In this bumper offering for Easter weekend, Pissed-off Toff reviews Oprah Winfrey’s famous interview with Meghan ’n’ Harry … and finds a tissue of lies, half-truths and distortion.
As I witness my country committing suicide over a not-very-serious virus, and as I witness the consolidation, under the Johnson clown, of a new totalitarian state whose idiocy, random brutality and utter disregard for the most basic human freedoms are a match for anything seen in the Soviet empire, I experience levels of anger and despair – both personal and political – that are difficult to live with.
When, therefore, Oprah Winfrey’s marathon interview with Meghan & Harry (the two HRHs billed in that order) was broadcast in the UK on 8th March, I was quite prepared to witness this most fortunate of royal couples indulge in an orgy of self-pity with the world as their audience. Here was a welcome distraction from the dark reality of our times.
In May 2018, with a jug of Pimms to hand, I had also been happy enough to watch Harry and Meghan (in that order, back then) get married at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. But even though I instinctively felt that she was a fraud, I was not prepared for the treachery which, a little under three years later, lay at the heart of this former starlet’s interview with the billionaire black queen of America … an interview which saw poor Prince Harry, reduced to the status of an enervated poodle, appear half-way through to recite grievances in which he had been thoroughly coached.
To be sure of my ground, I put together a transcript of this encounter … the print-out of which, covering some 36 pages, is a 14,000-word document of lies, deception, half-truths, New Age psychobabble, and pure poison. Not only that: Meghan ’n’ Harry’s chatshow talk with Oprah is a broadside aimed at the heart of the Monarchy; an act of lèse-majesté on a grand scale.
It is worth looking at in some detail.
* * * * *
This highly-orchestrated performance, seen the world over, took place in the garden of a certain Gayle King, somewhere between the residences of Oprah Winfrey and Meghan Markle in the ‘exclusive’ Santa Barbara enclave of Montecito, to the north of Los Angeles. For this encounter, more love-in than interview, more Graham Norton than Jeremy Paxman, Queen Oprah received a staggering $7 million from CBS.
Radiating saintliness while clasping her swelling belly, the dewy-eyed Meghan Markle is seated on the sunlit patio of a hillside garden here in California. The lawn behind her is a carpet of daisies, beyond which we see a grove of venerable olive trees. The setting is almost biblical. We might indeed be on some hallowed spot in the Holy Land. Only Meghan’s sky-high Aquazzurra stiletto heels offer a clue as to the murderous intent of this pregnant madonna.
The interview is very, very long. But let us not be discouraged.
* * * * *
“You don’t know what I’m going to ask, there is no subject that’s off-limits,” states Oprah at the outset, “and you are not getting paid for this interview.” Really? It is quite inconcievable that this highly-choreographed encounter took place with no parleying beforehand. ‘No subject off-limits?’ I just don’t believe it. As for no money payment, that part is credible. The payment – or payoff – comes to Meghan in terms of fame.
Oprah kicks off by asking the duchess, still oozing innocence and sincerity, what she thought it would be like to marry into the Monarchy. “I would say I went into it naively,” replies Meghan. “I didn’t do any research about what that would mean […] because everything I needed to know [Harry] was sharing with me.”
So if her Harry ‘shared’ everything with her, she did go into it with eyes open. Surely? But despite being paid $7 million for this little chat, and despite having researchers to dig up every detail on every person she interviews, Oprah does not probe. She does not point out that for one year before getting married to Prince Harry, Meghan had been living with him at Nottingham Cottage, within the precincts of Kensington Palace. It is therefore inconceivable that by the time of the wedding, Markle did not have a very good idea of what is involved in being a royal consort.
But no. We are asked to believe that poor Meghan sleepwalked towards her fate … while, at the same time, being super-awake in other areas, and “very aligned” (her words) with her beloved in their “cause-driven” work … which, it would seem, is nothing less than saving the world.
* * * * *
Shortly after the beginning of this charade comes perhaps the most revealing part of it. Meghan is due to meet the Queen for the first time, and this meeting will take place in a family setting at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park. She is told that she must curtsey. “I thought genuinely that’s what happens outside,” she tells Oprah. “That was part of the fanfare.” For Meghan, therefore, the Monarchy is essentially a show, a pantomime in which she, an actress, would be taking part. Preferably with the leading role.
Yet again, Meghan flicks back two stands of hair left artfully hanging down either side of her face. Constantly repeated throughout the interview, this gesture is infuriating. But the new duchess does have very nice dark-olive almond-shaped eyes, thickly outlined today with kohl; she has nice full lips; and she has the hands of a pianist. Ghastly though she is, the woman is not without allure.
We now cut to Oprah and Meg wandering through the orchard of the latter’s Californian villa. Beside them is a dog called Guy. “Guy’s been through everything with me,” she says, as though she and the hound had recently escaped from Aushwitz. Shortly afterwards we see the two women in a chicken-coop full of hens taken from a battery farm. “I just love rescuing,” says our heroine, while her tame royal husband pokes the ground disconsolantly with a stick.
“What are you most excited about in the new life?” asks Oprah, now to all intents and purposes a cheerleader. “I think just being able to live authentically,” replies the diva turned duchess. “It’s really fulfilling, just getting down to basics.”
‘Getting down to basics’, Meghan? ‘Living authentically?!’ With the son of the Prince of Wales in a $15-million villa with 16 bathrooms and round-the-clock security and a full team of PR operatives and multi-million-dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify??!! But Oprah lets it pass. This is, after all, a love-in.
And now, just to prove how ‘authentic’ she is, Meghan lets us into a little secret: she and her obedient hubby were actually married, most ‘authentically’, in the back yard of their Kensington cottage, several days before the ceremony in St George’s, Windsor – that most ‘inauthentic’ £30-million wedding, consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury and witnessed by the whole world.
Again, Oprah lets this outrageous claim pass. But let us consider the facts. A priest of the Church of England cannot marry a man and a woman without two witnesses being present. So it is not possible that a marriage between Meghan and Harry took place in their back yard, with only the Archbishop of Canterbury officiating. It can only have been a blessing of sorts, or perhaps a rehearsal. For the first time in this interview (and there will be more instances to come), Meghan Markle is revealed as a barefaced liar. Or a fantasist pitting her false ‘truth’ against the actual facts.
It is significant, too, that Meghan implies, blasphemously, that her real marriage, conducted in the house of God with the very greatest solemnity and in front of the world, was a sham, a bit of theatre. Just as she thought that curtsying to the Queen in public was a sham. Once again, we see the actress at work. For her, marrying into the Royal Family was the key to becoming the star of the best theatre company in the world.
* * * * *
We now return to Gayle King’s biblical garden. Perhaps thinking that for her eye-watering fee she should do a tinsy-winsy bit of probing, Oprah informs our stage duchess that before she bolted, she was known, in Buckingham Palace circles, as ‘Hurricane Meghan’; that she perhaps caused “the departure of several high-profile palace staff members” … and that … OMG! … she made Kate Middleton – aka the Duchess of Cambridge – cry!!
With the greatest hesitation, and only because Oprah is forcing her to reveal all, the newer duchess reluctantly informs us that in actual fact it was not she – the saintly Meghan – who made Kate cry, but the horrid Kate (whom, by the way, she deeply respects) who made her cry. Yes, she did!
However, at least the nasty, horrid Kate “owned it” … this being Californian psycho-babble for recognising the terrible harm that you have done to someone – or, indeed, to yourself – in some entirely trivial incident. And yes, the beastly Duchess of Cambridge subsequently “apologised” to Saint Meghan. “And I’ve forgiven her,” says the latter, adding that “it’s really important for people to understand the truth” of the ordeal to which she was subjected.
So what was this convent-school tiff? It was, says Meghan, to do with “flower-girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings.” My own probing into this incident suggests, however, that during a fitting for the bridesmaid’s dress that Princess Charlotte was to wear at the forthcoming nuptials, the Markle divorcee was arrogant and overbearing, as is her wont, and that general upset was the result. Also that when, the next day, the unfailingly decent Duchess of Cambridge walked round to Nottingham Cottage with a bunch of flowers as a peace offering, Markle slammed the door in her face.
