I wrote sort of a play-by-play below, as it was happening, but here's my overall take on it:
1) She was not paid for this interview, and still, there was not one thing untoward said by Meghan, and she didn't seem angry or bitter or whiny, emotionally unstable or "unhinged" at all - and there wasn't even the slightest indication of "narcissism" from either her or Harry. In fact, they seemed very affectionate, both with Oprah and each other, and very honest, open, and genuine, and above all, they seem very much in love still :)
2) She mostly just told her side of the story versus press stories, rather than anything that directly involved the royal family, but when she did mention "the firm" or "the institution," she made clear that there's a difference between the business people running the royal family and the actual royal family themselves - both she and Harry made that distinction repeatedly - and both she and Harry both essentially stated that the royal family was trapped in that system themselves.3) The most inflammatory/bombshell revelations were made by Harry - particularly that they were living off what his mother left him, he'd been cut off - and what he said about Charles. In fact, he still seems mad at his father.4) As I said in an earlier post, the timing of the palace's pre-emptive strike about Meghan "bullying the staff" seemed suspicious - like a pre-emptive smear campaign to discredit her beforehand - and in fact, made it seem like they are trying to protect someone guilty of something.
IMO, they refused to say who, but IMO, based on other things said, it seems likely that person may be Prince Charles. I could be wrong, but for the reason I suspect this, read #6.
5) I was deeply saddened to hear that she had become suicidal - and that this is why they left to Canada - because the UK had no provisions for the spouse of royals for mental health, and they felt privately hospitalizing her there had privacy risks. :(
6) A royal family member - who both refused to name - had concerns about how "dark" the baby's skin color would be.
I'm just speculating, but IMO, the likelihood that person was Charles seems the highest - considering not only both refusing to name the person due to "fear of damaging this person's status (likely a high-profile royal versus periphery), plus Harry's visible anger level with his father.
To be honest, I think we need more context.
If this was said out of curiosity, like, "I wonder if he will have red hair like his father," that's fine; however, Meghan indicated it was said in the context of the discussions about title and security.
7) The biggest overall impression I am left is the royal family - and the people that run the business of the royal family - learned absolutely nothing from the Diana experience - which I didn't need this interview to tell me, that was already clear by the palace not saying anything about the press hounding and bullying her.
... instead of saying what they should be saying, which is:
HOWEVER - that call cannot be made by an average layperson - because it's about pervasiveness of the behavior.
Absolutely lovely, 15 minutes in (interviewed alone at first) - very cute, very pregnant, not "Look at Me" at all - not whiny, not teary or emotional, appropriate reticent, slightly nervous, but composed and articulate.
Actually, she appears very genuine and actually very humble, and not in a phony way, but in a (paraphrasing) - "No, I didn't think of that, at the time, I was so naive. I knew it was a job, and Harry and I were both very aligned on what that meant, but it wasn't what we thought. The job description seemed to change after we married. I thought I knew what I was getting into, I could handle it, but I didn't. And I don't think Harry did either" - sort of way.
She also explains that she didn't want to read a lot online about the royals, because she didn't feel she could trust it - she wanted to form her own opinion.
Now, first serious question - Oprah asked about the first negative story that she "made Kate cry" over bridesmaid/flower girl dresses.
Meghan says Kate was absolutely wonderful about it privately, approached her with flowers to say she's sorry about this story, and said that as long as they both know it's not true, it doesn't matter - and that she most certainly is NOT upset about the dresses.
So Meghan says she thought there was nothing to it, it was a press speculative lie, and had no merit, Kate said so herself.
Oprah asks her where this story came from, then?
She said, "That's a good question."
Then, a few days before the wedding, Kate made it clear she WAS actually upset about the flower-girl dresses Meghan chose, and hadn't been honest with her about it - and apparently snapped at her about it.
Meghan said it was her that cried, at that point, because she was shocked - why didn't Kate just tell her that she was upset about the dresses and wanted different dresses?
But she didn't - she brought flowers and apologized for a story she claimed had no merit.
Let's think about this a second - even if the story was true, it WAS Meghan's wedding, not Kate's.
And geez, anyone who has ever been in a wedding knows your bridesmade dresses will not be beautiful, there's movies and jokes about that - because you're not supposed to upstage the bride? Hellllooo?
If Kate had a problem with the dresses, Meghan didn't even know - until she snapped at her - AFTER after claiming there was no truth to the tabloid story, mind you.
See, now this lends credence to what I said in my first post below, regarding the snarky faces I noticed Kate made at the wedding, that press barely mentioned, doesn't it?
Meghan still doesn't say anything bad about her - only that she didn't understand the double-standard by the press, and was confused by Kate's response.
Then there was the story about Meghan rubbing her baby bump too much, in "pride and vanity," versus Kate, despite the fact there are thousands of press pictures of Kate doing so just as much.
