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Meghan and Harry on Oprah: All the key quotes from bombshell interview as couple discuss leaving royal life

Written by on 8 March 2021

In a high-profile interview that is sure to have shocked the Royal Family, Meghan and Harry have revealed all to Oprah Winfrey about why they left the UK.

Several preview clips had been released ahead of the broadcast in the US, which took place in the early hours of Monday UK time, but there were still several bombshell moments throughout the two-hour programme.

Meghan spoke to Winfrey alone at first, with Harry joining her for the second half. Here are some of the key quotes from the interview…

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Meghan: ‘I just didn’t want to be alive anymore’

Meghan on her wedding day

“It was like having an out-of-body experience I was very present for… I think we were both really aware, even in advance of that, this wasn’t our day, this was the day that was planned for the world.”

On marrying into the Royal Family

“I will say I went into it naively because I didn’t grow up knowing much about the Royal Family. It wasn’t something that was part of conversation at home, it wasn’t something that we followed.”

On the sex of her next baby

Asked if she knows whether she is having a boy or a girl, Meghan said: “We do this time. I will wait for my husband to join us and we can share that with you.”

The couple later revealed they are having a girl, with Harry saying it was “amazing”.

On newspaper reports Meghan reduced the Duchess of Cambridge to tears at Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress fitting

Meghan said this was “a turning point” and insisted the “reverse” happened, that it was Kate who made her cry.

She told Winfrey she did not want to be “disparaging to anyone” and claimed Kate apologised with flowers and a note “to take accountability”.

It was not a “confrontation” and it would not be “fair” to Kate to go into detail, she said, adding it was “hard to get over” being blamed for something she did not do.

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie, meets with Anglican Archbishop Emeritus, Desmond Tutu, and his wife Leah in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. The royal couple are on the third day of their African tour. (Henk Kruger/African News Agency via AP, Pool) Image: Harry and Meghan with Archie in South Africa in 2019

On son Archie not being a prince or receiving a title, and the colour of his skin

“They didn’t want him to be a prince or princess, not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol, and (said) that he wasn’t going to receive security,” Meghan said.

“In those months when I was pregnant… we have in tandem the conversation of, you won’t be given security, not gonna be given a title and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”

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Meghan told Oprah there were ‘several conversations’ about her son Archie’s skin tone

She declined to name who expressed those concerns, saying: “I think that would be very damaging to them.”

On considering self-harm and suicide

Meghan said: “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. And I remember how [Harry] just cradled me.”

She said she went to senior people in the institution to ask for help.

“I remember this conversation like it was yesterday, because they said, my heart goes out to you because I see how bad it is, but there’s nothing we can do to protect you because you’re not a paid employee of the institution.

“This wasn’t a choice. This was emails and begging for help, saying very specifically I am concerned for my mental welfare.”

On the royal institution

“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 compartmentalise that because the Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me.”

Asked whether the royal couple were silent or had been silenced

Meghan said: “The latter. Everyone in my world was given a very clear directive from the moment the world knew Harry and I were dating to always say no comment.”

Harry and Meghan with Kate and William at Westminster Abbey in 2019 Image: Harry and Meghan with Kate and William at Westminster Abbey in 2019

Meghan on what she hopes people take from the interview

“I have lost my father, I lost a baby, I nearly lost my name, there’s the loss of identity… I’m still standing,” the duchess said.

She added that she hopes the message people take from the interview is “know there’s another side, to know that life is worth living”.

Harry, when asked about Meghan telling him she did not want to live anymore

“I had no idea what to do. I wasn’t prepared for that. I went to a very dark place as well, but I wanted to be there for her.”

Asked if he told people in his family that Meghan needed help, he said: “That’s just not a conversation that would be had.”

The duke added: “I guess I was ashamed of admitting it to them. And I don’t know whether they’ve had the same feelings or thoughts. I have no idea. It’s a very trapping environment that a lot of them are stuck in.”

Elaborating on feeling trapped

Asked by Winfrey if he would have stepped back from senior royal duties had he not met Meghan, Harry said: “No, the answer to your question is no.”

He said he would not be able to leave because “I myself was trapped. I didn’t see a way out. I was trapped but I didn’t know I was trapped.”

He then claimed other family members are also trapped. “My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave,” he said.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex pose for a picture with some of Queen's Young Leaders at a Buckingham Palace reception following the final Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony 2018 Image: The couple pictured with the Queen in 2018

Harry on the conversation he had over Archie’s skin tone

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

He said he was “not comfortable” sharing the question he was asked by the unnamed person, but said it happened “right at the beginning” of his relationship with Meghan.

On his father, Prince Charles

“I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like, [and] Archie’s his grandson.

“But at the same time – 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.

“But they only know what they know, or what they’re told.”

On his brother, Prince William

“The relationship is space at the moment. And time heals all things, hopefully.”

On the Queen

Asked by Winfrey, “did you blindside the Queen?” with the announcement he was stepping down, Harry replied: “No, I would never blindside my grandmother, I have too much respect for her.”

On Diana

“I think she would feel very angry with how this has panned out, and very sad.”

On Netflix royal drama The Crown

“I’ve watched some of it,” Harry admitted. “We’ve watched some of it.”

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK