Prince Harry Meghan Markle came out in public and spoke for the first time in a sitdown interview with Oprah Winfrey. She talked about one of the most controversial issues since she joined the Royal household – that of her rift with Kate Middleton. Is it real or is it media-manufactured? The interview, which lasted 2 hours, and cost CBS 7 million USD, was aired with deep details on how the couple quit royal duties and what made it difficult for them to continue in the U.K at Buckhingham Palace. From The Sun, we reproduce the most compelling part of the interview as a transcript.
OPRAH: We can’t hug, everybody is double- masked and has face shields. You look lovely. Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?
Meghan: We do this time. I’ll wait for my husband to join us and we can share that with you.
Oprah: That would be really great. Before we get into to it, I just want to make clear to everybody that, even though we’re neighbours, I’m down the road, you’re up the road, we’re using a friend’s place. There has not been an agreement, you don’t know what I’m going to ask, there is no subject that’s off limits and you are not getting paid for this interview.
Meghan: All of that’s correct.
Oprah: I remember sitting in the chapel — thanks for inviting me, by the way. I so recall this sense of magic. I never experienced anything like it. When you came through that door, you seemed like you were floating down the aisle. Were you even inside your body at that time?
What Did Meghan Markle say About Kate Middleton? Transcript of Oprah’s Interview
Meghan: I’ve thought about this a lot. It was like having an out-of- body experience I was very present for. The night before, I slept through the night entirely, which is a bit of a miracle, and then woke up and started listening to Going To The Chapel, to make it fun and light and remind ourselves this was our day. We were both aware in advance of that this wasn’t our day, this was the day planned for the world.
Oprah: Everybody who gets married knows you’re really marrying the family. But you weren’t just marrying a family, you were marrying a 1,200-year-old institution, you’re marrying the monarchy. What did you think it was going to be like?
Meghan: I would say I went into it naively because I didn’t grow up knowing much about the Royal Family. It wasn’t part of something that was part of conversation at home. It wasn’t something that we followed. My mum even said to me a couple of months ago, ‘Did Diana ever do an interview?’ Now I can say. ‘Yes, a very famous one’, but my mum doesn’t know that.
Oprah: But you were aware of the royals and, if you were going to marry into the royals, you’d do research about what that would mean?
Meghan: I didn’t do any research about what that would mean.
Oprah: You didn’t do any research?
Meghan: No. I didn’t feel any need to, because everything I needed to know he was sharing with me. Everything we thought I needed to know, he was telling me.
Oprah: So, you didn’t have a conversation with yourself, or talk to your friends about what it would be like to marry a prince, who is Harry, who you had fallen in love with . . . you didn’t give it a lot of thought?
Meghan: No. We thought a lot about what we thought it might be. I didn’t fully understand what the job was: What does it mean to be a working royal? What do you do? What does that mean? He and I were very aligned on our cause- driven work, that was part of our initial connection. But there was no way to understand what the day-to- day was going to be like, and it’s so different because I didn’t romanticise any element of it. But I think, as Americans especially, what you do know about the royals is what you read in fairytales, and you think is what you know about the royals. It’s easy to have an image that is so far from reality, and that’s what was so tricky over those past few years, when the perception and the reality are two different things and you’re being judged on the perception but you’re living the reality of it. There’s a complete misalignment and there’s no way to explain that to people.
Oprah: With every family things get serious when you’re brought in to meet the grandmother or the mother. The grandmother is the matriarch and, in your situation it’s the Queen.
Meghan: She was one of the first people I met. The real Queen.
Oprah: What was that like? Were you worried about making the right impression?
Meghan: There wasn’t a huge formality the first time I met Her Majesty The Queen. We were going for lunch at Royal Lodge, which is where some other members of the family live, specifically Andrew and Fergie, and Eugenie and Beatrice would spend a lot of time there. Eugenie and I had known each other before I knew Harry, so that was comfortable and it turned out the Queen was finishing a church service in Windsor and so she was going to be at the house. Harry and I were in the car and he says, ‘OK, well my grandmother is there, you’re going to meet her’. (I said) ‘OK, great’. I loved my grandmother, I used to take care of my grandmother. (He said) ‘Do you know how to curtsey?’ ‘What?’ ‘Do you know how to curtsey?’ I thought genuinely that’s what happens outside, that was part of the fanfare. I didn’t think that’s what happens inside. I go, ‘But it’s your grandmother’. He goes, ‘It’s the Queen!’
