Royals 'had concerns about Archie's skin colour': 5 most explosive claims about Royal Family from Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview

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Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·9 min read
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Watch: Meghan says Royal Family had concerns over her child's skin colour

Meghan Markle has revealed there were royal conversations about the colour of her son's skin before he was born, in an explosive interview with TV chatshow host Oprah Winfrey.

The Duchess of Sussex claimed her husband Prince Harry told her that members of the family had spoken to him about how "dark" their son's skin might be.

It's just one of a series of shock claims made by the duchess in the interview, a year after she stepped back from formal royal duties in the UK.

She also said her sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge was the one to make her cry, and that there was a point where she felt like she did not want to be alive anymore.

Here are some of her biggest claims.

Meghan 'didn’t want to be alive any more' – and could not get support

In a devastating moment, Meghan revealed she considered taking her life.

She said: “I just didn’t see a solution. I would sit up at night, and I was just like I don’t understand how all of this is being churned out and again I wasn’t seeing it, but it’s almost worse when you feel it through the expression of my mom or my friends or them calling me, crying, just like, ‘Meg, they’re not protecting you’.

“And I realised that it was all happening just because I was breathing. And, I was really ashamed to say it at the time, and ashamed to have to admit it, to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he suffered.

“But I knew that if I didn’t say it that I would do it, and I just didn’t… I just didn’t want to be alive any more.

“And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. And I remember, I remember how he just cradled me and I was… I went to the institution, and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help.

"I said that I’ve never felt this way before and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the premiere of Cirque du Soleil's 'Totem' at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Britain, January 16, 2019. Paul Grover/Pool via REUTERS
Meghan revealed she attended the premiere of Cirque du Soleil's 'Totem' at the Royal Albert Hall because she could not be left alone. (Paul Grover/Reuters)

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She said she did not know who to turn to during the "very scary" time and eventually spoke to a friend of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Speaking about one evening in particular where she had to attend an engagement after telling Harry how she was feeling, she said: "Every time those lights went down in that royal box, I was just weeping. He was gripping my hand and it was ‘Okay an intermission’s coming’ … and you had to just be ‘on’ again.

"You have no idea what’s going on for someone behind closed doors. Even the people that smile the biggest smiles and shine the brightest lights, it seems."

Speaking about the "institution" as both a person and a series of people, she added: “I went to one of the most senior people just to get help.

“And that you know… I share this because there’s so many people who are afraid to voice that they need help.

“And I know personally how hard it is to not just voice it, but when you voice it to be told ‘no’. And so I went to human resources, and I said I just really, I need help, because in my old job there was a union, and they would protect me.

“And I remember this conversation like it was yesterday, because they said ‘My heart goes out to you because I see how bad it is, but there’s nothing we can do to protect you because you’re not a paid employee of the institution’. This wasn’t a choice. This was emails and begging for help, saying very specifically ‘I am concerned for my mental welfare’.

“And people were like, ‘oh yes, yes, it’s disproportionately terrible what we see out there to anyone else’, but nothing was ever done. So we had to find a solution.”

Watch: Meghan says it’s liberating being able to speak for herself in new Oprah interview clip

There was 'concern over how dark Archie's skin would be'

In a shocking moment, Meghan has claimed there was concern behind palace walls about the colour of Archie's skin when she was pregnant.

She said there were "also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born".

Asked whether there were concerns that her child would be “too brown” and that would be a problem, Meghan said: “If that is the assumption you are making, that is a pretty safe one.”

She did not name anyone involved in those conversations, but said the comments were relayed to her by Harry after he spoke to his family.

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie, meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu (not pictured) at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Harry and Meghan with their son Archie, who Meghan said was the focus of conversations about his skin colour before he was even born. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

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Meghan said: "That was relayed to me from Harry, those were conversations the family had with him, and I think it was really hard to be able to see those as compartmentalised conversations."

She said it would "damaging" to the person to reveal who said it.

She also claims she and Harry did not say they did not want a title for their son – who is simply called Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

She said: "It’s not their right to take it away."

She said "the idea of the first member of colour in this family not being titled" brought pain to her.

Meghan claims convention was being changed for their son, saying he would not "receive protection".

Archie, who turns two in May, is still seventh in line to the throne. Meghan and Harry were receiving royal security when they were working royals.

Meghan said the palace 'perpetuated falsehoods'

Meghan was asked how she thought the palace would react, knowing that she was going to "speak her truth".

She replied: "I am not going to live my life in fear.”

She added: “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.

“And, if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean… there is a lot that has been lost already.”

At another point in the conversation, Meghan was asked: "Were you silent or were you silenced?"

She replied "the latter".

The first part of the interview will be Meghan one on one with Winfrey. (CBS)
Meghan said she was silenced by the palace. (CBS)

She said: "Everyone in 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 that 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."

Kate made Meghan cry, she claims

Asked about the many stories suggesting she had made the Duchess of Cambridge cry, Meghan said they were not true, and that it was Kate who had made her cry.

She said: "No. The reverse happened.

"A few days before the wedding she was upset about the flower girls' dresses and it made me cry and it really hurt my feelings.

"She owned it and bought me flowers."

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2L), Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex react during the wedding ceremony of Britain's Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on October 12, 2018. (Photo by Owen Humphreys / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read OWEN HUMPHREYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Meghan said it was Kate who made her cry in the run up to their wedding in May 2018. Pictured here at Princess Eugenie's wedding. (Owen Humphreys/AFP)

Asked about the story surrounding a flower girl's dress-fitting before the wedding for Princess Charlotte, Kate's daughter, she added: "Everyone in the institution knew it wasn't true. I am not sharing that piece about Kate to be in any way disparaging about her. I would hope that she would want that to be corrected.

"She's a good person. If you love me, you don't have to hate her. If you love her, you don't have to hate me."

But she said the situation was a "turning point".

She regrets believing she'd be protected

Meghan revealed her one regret from the last few years is "believing them [the palace] when they said I would be protected".

She said: "And now because we’re actually on the other side, we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving, this.. miracles.

"I think all of those things I was hoping for have happened. And this is in some ways just the beginning for us.”

Asked if the story does have a happy ending, Meghan said: "Greater than any fairytale you’ve ever read."

Oprah With Meghan And Harry airs in the UK on 8 March at 9pm on ITV.

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