American actor Meghan Markle on Sunday accused the Royal Family of racism, saying they fretted over their child’s skin tone.
Markle, who is African American, said her husband Prince Harry revealed his family’s concerns over Archie’s skin tone, as well as the security he would be entitled to, ahead of his birth on May 6, 2019, AFP reported. She said that when when she was pregnant, the family informed her that they would not give her first child the title of a prince or princess.
The revelations were made during a two-hour primetime interview to Oprah Winfrey that was aired on CBS News in the United States. It was the first interview the couple has given since they stepped away from official royal duties last year.
A short clip of the interview doing rounds on the social media shows Markle talking about how there had been “concerns about how dark his skin might be when he is born” in the Royal Household. Winfrey, who seems genuinely shocked at this disclosure, then asks, “What? Who is having that conversation with you?”
Markle tells Winfrey that there had been several conversations between Prince Harry and unspecified members of the Royal Family about how dark their baby might be “potentially” and
“what that might mean and would look like”.
She declined to name anyone on the other side of the conversation. “I think that would be very damaging to them,” Markle said.
Asked by Winfrey if the concern was that he might be “too brown,” Meghan replied, “If that’s the assumption you’re making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one.”
Shortly after Prince Harry’s entry into the conversation, Winfrey asked him too about what had been said, according to The New York Times. But Harry refused to answer who was behind these discussions of the baby’s skin colour, saying he was not comfortable sharing that.
“That conversation I’m never going to share,” he said. “At the time, it was awkward. I was a bit shocked.”
He went on to say that the subject of future children’s appearance was raised even before his wedding with Markle. “There were some real obvious signs before we even got married that this was going to be really hard.”
In the tell-all interview, the couple also revealed, in one of the light-hearted moments, that their second child, expected this summer, will be a girl.
‘Didn’t want to be alive’
But one of the most emotional disclosures came when Markle spoke about how she had approached Prince Harry and the Royal Family for help with persistent suicidal thoughts, after receiving a barrage of negative press and getting persistently bullied by the media.
“I knew that if I didn’t say it, that I would do it. And I... just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought,” she told Winfrey.
Asked by Winfrey if she was having suicidal thoughts while pregnant with her first child, Meghan replied “Yes. This was very, very clear.”
“I went to one of the most senior people just to – to get help,” she added. “I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”
Markle said she ultimately reached out to one of late Princess Diana’s best friends for support. “Who else could understand what’s – what it’s actually like on the inside?” she said.
The actor also revealed how she felt trapped in her life, as she had to surrender her keys, driver’s licence and passport upon joining the family. “I couldn’t, you know, call an Uber to the palace,” she said, according to The New York Times.
Prince Harry later said mental health had played a key role in his decision to redefine his role in the family. “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,” he told Winfrey.
Did not make Kate Middleton cry
The actor also denied allegations that she made the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, cry. “Everyone in the institution knew it wasn’t true,” Meghan told Winfrey of the alleged incident, claiming that in reality: “The reverse happened.”
Markle said that Middleton Kate “was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised.”
She said he incident was “a turning point” in her relations with the Royal Family. “The narrative about, you know, making Kate cry I think was the beginning of a real character assassination,” she said. “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?”