After more West Coast psycho-babble in which Markle informs us that she could “see what layers were at play” in the subsequent media reports of this incident, and that “they [the media] really seemed to want a narrative of a hero [Kate] and a villain [poor poor me-me-Meghan],” she claims that the Palace press people “were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.” Then: “I mean, they would go on the record and negate the most ridiculous story for anyone. Right?”
And if Buckingham Palace will lie for all the rest of the Royal Family, why couldn’t they deal with “the narrative about, you know, [me] making Kate cry […..] If they’re not going to kill things like that, then whaddawe gonna do?” So there we have it. For our theatrical duchess, ‘protection’ means muzzling the press. No-one is allowed to say anything about Meghan which is not entirely to her liking.
Which brings us to another lie. Because not long after Meghan married into the Royal Family, numerous well-founded tales began circulating about how badly she treated her staff. The press got wind of it. The Palace press office duly did everything in their power to ‘kill’ such stories. So she was, in fact, being ‘protected’ … against her own increasingly toxic reputation. But there was only so much ‘protection’ against herself that could be provided.
Nor, furthermore, does it occur to Meghan that if you don’t want to hear what the tabloids are saying about you, or the much worse things that the internet trolls are saying … well then, don’t read the tabloids, and don’t do Twitter. It’s really very simple.
* * * * *
At the same time that the press was making her life a misery, Meghan was apparently “silenced” by the Palace … Yes: she who had “advocated for so long for women to use their voice.” Not only this, but she was told she couldn’t go out to lunch with her friends … and there was even one four-month period in which she left the house just twice. “There was very little that I was allowed to do,” she says. By her account, therefore, poor Meghan was more or less gagged and placed under house-arrest.
A more likely scenario is that recognising the danger of her overtly political ideas about ‘racism’ and ‘women’s rights’, the Palace sensed trouble. Plus, did Meghan not know, when she married Prince Harry, that from now on politics were off-limits? As for being held a virtual prisoner, not only is it an unbelievable claim, but an extensive investigation by The Daily Mail lists her numerous foreign holidays after she got married, and concludes that there appears to be no four-month period when she left the house just twice.
But our diva is furious. And now she moves in for the kill. From the theme of ‘protection’ from anyone who doesn’t totally love her, we jump to the equally sore issue of ‘security’ … and thence, with the greatest agility, to the charge of ‘racism’ within the Royal Family.
This is worth examining in some detail.
* * * * *
It all starts, in Meghan’s mind, with the issue of ‘titles’ for her yet-to-be-born son; and she now claims that un-named people at the Palace, referred to as ‘they’, didn’t want her child to have its rightful HRH status … and that as a result the child would not receive security.
This is false twice over, firstly because under dispositions laid down by George V in 1917, the children of Harry and Meghan are not entitled to HRH status in any case; and secondly, because whatever their precise status in terms of titles, these children would obviously receive full security. There is no link between the two things.
Nevertheless, Meghan is exercised by the issue of HRH status. Not that she cares about titles for herself. Oh no! “All the grandeur surrounding this stuff is an attachment that I don’t personally have, right?” … this ‘right?’ being repeated constantly throught the interview, with its infuriating uplift and its even more infuriating suggestion of virtue. “The most important title I will ever has is Mom,” she continues, ever the saint.
Let us leave aside that when this pushy little social climber – as her own half-sister has described her – claims that she is indifferent to titles, she cannot be believed for one moment … because the first thing she did on leaving the Royal Family was to found a brand called Sussex Royal; and because she is now milking her title of Duchess of Sussex for all it is worth.
Somewhere in her mind, perhaps, a bell goes off to announce that her accusations are far from watertight. Because she now seems to remember that her son Archie is not presently entitled to HRH status; so she changes tack and claims that when the time comes for him to get it (on the death of the Queen and the accession to the throne of the Prince of Wales), ‘they’ want to “change the convention for Archie” … in other words, ‘they’ want to “take [his rightful HRH status] away” and deprive her son of his “birthright” … and as a result of this, she states again, the boy won’t have essential security … so that poor Harry and Meghan will have to “offer up” (sic) their baby.
