Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s explosive interview has divided public opinion in Britain, a poll showed Tuesday, with those under 25 most likely to feel they were unfairly treated.
In the Oprah Winfrey interview, first aired in the United States on Sunday, the couple accused royal family members of asking how dark their baby’s skin would be.
Meghan, a mixed-race former television actress, said she had felt suicidal and was refused help by palace aides.
A poll by YouGov taken after the interview aired in Britain on Monday evening, indicated that almost a third (32 percent) felt Meghan and Harry were unfairly treated by the royal family, while the same percentage thought their treatment was fair.
But there was a clear split along age lines.
The younger generation took the side of Meghan and Harry, who are both in their 30s and married in 2018, while the older generation were more likely to back the royal family led by the 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth II.
Sixty-one percent of those aged 18 to 24 thought the couple were unfairly treated, while 50 percent of those over 65 thought they were fairly treated, a view only shared by 13 percent of the youngest group.
Another question on whether people’s general sympathies lay with Meghan and Harry or with the other royals, found that overall more British people — 36 percent — favoured the Queen and the royal family, while 22 percent chose Harry and Meghan.
The polling agency spoke to 4,656 British adults after the show aired on ITV commercial television, with an audience of more than 11 million.
Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle on Sunday said she contemplated taking her own life after joining the royal family, and raised allegations of racism in the monarchy during an explosive television interview.
Explaining the couple’s dramatic exit from royal life, Meghan said she was denied help during her mental health crisis, was targeted by lies, and that there was official concern about the skin color of her unborn son.
Meghan, whose father is white and mother is Black, spoke out in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that immediately became one of the most extraordinary chapters in recent royal history and was set to rock the British institution.
“I… just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought,” she told Winfrey, describing the impact of a torrent of vitriol from hostile tabloids and social media.
Asked if she had had suicidal thoughts while pregnant, Meghan replied “Yes. This was very, very clear.”
Recalling how she felt at the time, she said that “I’m scared, because this is very real.”
Meghan, 39, also told of royal “concerns” about “how dark” her son’s skin would be, saying Harry revealed to her official conversations over Archie’s appearance, as well as the security he would be entitled to, ahead of his birth on May 6, 2019.
‘How dark his skin might be’
“In those 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,” Meghan said.
“That was relayed to me from Harry, those were conversations the family had with him,” she said.
After the couple’s surprise decision to move to North America, the former television actress has been portrayed in some British newspapers as headstrong, calculating and spoiled, and the couple reckless and selfish for quitting royal life.
The two-hour interview with the queen of US television was the biggest royal tell-all since Harry’s mother princess Diana detailed her crumbling marriage to his father Prince Charles in 1995.
Harry, 36, revealed the deep divisions within his family, saying he felt “really let down” by how his father had handled the situation.
But he also said Charles — the heir to the throne — and Harry’s older brother William were “trapped” by the conventions of the monarchy.
“They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that,” he said.
Winfrey reportedly sold the interview to US broadcaster CBS for $7-9 million, and retained the international rights to the footage, which will feed an appetite of interest about Britain’s centuries-old monarchy — and their troubles — across the globe.
Royal fans were offered a treat when the couple revealed the gender of their second child — the first senior royal due to be born outside Britain in 100 years.
“It’s a girl!” Harry and Meghan chimed in tandem.
But it was a rare light-hearted moment in the drawn-out interview — and viewers who tuned in to see if the pair had scores to settle with Buckingham Palace were likely left shocked at how far they went.
Taking aim squarely at senior royals, Markle flatly denied reports — feasted on by the gossip press — that she made Kate Middleton cry before her wedding to Harry, saying the reality was the opposite.
“Everyone in the institution knew it wasn’t true,” Meghan told Winfrey.
“The reverse happened,” Meghan added, saying that Kate “was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologized.”
“A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining — yes, the issue was correct — about flower girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings.”
Meghan called the claims “the beginning of a real character assassination” and “a turning point” in her relations with the royal family.
“I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family,” she said.
Ahead of Sunday’s broadcast, revelations emerged Meghan was facing an internal palace investigation into claims that she bullied royal household staff after she and Harry married in a fairytale wedding in 2018.
Further reports the couple are facing a probe into their charitable foundation have been seen as a counter-offensive in a bitter battle for public support.
Last month, when Buckingham Palace confirmed the couple would not return to their senior roles, it said they would not “continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.”
“I’m sad that what’s happened has happened, but I know… we did everything that we could to make it work,” Harry said as the interview wrapped up.
