In an historic interview, the mother-to-be opened up about life in ‘The Firm’ and the struggles she faced adjusting to life in the Royal family.
The Duchess of Sussex has already accused The Firm of ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Harry.
But in a bombshell revelation, Meghan revealed she was ‘silenced’ by Buckingham Palace officials.
She added: ‘It was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that 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.
‘They were not willing to tell the truth to protect myself and my husband.’
Meghan revealed she was ‘silenced’ by officials who told her to always answer ‘no comment’, adding, ‘because it was also through the lens of ‘And we’ll protect you.’
Meghan Markle has spoken of ‘The Firm’ – a mafia-like term used to describe the Royal Family – had tried to smear and silence her
Meghan, pictured during her first engagement with the Queen in 2018
Meghan was also asked whether a trip to watch tennis at Wimbledon with the Duchess of Cambridge in 2018 (pictured), was ‘what it looked like … helping you adjust’. But the Duchess replied: ‘My understanding of the past four years is it’s nothing like what it looks like.’
In the most anticipated royal interview in decades, Meghan and Harry also revealed:
- Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, made Meghan cry ahead of the royal wedding – but ‘owned it’ and apologised;
- She described meeting the Queen for the first time and having to learn to curtsy
- Meghan claims she was ‘naive’ when she joined the Royal Family – and never researched what it would be like, or Harry. She said that she was initially welcomed by the royals, but was later ‘silenced’ and felt trapped;
- She described being cradled by Harry after feeling that she no longer wanted to live; Meghan claimed she begged for help from Palace but denied it because she wasn’t a ‘paid employee’;
- The Sussexes choose to reveal the gender of their baby to Oprah;
Meghan said Palace officials told her to always answer ‘no comment’, adding, ‘because it was also through the lens of ‘And we’ll protect you.’
The Duchess of Sussex also described her ‘pain’ that officials had denied her first born son the title of prince and accused Buckingham Palace of failing to protect Archie by denying him 24/7 security.
A clip released ahead of Harry and Meghan’s interview showed the Duchess of Sussex accusing The Firm of ‘perpetuating falsehoods about us.’
She said: ‘I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.’
When Oprah asked, ‘Were you silent? Or were you silenced?’, Meghan replied: ‘The latter.’
Oprah said: ‘So, how does that work? Were you told by the comms people or the – I don’t know – the institution, were you told to keep silent? Were you told to say nothing?’
Meghan told her: ‘Everyone from my world was given very clear directive from the moment the world knew Harry and I were dating to always say ‘No comment.’
‘That’s my friends, my mom and dad. And we did. I did anything they told me to do. Of course I did, because it was also through the lens of ‘And we’ll protect you.’
‘So, even as things started to roll out in the media that I didn’t see but my friends would call me and say, ‘Meg, this is really bad,’ because I didn’t see it, I’d go, ‘Don’t worry. I’m being protected.
‘I believed that. And I think that was really hard to reconcile because it was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that 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, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.’
Talking about her loneliness amid the crisis, the Duchess added: ‘I remember so often people within The Firm would say, ‘Well, you can’t do this because it’ll look like that.
‘You can’t…Can I go and have lunch with my friends?’…’No, no, no. You’re oversaturated. You’re everywhere. It would be best for you to not go out to lunch with your friends.’
‘I go, ‘Well, I haven’t, I haven’t left the house in months.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have insisted their interview with Oprah Winfrey would be the ‘last word’ on them quitting as senior royals
Oprah asked: ‘So, are you saying you did not feel supported by the powers that be, be that the firm, the monarchy, all of them?’
Meghan said: ‘It’s hard for people to distinguish the two because there’s – it’s a family business, right? So, 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 compartmentalize that, because the Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me. I mean, we had one of our first joint engagements together.’
After Harry said his family were scared of the tabloids turning on them, Winfrey said: ‘Turning on them for what? They’re the royal family.’
Meghan said: ‘They’re hosted by the palace, the tabloids are. You know, there is a construct that’s at play there, and because from the beginning of our relationship they were so attacking and inciting so much racism really.’
She said it was not ‘just catty gossip’, adding: ‘It was bringing out a part of people that was racist and how it was charged.
‘And that changed the threat, that changed the level of death threats, that changed everything.’
Meghan pictured with sister-in-law Kate watching the tennis at Wimbledon in 2019
But Meghan praised the Queen today, saying she had been ‘wonderful’ to her and had once asked her to share a blanket which sits across her knees for warmth.
The Duchess went on her first trip with the Queen on the royal train to Cheshire in June 2018, a month after her wedding, which saw them open a bridge and visit a theatre.
Meghan went on to talk about how Her Majesty took her under her wing and gifted her ‘beautiful’ pearl earrings and a matching necklace on the day, in 2018.
Meghan was also asked whether a trip to watch tennis at Wimbledon with the Duchess of Cambridge was ‘what it looked like … helping you adjust’.
Oprah asked: ‘Did you feel welcomed by everyone? It seemed like you and Kate at the Wimbledon game where you were going to watch a friend play tennis…’
Meghan laughed before Oprah asked, ‘Was it what it looked like? You are two sisters-in-law out there in the world, getting to know each other. Was she helping you, embracing you into the family, helping you adjust?’
But the Duchess replied: ‘My understanding of the past four years is it’s nothing like what it looks like.’