Meghan Markle said in a new interview that members of the royal family were worried during her pregnancy that the skin color of her unborn son would be too dark.
Markle, the American-born Duchess of Sussex, shares 1-year-old son Archie with Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex. Markle’s mother is black, and her father is white.
The couple made headlines in early 2020 when they announced they would be withdrawing from the royal family.
What are the details?
In a wide-ranging interview with Oprah Winfrey, Markle said that her time in the British monarchy was scarring and that members of the royal family had discussions over worries that the skin of Markle’s and Prince Harry’s son would be too dark.
She also told Winfrey that her son was not bestowed with a prince title following his 2019 birth.
“All around this same time, we have in tandem the conversation of he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations as to how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Markle told Winfrey.
Markle added that Prince Harry shared the information with her and did not state who in the royal family had concerns about the color of the child’s skin.
“That was relayed to me from Harry from conversations that family had with him,” she said.
“The idea of our son not being safe, and also the idea of the first member of color in this family, not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be … the other piece of that conversation is there is a convention,” she also Winfrey.
According to People, “Great-grandchildren of the monarch are not princes or princesses, except for children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, which is why Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children are Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.”
During the interview, Oprah pressed the prince on the issue and asked who, specifically, had such concerns about the couple’s child.
“That conversation I’m never going to share,” he said. “It was awkward. I was a bit shocked.”
On Monday, the BBC reported, “It was not the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh who made the comment about how dark the couple’s baby’s skin would .”
Winfrey told CBS’ “This Morning,” “[Prince Harry] did not share the identity with me but he wanted to make sure I knew, and if I had an opportunity to share it, that it was not his grandmother or grandfather that were part of those conversations.
“He did not tell me who was a part of those conversations,” she added.
During the interview, Markle told Winfrey that she considered killing herself while pregnant because she “just didn’t want to be alive any more” due to media criticism.
Markle also said members of the royal family told her that seeking mental health services would not reflect well on the monarchy.
“I was really ashamed to have to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he’s suffered,” she revealed. “But I knew that if I didn’t say 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.”
“It wasn’t even, ‘I don’t want to [be alive any more],'” Markle told Winfrey. “It was like, ‘These are the thoughts that I’m having the middle of the night that are very clear … and I’m scared, because this is very real. This isn’t some abstract idea. This is methodical, and this is not who I am.”
Anything else to know?
A late-night report from the BBC reports that the interview was “devastating” and a “body blow” to the royal family.
“It’s not at all clear if and how the palace will respond,” BBC News royal correspondent Jonny Dymond told the British news agency. “Many of the revelations are so personal that getting any reaction seems unlikely. The Queen has made clear repeatedly the affection in which the couple are still held. As for the newspapers that the couple so despise — will they change their tune? It is not in their nature.