The Sunday Times said Queen Elizabeth II, 94, would not be watching the couple.
The weekly quoted unnamed courtiers as calling the situation a “circus,” and the palace would “come out swinging” if individuals were attacked.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s potentially bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey this weekend could shape the couple’s future relations with the British royal family, experts say.
The pair’s relationship with the centuries-old institution has turned increasingly acrimonious since they stepped back from the royal frontline last year.
Meghan, 39, is expected to share grievances about her treatment by the monarchy and the media, including allegations of racism, and has accused royals of “perpetuating falsehoods” about her.
The interview was filmed weeks ago but pre-broadcast clips of her comments were made available just hours after the Palace took the unusual step of confirming it would investigate newspaper claims Meghan had bullied royal staff.
The escalating war of words has fuelled fears that already frayed ties could snap completely, with every word, look and gesture likely to be picked over in endless detail.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said it was “short-sighted” of Harry and Meghan not to inform the monarchy of the decision to talk to Winfrey.
That left it “blindsided” and “will almost certainly cause the royal family embarrassment”, he told AFP.
“We know the press and probably courtiers are likely to be excoriated.
“However, if they get personal and criticise other members of the royal family, it will define their relationship with them for the foreseeable future.”
– ‘Never complain, never explain’ –
Buckingham Palace announced last month that the couple had permanently ended royal duties, a year after their shock announcement to “step back” from their roles.
Since relocating to the United States — in a move dubbed “Megxit” by the British press — they have embarked on several lucrative commercial ventures alongside continuing charitable work.
The Oprah interview has echoes of the explosive 1995 tell-all by Harry’s late mother princess Diana in which she candidly discussed her failing marriage to Prince Charles and their infidelities.
Publicly discussing private matters jars with Queen Elizabeth II’s purported mantra “never complain, never explain”, to keep the royals’ unique place in British society.
Harry and Meghan are seen as media-savvy and have previously done well-received interviews but Fitzwilliams noted other family members’ rare media sit-downs have been “catastrophes”.
The queen’s second son Prince Andrew resigned from royal duties shortly after he defended his friendship with the late US financier and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein in a disastrous 2019 interview.
Harry’s father Prince Charles fared badly in a 1994 tell-all in which he admitted to committing adultery.
In contrast, Diana’s interview — watched by a record 22.8 million people — was widely seen as garnering her public sympathy.
Harry — sixth in line to the throne — and Meghan’s popularity in Britain has fallen steadily over the last three years and remains well below that of the queen, according to polling.
Omid Scobie, co-author of last year’s best-selling biography on the couple, “Finding Freedom”, said it was unlikely confiding in Oprah would change many minds.
Britons “have already picked their camp at this point”, he said.
But he predicted audiences could “at least come out of it a little bit more enlightened” as to why they left.
“This will be a place for them to share their side of the story and given that we… have spent the last three years talking about it, I’d say it’s only fair that they have a couple of hours to do the same,” he added.
– ‘Bad timing’ –
Harry, 36, has blamed press intrusion for contributing to his mother death in 1997 and told Oprah he and Meghan quit Britain in part because he was worried about “history repeating itself”.
But the timing of the broadcast, shot at their sprawling Montecito mansion in California, is awkward.
The prime time outing airs on the same day the queen and other senior royals appear on television as part of Commonwealth Day celebrations.
More problematically, the queen’s 99-year-old husband, Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip, has been in hospital for nearly three weeks and is recovering from a successful heart procedure.
Fitzwilliams said that should have prompted Harry and Meghan to ask Winfrey — a personal friend who attended their wedding — to pressure CBS to delay.
“It would be appropriate, despite the difficulties this would cause, for this interview to be postponed,” he said.
But royal expert Penny Junor told the BBC it was “just bad timing” and that a delay was highly unlikely.
“Is there ever going to be a perfect time to show… a documentary like this?” she asked. “I’m not sure there is.”
American rapper, 50cent, has backed entertainment mogul Russel Simmons after he was featured in a #MeToo documentary produced by Oprah Winfrey.
Simmons was accused of assault in 2017 but had denied the allegations.
Oprah’s documentary, which is produced in collaboration with Apple TV+, focuses on the #MeToo movement and sexual misconduct within the music industry.
