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Harry and Meghan detail royal struggles, from discussions of baby's skin tone to suicidal thoughts

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Conversations about "how dark" their baby's skin tone would be. A rift between Prince Harry and his father so deep that Harry said his father at one point "stopped taking my calls." And Meghan, Duchess of Sussex saying she "just didn't want to be alive anymore."

These were some of the shocking details described by Harry and Meghan in an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey, the first they have given since they stepped away from official royal duties last year. They said they would have stayed had they gotten support from the royal family. 

In one of the only lighthearted moments, the couple revealed their second child, expected this summer, will be a girl. 

But Harry and Meghan spent most of the discussion trying to give their side of many of the tabloid stories that have circulated about them since they got together, including one about how Meghan had once made her sister-in-law, Catherine, cry.

While they had harsh words for their treatment in the press, the most disturbing parts of the interview centered on how they were treated by members of the royal family. Harry said he had a "really good relationship" with the Queen, but said he was "disappointed" by his father and that, while he loves his brother William "to bits," they're on "different paths." 

Meghan said that "in the months when I was pregnant… we have in tandem the conversation of he won't be given security, he's not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born." Harry said it was not a conversation he ever wanted to discuss. 

Meghan said she had a "clear and real and frightening thought" about suicide while she was a working member of the royal family. Harry said she did not receive any support from the royal family over her mental health, saying, "it was not a conversation to be had."

The pair focused heavily on the royal family's refusal to provide security for them, an especially grave concern for Harry given his mother's death. He said that his experience with Meghan showed him how hard it must have been for his mother.

More portions of the interview aired on Monday exclusively on "CBS This Morning."

Harry and Meghan
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex Harpo Productions / Joe Pugliese

BBC royal correspondent calls interview "body blow" to royal family

BBC News royal correspondent Jonny Dymond called the interview "devastating" and said their revelations are a "body blow" to the royal family.

"It's not at all clear if and how the palace will respond," Dymond wrote on "Many of the revelations are so personal that getting any reaction seems unlikely. The Queen has made clear repeatedly the affection in which the couple are still held. As for the newspapers that the couple so despise - will they change their tune? It is not in their nature."

By Caroline Linton

More of Oprah Winfrey's interview will air exclusively on "CBS This Morning" on Monday at 7 a.m. ET


"We did what we had to do," Harry and Meghan wrap up their exclusive interview with Oprah

In the final moments of their groundbreaking interview, Harry and Meghan discussed their different regrets with the iconic host, but both said they remained grateful that they made it "out to the other side."

Meghan told Oprah that her regret was believing that the royal family would protect her, something she said would have made all the difference. If they had protected us, "we wouldn't have left," Harry said. 

However, Harry also said that his relationship with Meghan saved him, while Meghan disagreed, instead saying that Harry's decision saved their entire family. 

"We did what we had to do," Harry said. 

By Zoe Christen Jones

Harry says he is "disappointed" by his father

In a particularly revealing moment, Harry revealed that he will always love his father, Prince Charles, but he is "disappointed" by him. As for his brother, Prince William, Harry said he "loves him to bits" but "we're on different paths."

Harry started out by saying they had never planned to make the Netflix and Spotify deals, but the royal family "literally cut me off financially" in the first quarter of 2020. 

He said he thought his mother "saw it coming."  

"I'm just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side because I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself. It's been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we have each other," Harry said. 

As for the rest of his family, he said he has spoken more this year to his grandmother than he has "in many, many years" and they have a "really good relationship." 

When asked about his father, Harry paused. He said his father is now taking his calls, but "there's a lot to work through there." 

"I feel really let down because he's been through something similar and he knows what pain feels like and Archie's his grandson," Harry said. "But at the same time, of course 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 — and that's the thing. I've tried to … I've tried to educate them through the process that they've been educated."

Harry said "much will continue" to be said about his relationship with William.

"As I've said before, I love William to bits — he's my brother and we've been through hell together and we have a shared experience but we're on different paths," Harry said. 

Harry said he "never going to share" more about the conversation about Archie's skin tone, only saying it was "right at the beginning."

Both Harry and Meghan said that if they had the support, "without question" they would have stayed working members of the family.

"I'm sad what has happened has happened but I'm comfortable knowing we have done everything we could to make it work," Harry said.

To people who would say they were "money-grubbing royals," he said "first off, this was never our intention." 

"For my perspective, all I needed was enough money to pay for security to keep my family safe," he said.

By Caroline Linton

"My father and my brother, they are trapped," Harry says

Harry revealed to Oprah that the turning point between Meghan and the royal family happened after their Australia tour, when members of the crown got jealous over the "effortless" way Megan connected with the people and the commonwealth. 

