So….THAT WAS INTENSE!
The Oprah/ Harry/ Meghan interview far surpassed my expectations in terms of jaw-dropping juiciness, emotion and transparency. I really did not expect them to share SO much delicate information. But after hearing what they’ve been through (especially Harry, oh my heart still breaks for him) I can’t say I’m shocked? I guess I wonder what the intent was other than to air their side of the story and grievances- which has it’s own power and purpose. But this was a total scorched earth approach from which there is NO turning back. Clearly they are both in pain over what has transpired, and wanted to pull back the curtain on the Royal Family and all it entails. It will be interesting to see how the Palace responds, if at all.
I have never been adamantly for or against Meghan- why would I be? I don’t know her. I like her style and I actually loved her show Suits and was tickled when she got together with Harry because at one point when she was blogging/ IGing as “The Tig” she Instagrammed the cover of my first book on her counter. So I like to think it has a place in their home (although probably not, let’s be real). I think last night she did an extraordinary job communicating what she felt and IS feeling without being mean or merciless- but I did get a little hint of “acting” from her. Did you? Some moments felt like she was trying a little TOO hard to be sympathetic/ wounded bird. I do not believe for one minute that she did not research the Royal Family or Harry when she met him (who wouldn’t! We ALLLLLLL do that!) or had never heard of “Megxit”–and while I am certain that the reality of being a member of the Royal family is far and away harder than anyone could ever imagine, even the most ardent Royals fan, I don’t think she went into it as naive as she made it seem. But so what- the media and Palace have been gunning for her from the start so one can’t be blamed for looking for a bit of sympathy from the world after being eviscerated in front of it.
My first audible gasp of the night was when she called out Kate for being the one who made her cry. In my head I liked to picture Duchess Kate chucking a teacup at the wall as she watches it. :) I liked how Meghan said that Kate owned it and apologized and brought her flowers and that she thinks she’s a “good person”. Although after all this I wonder how poor Kate is faring mentally given the even more extreme pressure on her as the future Queen! One of the best things Meghan said was “you don’t have to hate her to like me, or hate me to like her”…. SO TRUE. Why women are pitted against each other like that is just disgusting. Kate is a very different type of Royal- she was basically bred for this (although I believe they used to refer to her as a “commoner”, right?) Meghan has had, by Royal standards, a more normal life with ups and downs- had a full blown career and a voice she was used to using- so the assimilation would have been MUCH different and awkward for Meghan than anyone to come before her.
The really powerful parts for me were regarding mental health and racism. As someone who has had their own mental health battles, it disgusted me to hear that she asked for help when feeling suicidal and was told no. Basically, “chin up buttercup, this comes with the territory”. UGH, NO! NO! That is horrific! It took a lot of guts to admit that on national TV and is a powerful thing to share with the world. And I do think it was brave of Harry to admit he was embarrassed to ask for more help on her behalf- I think that really proves that this is not all a “story”, as some claim. I am saddened it came to that for them, how horrible. I hope that this call out creates enough friction to change how things like this are handled for other members of the Royal Family who might be suffering as well. Given Diana’s life story, it seems really stupid to not have addressed this issue head on and with compassion. Although, it sounds like that sentiment is not pervasive in “The Firm”.
I also had a hard time understanding the whole “Archie doesn’t get a title” part– that seems so blatantly racist and mean that I have a hard time understanding how that could happen with all these people running the show behind the scenes. The optics are horrific, and that seems to be what the Royals care about most. Meghan brought life back into the family, made it feel more modern and accessible and they blew the chance to embrace her and all the good press and sentiment that could have gone with that. So to treat her the way she was treated does feel malicious. And to leave Prince Harry and Archie, both born into royalty absent of choice, without security is BONKERS. Especially Harry! I mean, COME ON! So of course the guy is going to sign some Netflix deals so he can pay for enormously expensive security for his family. Can’t blame him.
Speaking of Harry, he really legitimized everything for me- not only that he DID the interview (it is HUGE that he did), but the things he said. From his clear love of his grandmother The Queen, anger with Charles (the rat bastard, but we knew that), clear frustration and disgust with “The Firm” as a whole to the love of his wife, son and daughter on the way. I like that he still drew a line on some things to protect his family, and that he said that he hopes to reconcile someday with his Dad and brother, despite them letting him down in such crucial ways. There is an innate kindness to Harry’s demeanor that is very obviously from his mother, whom you can tell he still is grieving deeply. And I do think Diana is smiling down on him, so proud of his conviction and strength in standing up to such an intimidating force as the Palace. As Glennon Doyle said last night, “Harry is the husband Diana deserved”. I can think of no better way to put it.
What the interview really illuminated for me is how “connected” we all are and yet so incredibly, disturbingly DISconnected. We see every bit and piece of each others lives- from the meals we last ate to the birth of babies- and yet it all can feel like theater. We think we know what’s going on with others (celebrities included) and yet we know even less than I think we would without a constant feed of updates. And the media itself is a self-serving machine, one that has the power to destroy or lift up, and after the past couple of years, it can feel hard to trust any news outlet fully. SO while this was an entertaining bit of dramatic television, my hope for the Sussexes and us all is that we give each other a little more grace, a little more love and buck traditions that keep us feeling trapped. Oh, and be wary of what you read and see. :)
What were YOUR thoughts????