped taking Harry's phone calls. Harry said he felt abandoned. The heir to the throne in particular should know "what pain is" - a clear allusion to Princess Diana, who died in a traffic accident in 1997 while fleeing from paparazzi.

Even before the interview, the mood was heated

The US broadcaster CBS had repeatedly published clips from the interview in advance, thus fueling the mood. The British public criticized Meghan and Harry harshly. Just those Mail on Sunday headlined in advance "It's a sideshow" (something like: It's a sideshow). The paper quoted with this classification of the interview an (unspecified) "insider" source in Buckingham Palace, according to which most Britons on Monday are far more concerned with the school openings, the successful vaccination campaign and the discharge of Prince Philips from the hospital would than with Harry and Meghan. The homepage of the Daily Mail conveyed a different picture on Monday morning.

The assurances made by spokesmen for the royals that they would not be drawn into a potential mud fight ran counter to the remarkable PR tactics that Buckingham Palace and Harry's older brother William had evidently adopted in the days before the broadcast. Following allegations of bullying made by a former employee against Meghan in the Times the Duchess had criticized that the palace was using the newspaper for "a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation".

On Thursday, Prince William and his wife Kate launched a video on Instagram in which they presented the work of their "Shout" foundation for children. Taken in isolation, that would have been less remarkable if it hadn't been published so shortly before the interview and had an above-average number of positive reports in the British press. It confirms the drawing as dutiful members of the royal family through the media, which consistently contrasts them with the supposed troublemakers Harry and Meghan. It is an open secret that the Windsors and some newspapers work hand in hand on this.

Queen makes an unscheduled televised address

Not only Prince Harry had repeatedly emphasized in the past that, in his view, the criticism that the British rainbow press has been exercising against Meghan for years - too bourgeois, too American, too "ordinary" - is racially motivated. As the Duchess a edition of the British Vogue co-designed, said its editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, the malice in papers like the Daily Mail fell on them was both personal and racist. When her sister-in-law Kate had previously done the same, there was no such criticism. That a British court recently litigated the Duchess of Sussex with the Mail-Publisher "Associated Newspapers" awarded more than half a million euros, probably also contributed to the media aversion.

The Times announced that Queen Elizabeth II would not watch the interview Sunday Express wanted to know, however, that her employees would stay up in the night from Sunday to Monday, watch the broadcast and then report back to her "at breakfast". The Queen, who usually only addresses the people directly at Christmas, had also given an unscheduled televised address on Sunday evening on the occasion of "Commonwealth Day". In it, she emphasized how important contacts with family and friends are in the Corona crisis.

The preparations and media countermeasures on the part of the royals were varied - and much more precise than before the disastrous interview that Prince Andrew gave the BBC in November 2019 to oppose allegations of abuse in the vicinity of the now deceased American businessman and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein To defend.

Duchess Meghan: "I went in there naively"

The now 39-year-old Meghan and 36-year-old Harry had given up their royal duties around a year ago and now live with son Archie, who will be two years old in May, in Meghan's homeland, California. In the summer, the couple is expecting a second child - it will be a girl, as the two reported in the interview. "Having a boy and a girl, what more could you want?" Said Harry. But they did not plan to have more children.

The Duchess also revealed that they had married on a small scale three days before their royal wedding in May 2018. "Nobody knows, but we called the archbishop," said Meghan. The time in the palace was obviously not happy. The pressure was enormous, she said. She felt like she was in a golden cage and was condemned to be silent. "I don't know the institution (monarchy), so we were told to keep quiet." Clear rules of conduct have been imposed on everyone around her since it was known that she was in a relationship with Harry.

She was not prepared for her life as a royal. "I naively went in there because I grew up with little knowledge of the royal family," said the native American. "What you know about royals, you know from fairy tales," said Meghan. "So it's easy to have a picture of it that is so far removed from reality." During the years at court it was difficult: "Perception and reality are two very different things, and you are judged by your perception, but you live reality."

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(With material from the dpa)