However, Meghan said that she did not receive royal training, and was instead up late and night googling protocols like the national anthem to prevent embarrassment. 

"I just wanted to make them proud," said Meghan. 

She also denied having plans to leave the monarchy when she and Prince Harry started dating. Instead, Harry said that he never would have left if he hadn't married Meghan, but only because their relationship opened his eyes to how he was trapped by the "Institution" he was born into. 

"My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don't get to leave," said Harry. "And I have compassion for that." 

By Zoe Christen Jones

"I saw history repeating itself," Harry says about the way Meghan was treated

When Harry joined Meghan for their exclusive interview with Oprah, he immediately expressed that he was worried his mother's story would repeat itself in Meghan. "I saw history repeating itself," he said.

According to Prince Harry, he saw an intense correlation between his wife and his late mother, something he said was only escalated by racial tensions and social media.

He continued to ask for help, and only considered stepping back from the family when it was clear help wasn't coming, even to the point where his own father wasn't answering his calls.

Harry said he and Meghan talked very deeply about stepping back as senior members of the royal family to take a respite from the intense pressure from both the tabloids and the Crown. However, he says he did not blindside the "Firm" but continually discussed his plans with multiple people, including the Queen.

"I never blindsided my grandmother," Harry said. "I have too much respect for her."

By Zoe Christen Jones

Meghan and Harry announce they're having a girl

A baby girl will be joining Prince Harry, Meghan and Archie this summer. 

Harry and Meghan announced their baby's gender while talking to Oprah about their new life in California. 

The couple announced they were expecting a second baby on Valentine's Day 2021, exactly 37 years after Princess Diana announced her pregnancy, but waited until the interview to reveal the gender of the child. They have not announced a name. 

The joyful news also comes in the wake of unbearable sadness, as earlier in the year Meghan announced that she had experienced a miscarriage in a New York Times Opinion piece. However, the two said they are excited and "extremely grateful" for the pregnancy, and the chance to have a daughter. 

"What more could you ask for?" Harry said.

By Zoe Christen Jones

"I just didn't want to be alive anymore," Meghan revealed

In a heartbreaking moment, Meghan revealed that she was having "methodical" thoughts about suicide while she was in the royal family. 

"That was a very clear and real and frightening thought," Meghan said. "I couldn't be left alone."

According to Meghan, she went to the "Institution," meaning several senior officials, to receive help for her suicidal thoughts, or to be checked into a hospital, but she was told it wouldn't be good for optics. After being rebuffed, Meghan said she reached out to one of Princess Diana's best friends, but continued to have those thoughts, which she called a breaking point. 

She also described feeling captive, as her license, passport, and credit cards were taken after her wedding and were unavailable to her. 

Clearly emotional, the Duchess said her life in the palace was an example of why people should be kind, since you never know what people are going through "behind closed doors."

By Zoe Christen Jones

Meghan says there were discussions about "how dark" Archie's skin color would be

After Meghan described the conversations about how Archie would not be given the title of prince and how he wouldn't have security, Meghan said there were discussions while she was pregnant about "how dark" Archie's skin color would be.

"In the months when I was pregnant, all around the same time, so we have in tandem the conversation of he won't be given security, he's not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born," Meghan said.

"What?" Oprah asked. "Who is having that conversation with you? What?"

Meghan nodded and said "so, um" and Oprah said "hold up there is a conversation," with Meghan interjecting "there were several conversations" and "with Harry. Oprah finished the question by saying "about how dark your baby is going to be?"

"Potentially and what that would mean and what that would look like," Meghan said.

Meghan wouldn't say who it was who had the conversation and said it "would be very damaging to them."

She said it was relayed to her from Harry. "It was really hard to see those as compartmentalized conversations," Meghan said.

By Caroline Linton

"Our son needs to be safe," Meghan reveals the Firm didn't want to give Archie security

While Meghan was pregnant with Archie, she was informed that her child would not be given the title of prince or security, something that went against tradition. 

"The idea of the first member of color in this family not being titled" was something that she says brought a lot of pain to her, not because of convection but because of safety. She mentioned being worried about safe Archie would be, especially given her treatment in the tabloids.

By Zoe Christen Jones

"I could not feel lonelier," Meghan said about her time with the royal family

According to Meghan, she was silenced during her time as a senior official of the royal family. 

In a quiet moment with Oprah, Meghan revealed she was under the belief that in exchange for not commenting on her life, she would be protected, something she found out was not true. 

Meghan said it was important to make a distinction between some members of the royal family and the administration that runs the family. For instance, she said the Queen had always been wonderful to her, even going so far as to share a blanket with her during their first press tour. 