Where to start with this malicious nonsense? The notion that ‘they’ want to deprive Archie of his rightful HRH status when the time comes; the false connection, again, between his exact status, title-wise, and security; and finally, the frankly hysterical suggestion of something approaching ritual sacrifice of their ‘baby’ … As any half-way competent British interviewer would have immediately realised, it’s all rubbish; if only because HRH status depends on the will of the Monarch alone. Oh, and the young Archie does in fact have a very nice title: he is the Earl of Dumbarton.
But by now an unashamed ally of Meghan’s, Oprah lets these wild accusations pass unchallenged, and we move into far more dangerous waters. During her pregnancy, claims Meghan, there were “concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie’s] skin might be” … at which Oprah assumes an appropriately horrified expression. This is surely malicious falsehood; because it later transpires that what Meghan describes as “concerns and conversations” (in the plural) were just a single casual comment adddressed to Harry, made before they even married, about what their children would look like.
What could be more natural? Furthermore, as regards Meghan’s clear implication that a mixed-race child might look out of place, a well-informed source has suggested to me that in fact the Royal Family were all in favour of a nice olive-skinned baby, rather than a nasty ginger one with sticking-out ears. And as for the clear implication of ‘racism’, a source whom the biographer Lady Colin Campbell describes as ‘a prince’ informed her that Meghan’s mixed-race heritage was in fact “the only thing that was unreservedly in her favour.”
Indeed, in her book Meghan and Harry – the real story, Lady Colin suggests that Meghan’s race was the one factor that probably prevented ‘behind-the-scene manoeuvres to break up the relationship before it could lead to marriage’ … her race being an asset which outweighed ‘all the reservations created by her dominating personality, political inclinations, and past conduct’.
Put another way, not only is the Royal Family not racist. It is the very opposite of racist. But this does not suit Meghan’s false narrative … and now we come to the most explosive claim of all: that the reason ‘they’ didn’t want Archie to have the HRH status he would in due course be entitled to was because he might look “too brown” – to quote Oprah’s expression which Meghan happily endorsed.
If, at this stage, the Markle woman had named the courtier or courtiers who, she asserts, wanted to deprive Archie of his legitimate ‘birthright’ because he is partly black, she could probably be sued for libel. As it is, with her uncorroborated accusations and vague insinuations she defames the entire institution of the Monarchy in the most damaging way that she can think of: by playing the race card.
All this when, contrary to popular belief, Meghan herself is only one-quarter black (her mother is in fact half-black, not entirely black), and her son Archie is therefore just one-eighth black. Plus, as they say in Jamaica, that melting-pot of races: “Black blood wash out quick, quick, quick.” Indeed, Archie looks entirely European. But no matter: Meghan turns the race card into a nuclear bomb aimed at the heart of the Royal Family she has spurned.
* * * * *
As if all this weren’t enough, the falsehoods, misrepresentations and distortions keep on coming. “I just didn’t want to be alive any more,” says Meghan, with reference to her persecution at the hands of a racist tabloid press. “I needed to go somewhere to get help,” she continues, “and I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution [the Royal Family] … I went to Human Resources [at Buckingham Palace] and I say ‘I just really need help. I am concerned for my mental welfare’. But they wouldn’t help.”
What else? Oh yes, she was having suicidal thoughts which were “very real” … plus, the Palace had taken away her passport, her driver’s licence and her [car?] keys … so altogether she was “in a dark place” … furthermore, ‘the Firm’ (i.e. the Royal machine) was “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and hubby … plus, she was “grieving a lot” because she had “lost [her] father.”
Almost all of this is pure tripe … either outright falsehood or wild distortion. Briefly: Meghan went to HR when she was feeling suicidal, did she? But HR deals with staff, not with royal duchesses. She was told she couldn’t get professional help because it wouldn’t look good? Rubbish: any number of therapists would have been more than willing to offer the most discreet help in dollops. And ‘they’ took away her passport, did they? If so, she managed to go on a surprising number of foreign jaunts without it. And she was ‘grieving’ for her father whom she had ‘lost’, was she? No, Meghan: your father is a perfectly decent man whom you have cut out of your life after he was tricked into some act of foolishness by media operators for whose wiles he was an easy victim. You have not ‘lost’ him: you have cancelled him.
Again, Oprah swallows all of this, hook line and sinker.
