Harry, Meghan, and the Pact Between the Royals and the Press

Harry(ˈherē), Meghan(e), and the Pact Between the Royals(ˈroi(ə)l) and the Press

By Isaac Chotiner

A year after the Duke(d(y)o͞ok) and Duchess(ˈdəCHəs) of Sussex(ˈsəsəks) stepped back from their royal duties and embarked(əmˈbärk) on a life outside the United Kingdom, the couple sat for an interview with Oprah Winfrey(ˈwinfrē). The result was two hours of television in which Meghan Markle and her husband, Harry, chronicled(ˈkränək(ə)l) the alienating(ˈālyəˌnāt) treatment they faced inside the British(ˈbridiSH) monarchy(ˈmänərkē). Markle said that she reported feeling that she “didn’t want to be alive anymore,” but that she was denied access to mental(ˈmen(t)l) health care. She also described racist(ˈrāsəst) and discriminatory(dəˈskrimənəˌtôrē) behaviors within the royal institution. During her first pregnancy(ˈpreɡnənsē), at least one member of the Royal Family expressed concerns about what color her son’s skin would be. Around the same time, Markle said, the Family discussed changing a rule so that her son would never become a prince, a title which would have entitled(inˈtīdld) him to security protection.

A statement from Buckingham Palace(ˈpaləs) said that the Royal Family was “saddened” to hear of the couple’s difficulties, and that “the issues raised(rāzd), particularly that of race(rās), are concerning.” The incident recalls an earlier public-relations crisis(ˈkrīsis) for the monarchy, when Princess Diana(dīˈanə) talked publicly about her mistreatment by the royals during her marriage to Prince Charles(CHärlz).