“I don’t understand why Oprah is going after black men,” 50cent posted on his Instagram page. “No Harvey Weinstein, No Epstein, just Micheal Jackson and Russell Simmons this shit is sad. Gale hit R Kelly with the death blow documentary. Every time I hear Micheal Jackson I don’t know whether to dance or think about the little boys butts. These documentary’s are publicly convicting their targets, it makes them guilty till proven innocent.”
Meanwhile, Simmons himself has also responded to the documentary.
He said although he used to be “a playboy”, he has “never been violent or forced myself on anyone”.
“I have already admitted to being a playboy more (appropriately titled today “womanizer”) sleeping with and putting myself in more compromising situations than almost any man I know,” Simmons wrote on Instagram.
“Not 8 or 14 thousand like Warren Beatty or Wilt Chamberlain, but still an embarrassing number. So many that some could reinterpret or reimagine a different recollection of the same experiences. Please note that ur producers said that this upcoming doc was to focus ONLY on 3 hand-chosen women. I have refused to get in the mud with any accusers, but let’s acknowledge what I have shared.
“I have taken and passed nine 3-hour lie detector tests (taken for my daughters), that these stories have been passed on by CNN, NBC, BUZZFEED, NY POST, NY MAG, AND OTHERS. Now that you have reviewed the facts and you SHOULD have learned what I know; that these stories are UNUSABLE and that “hurt people hurt people”. Today I received a call from an old girlfriend from the early 1980s which means that they are using my words/evidence against me and their COMMITMENT/ (all of the claims are 25 to 40 years old) It is impossible to prove what happened 40 years ago, but in my case proof exists of what didn’t happen, mostly signed letters from their own parents, siblings, roommates, band members, interns, and in the case of 2 of your 3 accusers,their own words in their books. Shocking how many people have misused this important powerful revolution for relevance and money.
“Maybe you should name your documentary “FLAVOR OF LOVE”!? In closing, I am guilty of exploiting, supporting, and making the soundtrack for a grossly unequal society, but I have never been violent or forced myself on anyone.”
US television celebrity Oprah Winfrey on Thursday paid emotional tribute to Nelson Mandela as she prepared to host a star-studded concert in Johannesburg to cap celebrations marking 100 years since his birth.
Winfrey will co-host the Global Citizen festival on Sunday, where artists including Beyonce, Jay-Z, Cassper Nyovest, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams and Chris Martin will perform.
The concert is the climax of a year of events celebrating the centennial of Mandela’s birth in 1918, and is part of a campaign to tackle poverty, child malnutrition and boost gender equality.
Winfrey hailed Mandela’s “goodness and integrity”, describing him as her “favourite mentor” as she spoke at a public debate at the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg.
“He was a man who could have sought revenge, but he was a man who sought reconciliation,” she said, adding he “knew that when one of us is wounded all of us are bleeding.”
Mandela was jailed under South Africa’s apartheid regime. After being released in 1990, he led the country’s transformation into a multi-racial democracy.
Former US president Barack Obama spoke in Johannesburg in July, delivering the flagship address of the “Mandela 100” celebrations.
Concert tickets were allocated to people who have taken part in the Global Citizen campaign.
Oprah Winfrey and Idris Elba were among the celebrities in the pews at St. George’s Chapel for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday.
Winfrey, the US talk show queen, was seen strolling through the grounds of Windsor Castle ahead of the service, as was Elba, the British actor who is a star on both sides of the Atlantic for his roles in “The Wire” and “Luther”.
Celebrities from Britain and North America took their places among the 600 guests in the chapel, including US former actress Markle’s co-stars in the TV legal drama series “Suits”.
Harry’s ex-girlfriends Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas were seen going in.
Harry struggled to find lasting love, with the pair finding the scrutiny and weight of expectation all too much.
The three siblings of Harry’s mother Diana, Princess of Wales, have been invited.
Earl Charles Spencer, who spoke memorably at Diana’s funeral on behalf of his family, was seen entering the church.
His sister Jane Fellowes was to read from the Song of Solomon during the service.
Singer James Blunt, famous for his hit “You’re Beautiful” and like Harry, an army veteran took his place in the Gothic chapel.
Blunt has performed at the Invictus Games, an international competition for military veterans set up by Harry.
Nicholas Soames, a grandson of wartime prime minister Winston Churchill and a close friend of Harry’s father Prince Charles, was also among the guests.
Following the service, Queen Elizabeth II was to host a lunch in the castle’s St. George’s Hall for the 600 guests.
Charles, the heir to the throne, will be hosting 200 family and close friends from among the guests at an evening reception at Frogmore House.
