Opinion

Liar, Liar, Former Princess Under Fire

By Emily Cortes

I began to ask myself if I was missing what everyone else was. How could so many people not believe her story? Why would she lie? Why does her late mother-in-law’s experience match up to her own? What did these two do that was so detrimental to an ancient order that turned much of the globe against them? 

Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, sat down for an exclusive televised interview with Oprah Winfrey. They discussed what life was like as Meghan Markle transitioned from American actress to British Royalty, then to the mother of the first biracial child in the Royal Family. 

The interview aired on Sunday, March 7, 2021 on CBS. Markle and Prince Harry sat down with Oprah at a friend’s home that lived close to both parties. Markle floated to her interview chair wearing a flowing black dress adorned with white flowers that softly draped over her new baby bump. 

The interview began with only Markle answering Oprah’s questions, Prince Harry joining later. Oprah formulated the interview in the same way the American public understood the Royal fallout to occur. Oprah informed Markle that Americans believed that Markle and Prince Harry agreed to step down from their roles as Senior Members of the Royal Family, which includes making public appearances on behalf of The Crown, or The Queen.

Markle answered nearly all of Oprah’s questions, but remained cautious about what specifically she could mention, and also excluded some names of Royal Family members, particularly the family member who raised concern to Prince Harry about how dark his child’s skin would be after Markle gave birth. Markle is a biracial woman, the first biracial and Black member to marry into the Royal Family. Her and Prince Harry’s first born son, Archie, is the first biracial and Black child to be born into the Royal Family lineage. 

Markle divulged into her battle with mental illness while serving as a Senior Member of the Royal Family, even revealing that she contemplated suicide. After seeking aid from The Institution, she was denied help and told that this is the standard procedure for how things are handled within the palace walls. Markle was originally loved and embraced by The Commonwealth, which is “a voluntary association of 54 independent countries, almost all of which were formerly under British rule,” until the press turned against her for reasons unknown to Markle, Harry, and the American public. 

Headlines quickly changed from beloved, new princess to a bridezilla who made Kate Middleton cry and reigned terror to her palace staff. As these news stories developed, Markle was trapped inside Kensington Palace and advised to “lay low” from her royal advisory, even though none of the things she was publicly accused actually happened. 

Markle’s breaking point began when she realized that The Institution was not protecting her name, her reputation, or her child when racially charged threats began to circulate. After Markle informed Prince Harry that her mental health was deteriorating and she could not find a solution from The Institution, she wanted to end her own life. 

The birth of her son and his birthright of the title of Prince was planning to be revoked, along with the security that comes with the title. The Royal Family made it seem like Markle and Prince Harry did not want to hold their titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and they did not want their son to hold the title of Prince, which Markle claimed was false. She also stated that it was not the decision of The Firm, or for her and her husband to make, that decision could only be made by Archie when he comes of age.

The main focus online after the interview aired was accusations that the former princess was lying about her mental state and The Institution’s lack of response to seek treatment on her behalf– rather than concern for her well being and holding those within the Royal Family accountable for their wrongdoings. The Institution, being those who operate the palace and the Royal Family’s image, the actual Royal Family is a separate entity. 

Now the public is accusing the former princess of lying about her suicide attempts and her poor mental health. Piers Morgan stormed off live-TV when he was called out for his remarks against Markle. He made it very clear that he did not believe Meghan Markle’s statements in the interview, then he took to Twitter to bestow the title of “Pinocchio Princess” to the former Duchess of Sussex. 

In Markle’s defense, one twitter user tweeted, “Piers Morgan, an ITV presenter, accused Meghan Markle of lying about suicidal thoughts. The same ITV doing a mental health campaign. The same ITV that airs love island where their own presenter as well as other contestants committed suicide.”

A comedian tweeted that “princess diana was always whacked.” and brought up the conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Diana’s death. He also, like others, shamed Markle’s “failed” acting career, while also bashing the customs and traditions of the Royal Family. It’s unclear if his motive was satirical or malicious. 

Real Housewives of New York star, Bethany Frankle, even asked Markle to “cry her a river,” for “suffering in a palace with tiaras and seven figure weddings.” She then tried to justify her remarks citing the irresponsibility of Markle, Prince Harry, and Oprah for doing a television interview in the midst of COVID-19.

Mental health and racial descrimination have been at the forefront of social justice change and awareness campaigns across the world for nearly the past year, so the British and American public’s response is blatantly shameful and negates all of the efforts made by mental health advocates and those fighting to bring an end to systems that perpetuate racism and the implications of generational descrimination. 

By failing to acknowledge and investigate the accusations made by Markle, this allows a basis for corrupt institutions to continue to put forth standards into the world that protects those who hold racist and discriminatory beliefs, as well as defamation by the media. 

The Royal Family and their supporters are allowing the same tragedy that impacted all of the late Princess Diana’s adult life, and could have even been the cause of her death. Until The Institution takes responsibility for their wrongdoings, many will remain as loyalists to the Monarch.

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