Anyone that's ever been pregnant knows it's not vanity that makes you rub your belly, believe me. You do it out of discomfort, you do it out of affection - but you do NOT do it out of vanity!
Then there was the story of her eating avocados when pregnant, though there were droughts, and it was anti-environment for deforestation, and made her an environmental hypocrit - though Kate also ate avocados during pregnancy, there are many articles reporting what she was eating while pregnant, and no one said a word.
However, Meghan didn't blame Kate for any of it, she blamed press for the double-standard - but she was confused about the first bridesmaid/flower-girl dress incident - why Kate brought her flowers and told her the story was a lie and she's not upset - then days later, snap at her over those dresses?
She says at first, she felt the "firm" of the royal family (the people that run the business of the royal family and PR, as opposed to the actual royal family) told her they'd handle the press - but they didn't.
Now, here's something important - she says (paraphrasing):
"There's the difference between the actual royal family and the business of the royal family, or I should say, those that run the family business, that's an important distinction."
"The Queen herself has always been wonderful to me, I enjoy her company so much. But there's a difference between the actual royal family and the people running the PR and business for the family - they are two different things - that's an important distinction to be made."
Beautifully said - also what I suspected/alluded to before - when I wrote below, "I trust the staff less than I trust the actual family."
Also, she felt the same as Diana said she felt and was depicted on The Crown, the first few months - isolated and lonely. They told her she was "oversaturated" in the public eye and needed to lay low. So she only saw her husband in between his duties and no one else.
They essentially stripped her identity - took her driver's license, her passport, even her car keys - and she was told she could not leave the palace - the same as Diana.
Oprah asks if everyone welcomed her into the family.
She says, "Yes, everyone genuinely welcomed me, I felt very welcome, in the beginning."
Oprah asks about the South Africa tour and thanking the interviewer for asking her if she was okay, her teary response that she was.
Then he asked why it was an important question, was she struggling, and she said, "Yes."
She says it just surprised her, during that isolative time, anybody asked her and she wasn't prepared.
BOMBSHELL #1: Again, not about the royal family itself, but the business handlers for the royal family; however, some family members agreed with this decision.
The business handlers for the royal family told Harry and Meghan, while pregnant, that they didn't want him to give a title, not knowing the gender; and if he didn't have a title, there was no security protection until after birth.
She explains that this is why there was no official birth picture as per typical royal protocol - no one asked or arranged one, but even if they had, she and Harry didn't want to offer up their baby outside the hospital without security detail and protection - and they'd never been told security was reinstated.
Oprah says that's not what we heard, we heard you just didn't want to do it.
Meghan: "Well, that's not true. He had no title, he had no security, he wasn't safe, and no one asked anyway."
BOMBSHELL #2: Oprah asked if she suspects the reason for the changed the protocol and convention that her child didn't have a title, had no security, etc., - even the lack of setting up the picture - had to do with race.
Meghan tears up, and says "Yes. In fact, there were a couple of conversations had, during this time, speculating on what color his skin would be, how "dark" it would be."
(This was confirmed by Harry later.)
Oprah asks if she'll say who.
Meghan says "No - it would be too damaging to this person."
Clearly, it was NOT the Queen herself - because she continues to maintain the Queen has been absolutely wonderful to her - however, because she says it would be "too damaging" to reveal who it was, we are left with the impression that it WAS a member of the royal family, rather than "The firm" who runs the royal family - and I think we figure out who that is by the end? ;)
BOMBSHELL #3: She didn't want to tell Harry that she felt suicidal and burden him, because of how much loss he'd experienced; but she was having thoughts she'd never had before - thoughts of suicide that would solve everyone's problems, take the pressure of him, all of it.
She said she laid in bed, and it was a month before she told him, but she had to, she didn't know what to do and had no one else to tell - saying she needed mental-health help, she was having scary thoughts she'd never had before and starting to seriously consider them.
Harry suggested she go to the "HR" of the "the institution" - the business running the royal family - and asked them herself for help.
So Harry sent her to a friend of Diana's, because he knew that was the only person who could comfort her, after what Diana went through.
She says that now, the reason she's doing this is "I just want people to know there's always another side to what you hear - and that life is worth living, regardless of what you're going through."
BOMBSHELL #4: Harry joined her now, and it was Harry who announced - the baby on the way - IS A GIRL!
The business runners of the royal family answered "No - just a change in status" (basically, if you live there).
BOMBSHELL #7: Meghan asked "the institution," considering the death threats, to not reveal travel itinerary - and they said, "I'm sorry, it's just not possible."
She also said no one gave her any training at all, even after Diana. She had to ask Harry and others about things like the national anthem protocol, and others about how and when to curtsy, how to address certain people separate from how Harry addresses them, etc.
Oh. My. God.
Okay, I'm crying now, that one got me.
He says his relationship with his grandmother is fine, they've resumed speaking and speak often - but his relationship with Charles is strained.
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