There was a reasonable chance that a Black American divorcee with opinions marrying into the Royal Family wouldn't work out, but damn, Oprah Winfrey's interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry confirmed our worst fears and provided some new ones.

I'm not even sure Harry is still the prince of anything. He revealed that the Royal Family, which is known as "the Firm" because they're so out of touch they've never seen the movie with that title, cut him off financially last year. It wouldn't surprise me if they'd banned his use of the name “Windsor." He's now Harry Jenkins, married to a Black lady, who crashed at his friend Tyler Perry's house in Southern California.

Yeah, Perry helped out his friends when the Royal Family cut the purse strings and pulled their security, during a global pandemic. Harry and Markle were in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the time, but the tabloids gave away their location. As pandemic restrictions ramped up, they knew they had to move quickly.

"So suddenly it dawned on me, 'Hang on, the borders could be closed, we're going to have our security removed, who knows how long lockdown is going to be, the world knows where we are, it's not safe, it's not secure, we probably need to get out of here," Harry [said.]

Perry even paid for private security for the couple. Perry is a king among men, while the literal future kings of England, Charles and William, are apparently douchebags.


Harry and Markle left “the Firm" in 2020 because the British tabloids' racist coverage of Markle was destroying their mental health. The tabloid press arguably contributed to the circumstances that killed his mother, Diana, so he's not being melodramatic. It got so bad that Markle even contemplated suicide, but received no support from the Royal Family.

MARKLE: I just didn't see a solution .. I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it, to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he's suffered. But I knew that if I didn't say it that I would do it — and I just didn't want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought.

Markle wanted to seek professional help but was told admitting to mental health issues "wouldn't be good for the institution." The Royal Family currently includes Prince Andrew. It could probably survive Meghan Markle seeing a therapist once a week.

The public was originally led to believe Harry and Markle made the decision that their son, Archie, who was born in 2018, wouldn't have a title. It turns out this wasn't their choice.

MARKLE: They were saying they didn't want him to be a prince or princess, which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn't going to receive security. This went on for the last few months of our pregnancy where I was going, hold on for a second.

In 2012, Queen Elizabeth issued a Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm (seriously) making William and Kate Middleton's kids a prince and princess. She could've done the same for Harry and Markle but Archie was stuck with separate and unequal treatment. The security detail is especially galling. Harry's family was clearly at greater public risk than William's.

Harry and Markle told Winfrey that someone in the Royal “inner circle" had expressed concerns about how “dark" their unborn son's skin might be when he was born.

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

But it was right at the beginning. What will the kids look like? That was at the beginning when she wasn't going to get security, when my family suggested that she might continue acting (because there wasn't going to be money for her).

It's adorably naive that Harry would find these racial discussions shocking. A direct descendent of Queen Victoria who can't catch a cab might blow up this whole Royal Family scam, which is rooted in absurd concepts such as the "divine right of birth" and supposed purity of blood.

Harry insists the eugenics pop quiz didn't come from the Queen or his grandfather, Prince Philip. Both are well into their 90s, and Philip is already known for racial gaffes. It would shock no one if Philip had said something gross before falling asleep in his chair. Harry and Meghan had only nice things to say about the Queen herself, who Harry calls his “colonel in chief."

MARKLE: So, there's the family, and then there's the people that are running the institution. Those are two separate things. And it's important to be able to compartmentalize that, because the Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me.

The senior Royal staff are institutionalists and probably aren't crazy about Markle for a variety of reasons, only most of which are racist. However, Harry would have no reason to protect them. That leaves his father, Charles, and brother, William. Harry said Charles stopped taking his phone calls last year, which recalls a scene from "The Crown" where the fictionalized Charles blows off a desperate Diana.

HARRY: There's a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down, because he's been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and this is — and Archie's his grandson. But, at the same time, you know, I — of course I will always love him, but there's a lot of hurt that's happened. And and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.

Harry and Markle admitted that they've watched some of "The Crown," which might not help heal the rift with Charles. The version of Charles Josh O'Connor played is consistently awful to Diana (Golden Globe winner Emma Corrin).

Charles and Camilla are popular villains, but it makes more sense if the racist microaggressions and overall jerkassness came from William and Kate. Stories found their way into the tabloid press that made Kate seem like a helpless victim to Meghan's ill-bred cruelty, when, we think, the reverse was more the reality. William enjoys a close relationship with the Queen, and he could probably advocate for his younger brother's family to receive security. There's no way he's a powerless bystander, and if he's an active antagonist, that's quite tragic. They both lost their mother at a young age and only had each other.

Harry said, "I love William to bits. He's my brother. We've been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we're on different paths."

Fortunately, Harry's path is one his mother, Diana, predicted. Harry and Markle are currently living off the inheritance his mother left him after she died.

HARRY: Touching back on what you asked about what my mum would think of this — I think she saw it coming. i certainly felt her presence throughout this whole process.

Diana loved her children and even in death, she's provided for her grandson's security.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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