Meghan: And that was really the first moment the penny dropped?
Oprah: Did you Google how to curtsey?
Meghan: No, we were in the car. Deeply, to show respect, I learned it very quickly right in front of the house. We practised and walked in.
Oprah: Harry practised?
Meghan: Yeah, and Fergie ran out and said, ‘Are you ready? Do you know how to curtsey? Oh, my goodness, you guys’. I practised very quickly and went in, and apparently I did a very deep curtsey, and we just sat there and we chatted and it was lovely and easy and I think, thank God, I hadn’t known a lot about the family. Thank God, I hadn’t researched. I would have been so in my head about all of it.
Oprah: (What) you’re sharing with us is that you were no more nervous as a regular person who goes to meet somebody’s grandmother.
Meghan: I had confused the idea. I grew up in LA, you see celebrities all the time. This is not the same but it’s very easy, especially as an American, to go, ‘These are famous people’. This is a completely different ball game.
(Cut to them and Oprah at their house)
Oprah: What are you feeling here (their home)? What’s the word?
Meghan: Hi, Guy (dog).
Oprah: Hi, Guy.
Meghan: Yeah, Guy’s been — Guy’s been through everything with me.
Oprah: Yeah, from the beginning, from the very first date, yeah?
Meghan: If Guy, I mean, I had him in Canada. I got him from a kill shelter in Kentucky.
(In Harry and Meghan’s hen coop)
Meghan: Hi, girls!
(Oprah narrates) We put on wellies to feed the hens Meghan and Harry recently rescued from a factory farm. ‘I love your little designer house here. Archie’s chick inn. Oh, how cute is that.’
Harry: She’s always wanted chickens.
Meghan: Well, you know, I just love rescuing.
Oprah: So, this is a part of your new life? What are you most excited about?
Meghan: Whoop! You’re OK . . .
Oprah: What are you most excited about in the new life? What are you most excited about? Here, chick, chick, chick, chick.
Meghan: I think just being able to live authentically.
Meghan: Right? Like this kind of stuff. It’s so, it’s so basic, but it’s really fulfilling. Just getting back down to basics. I was thinking about it — even at our wedding, you know, three days before our wedding, we got married . . .
Meghan: 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’. So, like, the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and that was the piece that . . .
Harry: Just the three of us.
Harry: Just the three of us.
Meghan: Just the three of us.
(Back to Oprah)
Oprah: You know, the wedding was the most perfect picture, you know, anybody’s ever seen. But through that picture that we were all seeing, behind the scenes, obviously, there was a lot of drama going on. And soon after your marriage, the tabloids started offering stories that painted a not-so-flattering picture of you in your new world. There were rumours about you being ‘Hurricane Meghan’.
Meghan: I hadn’t heard that.
The Kate Middleton Angle
Oprah Winfrey talks to Markle about a controversial issue – that of her relationships with Kate Middleton.
Oprah: So, there were rumours about you being Hurricane Meghan, for the departure of several high-profile palace staff members. And there was also a story — did you hear this one? — about you making Kate Middleton cry?
Meghan: This I heard about.
Oprah: You heard about that. OK.
Meghan: This was . . . that was . . . that was a turning point.
Oprah: That was a turning point?
(Oprah narrates) Six months after Harry and Meghan’s wedding, headlines began to swirl about a rift between Meghan and her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. It was reported that Meghan had left Kate “in tears” over the bride-to-be’s “strict demands” over flower-girl dresses.
Meghan: The narrative with Kate — which didn’t happen — was really, really difficult and something that . . . I think that’s when everything changed, really.
Oprah: You say the narrative with Kate, it didn’t happen. So, specifically, did you make Kate cry?
Oprah: So, where did that come from?