However, she was forced to stay at home for fear of "oversaturation," something that she likened to being in COVID-19 lockdown. 

"It's nothing like what it looks like," she said. 

By Zoe Christen Jones

Meghan says Kate made her cry in bridesmaid dress incident, not the reverse

Oprah asked Meghan about an incident reported in the British tabloids that her sister-in-law Catherine made her cry. But Meghan said the situation was actually the reverse. 

According to Meghan, Catherine was the one who made Meghan cry about flower girl dresses, and Catherine apologized later and brought her flowers and a note. 

However, the tabloid rumors were just some of many unfavorable headlines toward Meghan that she says were constructed to fit into a polarizing narrative of a "hero and a villain." 

While Meghan refused to speak unfairly about Catherine since she said she has forgiven her, she did make it a point to acknowledge that everyone in the royal family knew the true story and chose not to tell it.

By Zoe Christen Jones

Prince Harry and Meghan were married 3 days before their "Royal Wedding"

Meghan revealed that three days before her televised "Royal Wedding," she and Prince Harry got married in a secret ceremony. 

"This spectacle is for the world," Meghan said. "But we want our union for us."

Meghan said the two were married in a private ceremony without family, with only the Archbishop of Canterbury. She added that the marriage certificate that hangs in her home has the date of the private ceremony. 

By Zoe Christen Jones

"There wasn't a lot of anxiety about meeting the queen," Meghan says

Oprah asked Meghan about meeting Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. Meghan said "there wasn't a lot of anxiety about meeting the queen," but she said Harry asked her in the car on the way there "do you know how to curtsy?"

Meghan said she thought "genuinely that is what happens outside" but not "inside," or within the family. 

"I thought that was part of the fanfare, I didn't think that was what happened inside," Meghan said. "I thought, this is your grandmother."

She said Harry reminded her his grandmother is the queen. Oprah asked if she googled it, but Meghan laughed "we were in the car." She said they practiced and Fergie, Prince Andrew's ex-wife, ran out and said "are you ready? Do you know how curtsy?"

"Apparently I did a very deep courtesy — I don't remember it," Meghan said. "It was lovely and easy and thank god I hadn't known a lot about the family — I would have been so in my head about it"

Meghan said that growing up in Los Angeles, she was used to seeing celebrities, but she realized "this is a whole different ballgame."

By Caroline Linton

"I never looked up my husband online," Meghan says

In the opening minutes of her exclusive interview with Oprah, Meghan said that she never looked up information about Prince Harry before she got married. While she knew about the royals, discussion of the monarchy wasn't something that was a part of the conversation when Meghan was growing up.

"I went into it naively," Meghan told Oprah. 

According to Meghan, her mother even asked if her late mother-in-law, Diana, had done an exclusive interview. She says she now knows about Diana's famous interviews, but she didn't specify any. 

But Meghan said her lack of research was because Prince Harry was telling her everything she needed to know.

She also expressed gratitude that she hadn't researched the family more as it helped her get rid of nerves before her first interactions with the Queen and other members of the royal family. 

By Zoe Christen Jones

Meghan says in new preview she will give "honest answer" on why her son is not a prince

In a preview that aired during "60 Minutes," Oprah asked Meghan "how do they explain to you that your son, the great-grandson of the queen, wasn't going to be a prince? You certainly must have had some conversations with Harry about it and had your own suspicions on why they didn't want to make Archie a prince. Why do you think that is?"

"I can give you an honest answer," Meghan said.

By Caroline Linton

Queen celebrates "unity" and "dedication" in Commonwealth Day speech

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the "unity" and "dedication" of the British people in a speech on Commonwealth Day.

"Whilst experiences of the last year have been different across the Commonwealth, stirring examples of courage, commitment and selfless dedication to duty have been demonstrated in every Commonwealth nation and territory, notably by those working on the frontline who have been delivering healthcare and other public services in their communities," Queen Elizabeth said. "We have also taken encouragement from remarkable advances in developing new vaccines and treatments. The testing times experienced by so many have led to a deeper appreciation of the mutual support and spiritual sustenance we enjoy by being connected to others."

The Commonwealth Day broadcast aired on BBC and on YouTube, and featured not only the queen, but also appearances by Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William and Catherine. Harry's brother and sister-in-law, William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, held a virtual chat with healthcare workers. 

By Caroline Linton

ITV to air the interview on Monday night in U.K.

 British broadcaster ITV has acquired the rights to broadcast the interview, and will be airing from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Monday night.

Deals have been struck in more than 17 countries across the world for the rights to screen Oprah's interview, according to BBC News.

By Caroline Linton
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