Politicians have been left off the guest list, meaning there was no invite for US President Donald Trump or British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Chat show icon Oprah Winfrey has brushed off speculation she might run for US president in 2020, saying in an interview published Thursday she lacks “the DNA for it.”
When Winfrey delivered a rousing speech at the Golden Globe Awards earlier this month it rekindled longstanding speculation over the billionaire’s political ambitions — and a possible run for the Oval Office.
Some Democrats — still reeling from Hillary Clinton’s shock loss to Donald Trump — have embraced the idea of having their own celebrity candidate the next time around.
But in an interview with InStyle, carried out three weeks before the Globes and published in the fashion magazine’s March issue, the 63-year-old downplayed the idea of a presidential run, saying: “That’s not for me.”
“I’ve always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not,” said the self-made entertainment tycoon.
“And so it’s not something that interests me. I don’t have the DNA for it,” she added.
It was unclear whether the enthusiastic response to her Globes speech — after which anonymous friends of the chat show queen were reported as saying she was “actively thinking” about a 2020 run — may have brought a change of heart.
Winfrey went on in the interview to voice optimism about the current political US political climate.
“I think what’s exciting is this moment in our political history, in our social engagement,” she said.
“It’s really opened a lot of people to the fact that they have a voice, and it’s gotten people involved in ways that they never would’ve been before.”
Winfrey, the first black woman to own a television network, also reflected on the wave of sexual misconduct allegations gripping the worlds of entertainment, media and politics — the core of her Globes speech, in which she heralded a “new day” following the watershed.
“It has seared into the consciousness a level of awareness that was not there before,” she told InStyle.
“That’s the most important thing to me. When Reese Witherspoon can tell her story at the same time as a farm worker in Iowa or a factory worker in Alabama … You can see you’re not alone.”
Could Oprah Winfrey run for president and beat Donald Trump? Hollywood, liberals and ardent fans are abuzz with speculation that the billionaire chat show queen is harbouring White House ambitions after an impassioned Golden Globes speech.
Winfrey had barely finished calling for a “new day” following a sexual harassment watershed, before calls snowballed for one of America’s most famous women, a self-made tycoon born into poverty, to run for the highest office in the free world.
Hollywood’s loathing of Trump and bafflement that a crass-talking reality star with no previous government experience could win the presidency have fueled talk of well, why not another television star, only one with the “right” politics?
While Winfrey herself has never stated any cut-and-dried desire to run for office — reportedly saying “I don’t — I don’t” backstage at the Globes when asked if she planned to run — her longtime partner suggested that she could be persuaded.
“It’s up to the people,” Stedman Graham was quoted as telling The Los Angeles Times. “She would absolutely do it.”
“She launched a rocket tonight. I want her to run for president,” Meryl Streep told The Washington Post. “I don’t think she had any intention (of declaring). But now she doesn’t have a choice.”
CNN quoted two anonymous “close friends” as saying Winfrey was “actively thinking” about a presidential run although stressing that she had not made up her mind.
If the speculation is wishful thinking, Winfrey’s fame and wealth, extraordinary personal story overcoming poverty, teenage rape and pregnancy to build a $2.6 billion fortune and Oscar-nominated acting career, would stack up nicely in her favor.
“I slept on it and came to the conclusion that the Oprah thing isn’t that crazy,” tweeted Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior advisor to Barack Obama, the president whom Winfrey was credited with helping to elect in 2008.
A March 2017 poll by Quinnipiac University that handed Trump a 41 percent job approval rating, said 52 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of Winfrey.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV that same month, she hinted that Trump’s lack of government experience, had recalibrated her own thoughts. “I thought, ‘Oh gee, I don’t have the experience, I don’t know enough.’ And now I’m thinking, ‘Oh.'”
‘Would she want to?’
Three months later, Winfrey tweeted to her 41 million followers a link to a New York Post editorial that trumpeted her as the Democrats’ best hope of beating Trump in 2020.
“You need a star — a grand, outsized, fearless star whom Trump can neither intimidate nor outshine,” ran the editorial. “She can do it – in theory. The question is: Would she want to?”
“Thanks for your VOTE of confidence!” responded Winfrey on Twitter.
Raised in Nashville, Milwaukee and Mississippi, she was raped as a 14-year-old by an uncle and became pregnant, until she miscarried the baby.
After college, she went into journalism before reigning for 25 years as queen of the US talk show, ushering in an era of confessional television before becoming the first black woman to own a television network.
