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Best quotes from Harry and Meghan’s shocking Oprah interview

Meghan on the secret wedding

Meghan: ‘Even at our wedding, you know, three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that.

‘But we called the archbishop, and we just said, “Look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world, but we want our union between us.” 

Prince Harry: ‘Just the three of us.’

Meghan and Kate argument

Meghan: ‘The narrative with Kate which didn’t happen was really, really difficult and something that I think that’s when everything changed, really.

‘The reverse happened. And I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding.

‘And she was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised. And she brought me flowers and a note, apologising.’

On press narrative:

Oprah: ‘So, do you think there was a standard for Kate in general and a separate one for you? And if so, why?’

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey

Meghan: ‘I don’t know why. I can see now what layers were at play there. And, again, they really seemed to want a narrative of a hero and a villain.’

On being silent or being silenced

Meghan: ‘‘The latter. Everyone in my world was given very clear directive from the moment the world knew Harry and I were dating to always say “No comment.”

‘That’s my friends, my mum and dad. ‘I did anything they told me to do. Of course I did, because it was also through the lens of “And we’ll protect you.”

‘So, even as things started to roll out in the media that I didn’t see but my friends would call me and say, “Meg, this is really bad,” because I didn’t see it, I’d go, “Don’t worry. I’m being protected.”

On ‘not being protected’

‘I think that was really hard to reconcile because it was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.’

On meeting the Queen

Meghan: ‘We had breakfast together that morning, and she’d given me a beautiful gift, and I just really loved being in her company. And I remember we were in the car.’

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II pose for a picture during the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London in 2018

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II pose for a picture during the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London in 2018

‘She gave me some beautiful pearl earrings and a matching necklace. And we were in the car going between engagements, and she has a blanket that sits across her knees for warmth.

‘And it was chilly, and she was like, “Meghan, come on,” and put it over my knees, as well. I think everyone welcomed me.’

On ‘character assassination’

‘I’m talking about things that are super artificial and inconsequential. But the narrative about, you know, making Kate cry I think was the beginning of a real character assassination.

‘And they knew it wasn’t true. And I thought, well, if they’re not going to kill things like that, then what are we going to do?’

On claims Archie was to be denied security 

Meghan: ‘And that was when they were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince or a princess not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol and that he wasn’t going to receive security.  

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex with their baby Archie

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex with their baby Archie

‘But if you’re saying the title is what’s going to affect their protection, we haven’t created this monster machine around us in terms of clickbait and tabloid fodder.

‘You’ve allowed that to happen, which means our son needs to be safe.’ 

On if the titles are important to her?

Meghan: ‘All the grandeur surrounding this stuff is an attachment that I don’t personally have, right?

‘I’ve been a waitress, an actress, a princess, a duchess. I’ve always just still been Meghan, right?

‘So, for me, I’m clear on who I am, independent of all that stuff. And the most important title I will ever have is “Mum.” I know that.’ 

Meghan on race and the royal family

 Meghan: I can give you an honest answer. In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time so we have in tandem the conversation of “He won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title,” and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.

Oprah: ‘Who is having that conversation with you? What?’

Meghan: ‘There were several conversations about it.’

Oprah: ‘About how dark your baby is going to be?’

Meghan: ‘Potentially, and what that would mean or look like.’

Oprah: ‘And you’re not going to tell me who had the conversation?’

Meghan: ‘I think that would be very damaging to them.’

On UK Press and mental health

Meghan: ‘I just didn’t see a solution. I just didn’t see a solution. I would sit up at night, and I was just, like, I don’t understand how all of this is being churned out. 

‘And, look, I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry, especially, because I know how much loss he’s suffered.

‘But I knew that if I didn’t say it, that I would do it. And I just didn’t I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.

‘And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. And I remember I remember how he just cradled me.

Meghan Markle discussed mental health during her conversation with Oprah Winfrey on CBS

Meghan Markle discussed mental health during her conversation with Oprah Winfrey on CBS

‘And I was I went to the institution, and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that “I’ve never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere.”

‘And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.’

Oprah: ‘So, were you thinking of harming yourself? Were you having suicidal thoughts? Meghan: ‘Yes. This was very, very clear.’

On telling ‘her truth’

Meghan: ‘I think I’m not going to live my life in fear. You know, I think so much of it is said with an understanding of just truth.

‘But I think, to answer your question, I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.

‘That at a certain point, you’re going to go, “But, you guys, someone just tell the truth.” And if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, I’ve lost there’s a lot that’s been lost already.’ 

On the latest royal baby

Oprah: ‘For the new addition to your family.

‘Meghan said she wanted to wait until you were here to tell us, is it a boy or is it a girl?

Prince Harry: ‘It’s a girl.’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they were having a girl for their second child - which is due in the summer

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they were having a girl for their second child – which is due in the summer

Meghan: ‘It’s a girl.’

Prince Harry: ‘Yes! I’m just grateful, like any to have any child, any one or any two would have been amazing. But to have a boy and then a girl, you know, what more can you ask for?’

‘But now, you know, now we’ve got our family. We’ve got, you know, the four of us and our two dogs, and it’s great.’

Oprah: ‘Done? Two is it?’

Prince Harry: ‘Done.’

On leaving the UK

Meghan: ‘We didn’t have a plan. We needed a house, and he (Tyler Perry) offered security, as well, so it gave us breathing room to try to figure out what we are going to do. 

‘It’s been so spun in the wrong direction, as though we quit, we walked away, all the conversations of the two years before we finally announced it.’