Oprah: Was there a situation where she might have cried? Or she could have cried?
Meghan: No, no. 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. And she did what I would do if I knew that I hurt someone, right, to just take accountability for it. What was shocking was . . . what was that, six, seven months after our wedding?
Meghan: That the reverse of that would be out in the world.
Oprah: The story came out six, seven months after it actually happened?
Oprah: So, when you say . . .
Meghan: I would have never wanted that to come out about her ever, even though it had happened. I protected that from ever being out in the world.
Oprah: So, when you say the reverse happened, explain to us what you mean by that.
Meghan: A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining — yes, the issue was correct — about flower-girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings. And I thought, in the context of everything else that was going on in those days leading to the wedding, that it didn’t make sense to not be just doing whatever everyone else was doing, which was trying to be supportive, knowing what was going on with my dad and whatnot.
Oprah: This was a really big story at the time, that you made Kate cry. Now you’re saying you didn’t make Kate cry, Kate made you cry. So, we all want to know, what would make you cry? What . . . what were you going through? You were going through all of the anxiety that brides go through putting their wedding together and going through all of the issues with your father: Was he coming? Was he not coming?
Oprah: And there was a confrontation over the . . . the dresses?
Meghan: It wasn’t a confrontation, and I actually don’t think it’s fair to her to get into the details of that, because she apologised.
Meghan: And I’ve forgiven her.
Meghan: What was hard to get over was being blamed for something that not only I didn’t do but that happened to me. And the people who were part of our wedding going to our comms team and saying, ‘I know this didn’t happen.’ I don’t have to tell them what actually happened.
Meghan: But I can at least go on the record and say she didn’t make her cry. And they were all told the same . . .
Oprah: So, all the time the stories were out that you had made Kate cry . . . you knew all along, and people around you knew that that wasn’t true?
Meghan: Everyone in the institution knew it wasn’t true.
Oprah: So, why didn’t somebody just say that?
Meghan: That’s a good question.
Meghan: I’m not sharing that piece about Kate in any way to be disparaging to her. I think it’s really important for people to understand the truth.
Meghan: But also I think, a lot of it, that was fed into by the media. And I would hope that she would have wanted that corrected, and maybe in the same way that the Palace wouldn’t let anybody else.
Meghan: Negate it, they wouldn’t let her, because she’s a good person. And I think so much of what I have seen play out is this idea of polarity, where if you love me, you don’t have to hate her. And if you love her, you don’t need to hate me.
Oprah: Mm-hmm. You know, there were several stories that compared headlines written about you to those written about Kate.
Oprah: Since you don’t read things, let me tell you what was said.
Oprah: There were stories where Kate was being praised for holding her baby bump.
Meghan: Oh, gosh, have I done it since we’ve been sitting down?
Oprah: Yes, you’ve been doing it the whole time.
Meghan: Probably. OK.
Oprah: Kate was praised for cradling her baby bump, and the headline about you doing the same thing said, ‘Meghan can’t keep hands off her baby bump for pride or vanity’.
Meghan: What does it have to do with pride or vanity?
Oprah: Well, I’m just — I’m just telling you about the stories, OK?
Meghan: OK, I hear you.
Oprah: Then there was a whole online piece about this: ‘Kate eating avocados to help with morning sickness’.
Meghan: (Laughs) I heard — OK, I heard about the avocado one.
Oprah: But you were eating avocados . . .
Meghan: And fuelling murder, apparently.
Oprah: Wolfing down a fruit linked to water shortages, illegal deforestation and environmental devastation. There was, seems . . . there seems to be . . . there was a . . .
Meghan: That’s a really loaded piece of toast. (Laughter) I mean . . . you have to laugh at a certain point, because it’s just ridiculous.
Oprah: That’s good: ‘That’s a loaded piece of toast.’ It’s about deforestation and . . .
Meghan: Oh, man!
Oprah: Oh, wow! So, do you think there was a standard for Kate in general and a separate one for you? And if so, why?
Meghan: I don’t know why. I can see now what layers were at play.
Meghan: And, again, they really seemed to want a narrative of a hero and a villain.
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