<p>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their interview with Oprah Winfrey (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions)</p>

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their interview with Oprah Winfrey (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions)

Who is the ‘racist royal’? All the unanswered questions from Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview

It’s been one year since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down for their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey

Laura Hampson
Tuesday 08 March 2022 13:20
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When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a “tell-all” interview in March last year, it marked their first major interview since they stepped down as senior members of the royal family at the start of 2020.

During the much-anticipated interview, which aired in the US on 7 March and in the UK a day later, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spoke of racism they had faced while working as royals, their relationships with other members of the royal family and how being a royal had affected their mental health.

The interview was one of the biggest cultural talking points of last year, and it reached a global audience of 50 million people, including 12 million through ITV in the UK and 17 million through CBS in the US.

However, some of the claims the Duke and Duchess made remain unresolved, including who the “racist royal” is and what caused the rift between Harry and Prince William.

Who is the ‘racist royal”?

One of the more shocking moments from the interview came when Meghan said there were “several conversations” between herself, Harry and members within the royal family about “how dark” their baby could be before Archie was born.

“In those months when I was pregnant [there were] concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born,” Meghan said in the interview.

Harry added: “That conversation, I am never going to share. At the time it was awkward, I was a bit shocked.”

Following the interview, Prince William said the royals are “very much not a racist family”. Buckingham Palace said the claims were “concerning” and that “recollections may vary” and the claims would be addressed privately.

During the interview, Harry clarified that the royal family member in question was not the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh but, a year on, we are still unclear as to which royal family member made these comments.

What caused the rift between Prince William and Prince Harry?

Prince Harry revealed a rift between him and Prince William during the interview

Following speculation that a rift had appeared between Prince William and Harry in recent years, Harry took the opportunity to comment on the brother’s relationship during the interview.

“As I’ve said before, I love William to bits,” Harry said at the time. “He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together. We have a shared experience, but we were on different paths.”

He continued: “My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that.”

The following month, after the death of Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip on 9 April, Harry flew back to the UK to attend his funeral.

William and Harry were seen walking side by side at the funeral, but we still don’t know the main cause of the initial alleged rift or whether it has since been fully resolved.

What happened between Meghan and Kate?

Before Meghan and Harry left the royal family, one story that circulated was that the Duchess of Cambridge was “left in tears” by Meghan during the run-up to Meghan and Harry’s 2018 wedding.

The row was said to be over the flower girl dresses. But, during the Oprah interview, Meghan clarified that it was the other way around and that Kate had made her cry.

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex emerge from the West Door of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

“A few days before the wedding [Kate] was upset about the flower girl dresses and it made me cry,” Meghan told Oprah. She added that Kate later brought flowers and a note to apologise.

She added that people wanted a “narrative of a hero and a villain” and that she wasn’t “sharing that piece about Kate to be disparaging about her”.

With the royal family unable to comment on rumours and Kate not able to clarify her position, we still don’t know what really happened between the sisters-in-law.

Why did Charles stop taking Harry’s calls?

Charles during his visit to the recently planted Royal British Legion Centenary Wood in Cornwall. Finnbarr Webster/PA

After Harry and Meghan decided to step down as senior royals, Harry revealed that Prince Charles stopped taking his calls.

“I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like and Archie’s his grandson,” Harry said during the interview.

“But at the same time, 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.”

Since the interview, the only time the pair have been seen in public together is when they both attended Prince Philip’s funeral in April last year.

However, the Telegraph reported that Charles and Harry were said to be “in regular contact” following the birth of Harry’s second child, Lilibet, in June last year.

Why was Meghan denied help for her mental health?

During the interview, Meghan revealed that she had suicidal thoughts during her time in the royal family.

Speaking to Oprah, she described the day she told Harry what she was feeling and that they had to go to an event at the Royal Albert Hall afterwards.

“We are smiling and doing our job but we’re both just trying to hold on. Every time those lights went down in that royal box, I was just weeping,” she said.

Meghan added that when she asked to seek professional help, she was told she couldn’t get any.

Meghan in a clip from an interview with Oprah Winfrey

Following the interview, reports said Buckingham Palace would investigate these claims, but it is still unclear who told Meghan she could not get mental health support.

Who decided that Harry and Meghan wouldn’t receive security protection?

As well as being cut off financially from his family when Harry stepped down as a senior working royal, his security protection was cut too.

But security discussions started long before this, and began before Archie was born in 2019.

In the interview, Meghan revealed that she was told by palace officials that Archie should not be given the title of prince which meant he would not receive security detail.

“This went on for the last few months of our pregnancy, where I’m going, hold on a second... he needs to be safe,” Meghan said.

“While I was pregnant, they wanted to change the convention for Archie. Why? There’s no explanation.”

The couple also explained that they learned their own security detail would be removed after they had left the UK and were living in Canada.

“While we were in Canada, in someone else’s house, I then got told, short notice, that security was going to be removed,” Harry said at the time.

While it’s still unclear who made this decision, earlier this year Harry filed a claim against the Home Office decision not to let him pay for his own police protection in the UK.

A legal representative for the Duke said Harry wants to bring Archie and Lilibet to the UK to visit but that his family are “unable to return to his home” because it is “too dangerous”.

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