It was the most hotly anticipated interview. And it turned out to be hotter than the anticipation itself. Certainly too hot to handle for the UK royals.
As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry broke their dignified silence after being hounded and demonized by the “toxic” UK tabloids and the vile “Firm” that runs the British monarchy, world listened.
It was almost a life-imitating-art moment as Meghan spilled one dirty secret after another about what goes on behind the high walls of the Windsor Castle. It felt like an enactment of a future season of the mega-popular Netflix show ‘The Crown’. In fact, you could well be sitting through the last season of ‘The Crown’, just replace Princess Diana with Meghan Markle. The only difference: Ms Markle, the other outsider and the only person of colour to marry in the Royal mess, refusing to let the “institution” and the media-royalty nexus write her tragic end. As it did with Princess Diana!
Here the woman has taken the establishment head-on. She dared to walk out of it. And on her own terms. With her head held high.
Add the splattering of race. And you have the reality that is spicier, nastier and colder than any “fiction”.
A Royal Mess
The UK royalty is a cold mess, the interview convinces us. Its world is darker than a winter afternoon in London. No ray of sunshine has crossed the hardened and high walls of the Windsor. Allergic to any reform or reality check, the monarchy has become an ugly artifact. What explains its moral and ethical degradation better than the Meghan revelation that some members of the royal household fretted about the colour of the skin of her unborn child. Their white supremacy is a dark and dirty secret that has tumbled out. It shows that the halo around the royals is manufactured. It’s fake.
The House of Windsor is built on racism, white supremacy, exclusion, and connivance. Meghan and Harry have actually broken a window into the well-guarded walls of Buckingham. Will the royals let the sun finally shine on their fungus-infested, rotten-by-tradition legacy. And come clean.? Will the centuries-old institution make an attempt to align itself with the egalitarian and liberal values of the 21st Century? Your guess is as good as mine.
Oprah is the real Queen
The two-hour-long chat was a masterclass in the art of interviewing. By none other than the Queen of media herself. Oprah Winfrey started the interview with a disclosure about her personal relationship with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. That is honesty. Then she took us on a ride filled with emotions and sensitivity into the life as it was experienced by one of the most celebrated couples. She let Meghan take her time to answer deeply personal and emotional questions. She also gave us, the viewers, time to digest the royal horrors. But she wasn’t, never for a moment, a passive and detached interviewer.
“What!” she exclaimed with disgust writ large on her face and voice, as Meghan detailed the racist thinking of some in the royal family. She took her time to process the allegation and let Meghan explain the most scandalous charge while showing her surprise and empathy. What a moment it was. Two well-known, successful women of colour discussing racism in the most hallowed family in the world. She knows when to be combative, when to be collaborative and when to be considerate. Media students must learn this fine and fast vanishing art of interviewing.
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