On Megxit

Harry: ‘Yeah, it was desperate. I went to all the places which I thought I should go to, to ask for help. We both did… Separately and together.’

Oprah: ‘So, you left because you were asking for help and couldn’t get it?’

Harry: ‘Yeah, basically. But we never left.’

Meghan: ‘We never left the family, and we only wanted to have the same type of role that exists, right?’

‘So, we weren’t reinventing the wheel here. We were saying, “Okay, if this isn’t working for everyone, we’re in a lot of pain, you can’t provide us with the help that we need, we can just take a step back. We can do it in a commonwealth country.” We suggested New Zealand, South Africa.’

On ‘history repeating itself’

Harry: ‘(We wanted to) Take a breath. From this constant barrage. My biggest concern was history repeating itself, and I’ve said that before on numerous occasions, very publicly.

‘And what I was seeing was history repeating itself, but more, perhaps or definitely far more dangerous, because then you add race in and you add social media in.

‘And when I’m talking about history repeating itself, I’m talking about my my mother.’ 

Harry on the press

Harry: ‘You know, as sad as it is to say, it takes living in her shoes in this instance, for a day or those first eight days to see where it was going to go and how far they were going to take it.

‘And get away with it and be so blatant about it. That’s the bit that shocked me.

‘This – the UK is my home. That is where I was brought up. So, yes, I’ve got my own relationship that goes back a long way with the media. 

‘I asked for calm from the British tabloids once as a boyfriend, once as a husband, and once as a father.’

Why did Harry and Meghan leave?

Harry: ‘Lack of support and lack of understanding. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in a conversation with US television host Oprah Winfrey

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in a conversation with US television host Oprah Winfrey

Oprah: ‘So, I want clarity. Was the move about getting away from the UK press? Or was the move because you weren’t getting enough support from the firm?

Prince Harry: ‘It was both.’

Harry and ‘blindsiding’ the Queen

Oprah: ‘Did you blindside the queen?

Harry: ‘No. I’ve never blindsided my grandmother. I have too much respect for her.

‘My grandmother has been amazing throughout. You know, my father, my brother, Kate and all the rest of the family, they were. 

‘They were really welcoming. But it really changed after the Australia tour, after our south pacific tour.’

Harry on his relationship with Prince Charles

Harry: ‘When we were in Canada, I had three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father and before he stopped taking my calls and then said, “Can you put this all in writing what your plan is?” 

‘I put all the specifics in there, even the fact that we were planning on putting the announcement out on the 7th of January.

Oprah: So, you just said that your dad stopped taking your calls. Why did he stop taking your calls?

Harry: Because… I took matters into my own hands. It was like I need to do this for my family. This is not a surprise to anybody. It’s really sad that it’s gotten to this point, but I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, my wife’s, and for Archie’s, as well, because I could see where this was headed. 

Harry’s claim that his family is ‘scared’ of the press

Harry said: ‘No from my family ever said anything over those three years. And that hurts. But I also am acutely aware of where my family stand and how scared they are of the tabloids turning on them

Prince Harry claimed members of the royal family were 'scared' of the press

Prince Harry claimed members of the royal family were ‘scared’ of the press

‘Yes, but it’s there is this invisible what’s termed or referred to as the “Invisible contract” behind closed doors between the institution and the tabloids, the UK. Tabloids.

On being ‘trapped’ in royal life

Oprah: ‘How were you trapped? Harry: ‘Trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are. My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that.’

On Netflix and Spotify

Harry: ‘Yeah, it exists. But, also, the Netflix and the Spotify, they’re all that was never part of the plan.’

Meghan: ‘We didn’t have a plan.’

Harry: We didn’t have a plan. That was suggested by somebody else by the point of where my family literally cut me off financially, and I had to afford security for us.

Oprah: Wait. ‘Hold up. Wait a minute. Your family cut you off?’

Harry: ‘Yeah, in the first half, the first quarter of 2020. But I’ve got what my mum left me, and, without that, we would not have been able to do this.’

Harry’s relationship with his family

Harry: ‘I’ve spoken more to my grandmother in the last year than I have done for many, many years. We did a couple of zoom calls with Archie.

‘My grandmother and I have a really good relationship…’

Oprah: ‘Your relationship with your father? Is he taking your calls now?’

Harry: ‘Yeah. Yeah, he is. There’s a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar.

‘He knows what pain feels like, and this is and Archie’s his grandson. But, at the same time, you know, I of course I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened.

‘And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.’

Oprah: ‘Yeah. And your brother? Relationship? Much has been said about that?

Harry: ‘Yeah, and much will continue to be said about that. You know, as I’ve said before, I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But you know, we’re on we’re on different paths.’

On the future

Harry: ‘I’m sad that what’s happened has happened, but I know, and I’m comfortable in knowing that we did everything that we could to make it work. And we did everything on the exit process the way that– the way that it should have been done.’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said they were 'thriving' in their new life in the United States

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said they were ‘thriving’ in their new life in the United States

On taking away his patronages

Harry: ‘I am hurt. But at the same time, I completely respect my grandmother’s decision. I would still love for us to be able to continue to support those associations, albeit without the title or the role.’

Meghan’s one regret

Meghan: ‘I have one. My regret is believing them when they said I would be protected. I believed that. And I regret believing that because I think, had I really seen that that wasn’t happening, I would have been able to do more.

‘But I think I wasn’t supposed to see it. I wasn’t supposed to know.

‘And now, because we’re actually on the other side, we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving.’

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