Let me suggest an alternative narrative. As soon as Meghan realised that she wasn’t going to be the star of a royal show, driven round in a golden carriage while peasants fell to the ground in adoration; as soon as she realised that compared to William and Kate, she was really quite unimportant; as soon as she realised that the British press had seen her for the opportunistic narcissist that she is … as soon as all this became clear to her, she decided that it was time to decamp to Los Angeles … via the Commonwealth country of Canada, for the sake of appearances.
But how to achieve this? Oh yes! Push the right buttons with her mentally deficient and emotionally damaged spouse. Talk about taking your life. Make scenes. Remind him constantly of his mother’s death. Reinforce his deluded view that it was all the fault of the media … the same horrid media who are now in the process of driving his own wife towards suicide.
And it worked.
One thing only will I say in defence of Meghan the manipulator: namely, that life as a woman in the Royal Family is clearly not to everyone’s taste. Here is Sasha Swire on the topic. ‘I can’t help thinking,’ she writes in her Diary of an MP’s Wife, ‘when I think of all these royal women – Fergie, Diana, and now Sophie [Countess of Wessex] – how the monarchy swallows them up whole and probably retains its strength by doing so. As an institution it seems to have an uncanny ability to destroy or weaken everything near it; its weapons of choice a whispered aside, a cold shoulder, a dropped title, a small divorce settlement, a reduction of identity’.
And for Meghan the narcissist, a reduction of identity is the worst punishment imaginable. No wonder she fled back to La-La Land, where fair-weather friends will profess to take her at her own valuation and will massage her monumental ego for as long as they see some benefit in it. Much though I dislike her, I don’t entirely blame her.
* * * * *
We have dallied for long enough, and must now move forward faster.
About 45 minutes into the interview, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, appears. If, at his marriage to Meghan Markle a few years previously, he cut a dash in his Blues & Royals dress uniform, our prince in self-imposed exile is now a sadly diminished figure. With his balding head of ginger hair, with his close-set eyes, with his sticking-out ears, with his indifferent teeth, and most of all with his petulant expression and utter lack of any hint of humour, he is frankly unappealing. Gone is the common touch of previous years. Now he is a whingeing bore.
As for Meghan, she sits there holding his hand, staring into his eyes and clasping her ‘baby-bump’ – as it is apparently called – with other hand. Not only is there something faintly obscene about this, but it is clear that although she stares adoringly at her captive spouse, she wears the trousers. Prince of the Blood he might be, but Harry is a pussy-whipped house-husband. One hopes that the poor man reaps a reward of sorts.
* * * * *
I will now attempt to be brief. Almost in note form, therefore:
Why, having fled from the United Kingdom to Canada, did Harry ’n’ Meghan fly to LA in the nick of time, just before the Covid lockdown took place? Answer from Harry: “Courtesy of The Daily Mail, the world knew our exact location […] so it’s not safe, it’s not secure.” Also, because their UK-funded security detail was cruelly and unjustly removed.
Actually, Harry, the whole world knows where you are, even now. I bet that if I turned up in Santa Barbara, I could be directed to your front gate within half an hour. Plus, you flew from Canada to LA because that’s what Meghan had planned all along.
Then there’s more guff about Harry’s fear – planted in his own mind by the wily Meghan – of “history repeating itself” … i.e. that the wicked media would kill his wife, just as they killed his mother Princess Diana. We learn, too, that it was only when Meghan pointed it out to him that Harry learnt of the terrible racial “unconscious bias” that prevails in England. We also learn that at some stage Harry’s father, the long-suffering Prince of Wales, stopped taking his calls from Canada.
I’d say, Harry mate, that your papa was fed up with being asked for money. Especially since according to the the royal expert Angela Levin, and also to a wealth-manager friend of mine, you’re worth a good £30 million. This thanks to your mama.
Also, Harry realised that he “had to do something for [his] own mental health.”
Actually, Harry, I’d say that you need to ‘man up’. I’m sorry, it’s just no good any more, this stuff about you being destroyed by the death of your mother in a car accident almost twenty-five years ago. If you had had your arms and legs blown off in Afghanistan, I’d be with you till the end. But as it is: man up, mate.
And now we’re back to the tabloids. “They have holiday parties at the Palace,” claims Meghan.
