Image: ITV/Harpo Productions

The pure political performance that was the ‘Harry and Meghan-Oprah’ interview

Harry and Meghan continued their endless fall from grace in Britain with their two-hour “interview” with Oprah Winfrey (so much for a quiet life away from evil tabloids). The interview was heavily edited before release, not least as Prince Philip was in hospital, who has been shielded from the fallout. The grenade has been thrown at the royal family. If he had died, they would be so callous to not forgo the interview but only postpone it.

I didn’t want to watch the interview and couldn’t get through it when I tried. It’s pure American trash, as a piece of television it was surreal. Millionaires and royals talking to a billionaire about how hard done by they are. Meghan crafted it for maximum damage and outrage, as a shrewd political performer Meghan gets top marks – not that that’s an accolade. Oprah did plenty of favours, leading the conversation, planting ambiguous accusations, and not challenging a thing. This was not an interview: it was an advertisement.

It was a pure brazen attempt of political theatre to destroy the British monarchy and has partially succeeded in undermining the American obsession with them through the accusation of racism, one of the most touchy and painful subjects in America

The royals have weathered worse than a second-rate actor launching a string of falsehoods and narcissistic indulgences at them. The royals also have the vast majority of the British public on their side too. Most of the public are so incensed that they want them stripped of their royal titles. The message is if you don’t like it, get out. It was a pure brazen attempt of political theatre to destroy the British monarchy and has partially succeeded in undermining the American obsession with them through the accusation of racism, one of the most touchy and painful subjects in America.

Piers Morgan, a man I despise, made the correct point that Meghan’s claim on Archie’s title was a total lie. His opponent, the GMB weatherman, even admitted Morgan had the facts, but they didn’t matter, and after a complaint to ITV from Meghan herself Morgan was booted off air. If you think she is powerless you’re naïve. The royals don’t even give themselves a right of reply, they deal with issues in private, not getting involved in tabloid mudslinging, yet Meghan for all her protests against tabloids acts like one herself. She has free reign to say anything without need for truthfulness or fear of correction.

Harry, while basically window-dressing for the interview, cannot be left out this political performance as he has never made a secret of his dislike for the royal family and their world. It doesn’t help he has always been an outsider, looking more like James Hewitt than Charles with the long-running tabloid theory that he isn’t of royal blood. With news that Meghan may be considering a 2024 president bid you can’t shake the feeling she’s just been using Harry as publicity.

The Queen reportedly convinced her popular former deputy private secretary, Samantha Cohen, to stay on to help Meghan specifically, but Meghan refused to listen or adapt, demanding they change for her

One allegation in the interview was that someone expressed concern about Archie’s possible skin colour. No specifics were given, Meghan said the news came from Harry, and she said that it wasn’t the Queen or Prince Philip who said it. Crafted perfectly for a media witch-hunt for the supposed culprit, if there was one. She linked this to why Archie would not get the title of Prince. A massive lie. He’s not in the line of succession, which is now William’s, meaning only his children would get this title under a century-old rule; Harry’s children would never get the title anyway. The GMB weatherman said that this fact didn’t not matter in the face of Meghan’s “lived experience” which is utter nonsense and indicated quite how far ranging the emotional weight of the interview has been.

Meghan’s claims of being denied support was swiftly debunked, making her comes across as privileged, naïve, and pretentious. The Queen reportedly convinced her popular former deputy private secretary, Samantha Cohen, to stay on to help Meghan specifically, but Meghan refused to listen or adapt, demanding they change for her. It’s hard to believe she was clueless to the royal world, and considering the amount of support given, and the lengths gone to, the interview is brazenly just political theatre. Her passport claims have all but been dismantled as well. Pure tabloid, ironic.

Meghan’s interview and recollection of her time in the royal family showed American cultural imperialism at its worst, demanding everything be about her

But the damage has been done, a single accusation of racism against an unnamed person was enough for the American press to trash the royal family. But in Britain opinion has swung even further against them. Meghan’s interview and recollection of her time in the royal family showed American cultural imperialism at its worst, demanding everything be about her. The truth matters not in a sea of outrage, and she knows that. Maybe we should give them their wish and never let them have press coverage again?

This political performance has claimed multiple scalps from Piers Morgan to Ian Murray to a handful of US TV figureheads, all for the crime of asking for evidence, truthfulness, and civility. Harry and Meghan have lit a fuse under Buckingham Palace and wider society. Therefore, it is no surprise such an American, vindictive, nasty, and unwatchable performance landed so badly in Britain. 

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