At the start of the Golden Globes on Sunday, host Seth Meyers playfully encouraged Winfrey to run against Trump. Becoming the first black woman to accept the Cecil B. De Mille lifetime achievement award, her speech wove together gender, poverty and race.
“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men,” she said to a standing ovation. “So I want all the girls watching here now to know that a new day is on the horizon.”
Would the electorate be ready to put not just another television star but another political outsider in the White House?
“There’s a feeling among many in the country that prior political experience is actually a deficit,” said Cindy Rosenthal, political science professor at the University of Oklahoma.
But if politics is a money person’s game, then the odds are still out.
“There is money around for Oprah, Michelle Obama and George Clooney — but the odds suggest The Donald is going to be hard to beat,” said Rupert Adams, spokesman for global betting chain William Hill.
Several big names in entertainment were hailed as Disney Legends as part of the Disney fan convention D23 on Friday.
The event, which happens every two years, saw Star Wars’ Mark Hamill, the late Carrie Fisher, actress Whoopi Goldberg, the former Marvel chairman Stan Lee and actress and TV host Oprah Winfrey got honored.
On the press line, Hamill spoke about how his Star Wars co-star would have reacted to getting the award and how he hoped her presence in the final of the new trilogy would be treated after Fisher died in December 2016.
American media proprietor Oprah Winfrey said “What have I done to be a legend that is the first question. Legend is such a profound, dramatic and dynamic title to hold in the world, so I was thinking, what have I done to be a legend? And then I thought, ok, the Oprah show was legendary so I can accept it in the name of the Oprah show.”
Actress, Whoopi Goldberg, said “I just think today I’m going to Disneyland and I’m not taking the kids. That’s how I look at everything. It’s a great thing, man, I’m lucky. I know it and it’s fantastic and I’ve worked for and with Disney for so long but I didn’t know they had a program like this.
“That’s how slow I am. They said ‘Oh we’re giving you this thing’ and I was like ‘Oh ok thanks’ and they were like ‘No, you don’t understand. We’re giving you this thing’. This lady came and said ‘Say thank you’ and I went ‘Thank you’ and then I looked it up and I was blown away.”
Other notable people who became Disney Legends included Disneyland ride creator Wayne Jackson and theater and film director Julie Taymor.
Bobbi Kristina Brown, the only child of late singer Whitney Houston, died on Sunday at the age of 22, some six months after suffering irreversible brain damage in an incident at her suburban Atlanta home, her family said in a statement.
Brown, whose father is R&B singer Bobby Brown, was found face down and unresponsive in a bathtub in her home by her partner and a friend on January 31. She was moved by her family to hospice care on June 24.
“She is finally at peace in the arms of God,” her family said. “We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months.”
As news of her death became public, media crews and some fans gathered on a darkened cul de sac in the Atlanta suburb of Duluth, where ornate street lamps illuminated the ivy-covered brick nursing home where Brown died.
“We just wanted to show our respect,” said Ali Joyner, 15, who persuaded her mum and a neighbour to drive the 20 miles from their home in Dacula, Ga. “I just loved her mum, Whitney. And Bobbi is part of that.”
Her death came three years after her Grammy-winning mother, who had battled substance abuse, drowned in a bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel at age 48. Authorities said cocaine abuse and heart disease contributed to Houston’s February 11, 2012 death.
Bobbi Kristina Brown inherited her mother’s fortune.
A $10 million civil lawsuit filed last month accuses Bobbi Kristina Brown’s partner, Nick Gordon, of causing her life-threatening injuries and of stealing from her bank account while she was in a coma. No one has been charged in the case.
Bobbi Kristina Brown was an aspiring singer who began performing with her mother as early as 1999, singing duets of “My Love is Your Love.” In 2003 they recorded another duet of “Little Drummer Boy” for a holiday album.
Her father is a Grammy Award winner who started his career as frontman for the R&B group New Edition.
Houston and Bobby Brown both struggled with substance abuse and divorced when their daughter was 14. Houston described their 15-year marriage, which ended in 2007, as drug- and alcohol-fueled.
The couple’s tempestuous relationship and often erratic behavior was chronicled in the short-lived television series, “Being Bobby Brown.”
Bobbi Kristina Brown was hospitalized twice with anxiety after her mother’s death.
In 2012 she starred on Lifetime’s reality TV show, “The Houstons: On Our Own,” in which Houston’s family struggled to recover from the famous singer’s death. The same year Bobbi Kristina Brown guest-starred on “For Better or Worse,” a television series about a married couple.