No they don’t, Meg. Press receptions at the Palace: perhaps. Approved members of the press accompanying the royals on their official tours: yes. But ‘holiday parties’: no. I used to be a journalist. I know.
And still on the subject of the press, Harry now suggests that the success of his Australia tour with Meghan, shortly after they married, was somehow a harbinger of death by media. “The family got to see how incredible she is at the job,” he says. “And that brought back memories.”
Dear oh me! Everything leads this idiot boy back to his obsession with the press. Good coverage will kill his wife. Bad coverage will kill his wife. Bascially, he hates the press.
Now we are back to ‘security’, withdrawal of … clearly another obsession for this couple. In direct contradiction of her previous claims about her over-riding concern for ‘security’ for her family, Meghan now says that “it’s very clear the protection of me is not a priority. I accept that. That is fine. Please keep my husband safe. I see the death threats. I see the racist propaganda.”
Harry now confesses that as a member of the Royal Family, he was trapped, but he didn’t know he was trapped. Meghan was kind enough to explain that to him. Plus: “My father and my brother. They are trapped.” Plus: “My family literally cut me off financially [in the first quarter of 2020, after he decamped], and I had to afford security for us.”
Well, Harry, here’s what one inhabitant of Santa Barbara says about your ‘security’, in an email to Lady Colin Campbell, who is something of an expert on you and your spouse: “I’ve seen the grotesque couple [my italics] driving around with a car full of security,” this correspondent writes from the West Coast of America. “Let me tell you, it’s not needed. No-one here is chasing them. I’ve seen Oprah in downtown Santa Barbara without security. [She and other celebrities] look like normal people and don’t stand out […] Most people wish [Harry and Meghan] would go, because they ruin the atmosphere in a peaceful city.”
Oh yes, Harry has felt the presence of his dead mother throughout this whole process. Plus, with regard to his father, “there’s a lot to work through there, you know?” Plus: “[With my father] there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened.” As for his brother William, the two of them are “on different paths.” Oh, and even though Harry and Meghan are throwing nuclear bombs at the Royal Family with this interview, they left the country with the greatest “respect” …
* * * * *
Don’t worry. We’re almost at the end:
Harry: “We’re certainly not complaining.”
So what, then, have you and your spouse been doing for the last one and a half hours?
Meghan: “I mean, life is about storytelling, right? About the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we’re told, what we buy into.”
I’ll say ….
Harry: “Whereas with us it was just, like … just be yourself, just be genuine, just be authentic.”
Harry, again: “[Buckingham Palace] will be removing everything from me […..] I am hurt.” And: “[With my brother William] the relationship is space at the moment.”
Yeah, I bet it is, mate. Grand Canyon space, I’m guessing.
Harry: “Without question [Meghan] saved me.”
Meghan: “I think [Harry] saved all of us. Right?”
Where, please, is the bucket?
* * * * *
Even though there’s a lot that I’ve left out, this is sickening, is it not? The narcissism, the self-pity, the whingeing, the shameless betrayal of family in front of a worldwide audience. If I were the Prince of Wales, I’d be fuming. But I have heard that on the contrary His Royal Highness is prostrate with sadness, and can’t even talk about it with his closest friends.
Who, out of Harry and Meghan, comes out worse from this tawdry episode? Not Meghan, I’d say. Why? Because it was clear from the very beginning that she was a worthless adventuress. Her behaviour is par-for-the-course. No. The one who disappoints is Prince Harry, who, in the most contemptible manner, has publicly betrayed his family and who presents himself as a poor victim, when he is one of the most privileged men in the world.
Poor Harry has two main problems. Firstly, the boy is quite incredibly thick. And secondly, he is emotionally damaged. It is not a good combination. As for the unspeakable Meghan, she will age badly. Plus, she’s several years older than Harry. One day, before too long, he will wake up beside a witch with coarse grey hair and a stupid pointy nose and horrid freckly skin and dessicated breasts, and he will rue the day he met her.
Or perhaps the spell she has cast on him will last for ever. Who knows? But I speculate that the Markle sorceress will never set foot in our country again. As for her poor deluded husband: we will see. I can’t say, quite frankly, that I much care. The one who interests me is the Markle woman. She is pure poison.