LONDON – Audiences around the world were promised that Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with media mogul Oprah Winfrey would be an exclusive, no-topic tell-all. And the Sunday night broadcast drew stunning viewers, prompting celebrities, royal experts and members of the public to respond to the couple’s claims.
Claims by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex that a royal insider had “expressed concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born” in the months leading up to Archie’s birth struck a nerve with many viewers.
#AbolishTheMonarchy was trending in the UK after the interview on Twitter.
Some public figures flocked to support Meghan. Tennis star Serena Williams said she sensitive with Meghan’s account in a tweet.
“Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life – and sets a good example – with empathy and compassion. She teaches me every day what it means to be really noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she experienced. “
“Royalty is not a shield from the devastation and despair of racism,” said Bernice King, the youngest child of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. tweeted Monday.
Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment on the interview. Meghan said she would not disclose who made the comment as it would be “very harmful to her”.
The wide-ranging interview focused on what the couple described as a lack of support for the newlyweds, Meghan’s experience with suicidal thoughts, and the rigorous scrutiny of the British tabloid.
Paula Rhone-Adrien, a prominent British black attorney who has spoken on racial issues, said she was not shocked by Meghan’s comments and they shed light on the bigotry pervading British society.
“This is a family in crisis and they need help,” she said, adding that the interview brought her to tears. “Who is surprised that there will be these cultural problems? The royal aides really let the royal family down. “
The intimate allegations are likely to dominate the UK press and public in the coming weeks.
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Despite the seriousness of the topics covered, many social media users still tried make fun and add a dose of humor to what has become an extraordinary rift in Britain’s most public family.
Many speculated that Harry would honor his late mother calling her new baby Diana – whose own story emerged across facets of the couple’s intimate report, including Meghan, who admitted, “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.” Others said it was them waiting anxiously Season five of Netflix’s hit series “The Crown”.
As one user put it, “The Krone writers know that Season 5 just wrote it themselves.”
The Daily Mail has more than 30 articles on the home page of its website that unpack the couple’s claims.
Meghan won a privacy lawsuit against the newspaper’s parent company in February that published portions of a letter she wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle. The lawsuit is still ongoing, but last week the Supreme Court ruled that sister newspaper The Mail must post an apology on the front page on Sunday.
Commentators and presenters on the UK local morning shows also tried to come to terms with the interview – many voicing concerns about the inevitable harm to the royal family.
British journalist Piers Morgan, long critic of Meghan, called out the couple’s interview.
“You destroyed everything the Queen worked so hard for and we are supposed to believe you are compassionate?” he said.
The interview also prompted American commentators to weigh things up.
While Royal officials did not immediately comment on Sunday’s interview, Buckingham Palace said in a rare statement last week it had opened an internal investigation into allegations of bullying against the Duchess of Sussex.
“Similar grave allegations have now been made as Buckingham Palace is investigating,” said Camilla Tominey, royal expert at NBC News.
She added that the “grenade” is unlikely to fix family dynamics and cannot be reached by a family used to keeping personal affairs private.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, write HOME at 741741, or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.