Attention has turned to how Buckingham Palace will respond to the bombshell claims made by Prince Harry and Meghan during their interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex aired allegations about racism within the royal family, disregard for their cries for help and how Prince Harry was cut off by his family during the two-hour interview, which has dominated headlines around the world.

The full impact of the revelations remains to be seen, with one royal biographer saying there is “no coming back” for the pair.

Some, like Charles Anson, a former press secretary to the Queen, has told Sky News the palace will be looking for reconciliation and to avoid exacerbating the situation in its response.

Here are some of the specific allegations Prince Harry and the duchess levelled at other members of the royal family.

 

late in 2018, the UK press reported that Meghan made Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, cry over a disagreement about dresses for flower girls in the lead-up to Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding.

In the Winfrey interview, Meghan said it was, in fact, the opposite that happened.

Meghan said the argument was about dresses for the flower girls, but Catherine made comments that “really hurt [her] feelings” at a time when there was intense media coverage about whether her father would attend the wedding to walk her down the aisle.

Meghan said Catherine had apologised, written her a note and brought her some flowers, and that was why she had never brought it up.

But she said the rest of the royal institution knew the story published in The Sun was not true and she did not know why it was never corrected publicly.

In one of the most startling revelations in the interview, Meghan said that while she was pregnant, someone had a conversation with Prince Harry about how dark the child’s skin would be.

Meghan did not name the member of the royal family, saying it would “be very damaging to them”.

She said it was safe to assume the family member was concerned that Archie would be “too brown”.

Prince Harry said while the conversation was “awkward” and he was “shocked”, it was not a conversation he was ever going to share.

Winfrey said after the interview was aired.

Meghan looks at the camera and smiles while holding Baby Archie. Prince Harry leans towards them, but is facing away from shot.
Prince Harry said he would never reveal the conversation that took place about his son’s skin tone.(Reuters: Toby Melville)

‘One of the most senior’ people rejected Meghan’s pleas for help

Struggling with her situation and having suicidal thoughts, Meghan said she attempted to get help.

She said she went to see several people, including “one of the most senior” people in the royal institution, seeking assistance to get to a hospital or facility where she could get help for her mental state.

Meghan said she was told that because she was a member of the royal family, rather than a paid employee of the institution, she was not eligible to get help from the human resources department.

Later, after her appeal for help, Meghan said she attended a function at Royal Albert Hall, where she forced herself to smile, but then cried when the lights went down in the royal box.

A group of people in church
Prince Harry says a lack of support from The Firm is a large reason they moved to North America.(REUTERS: Phil Harris)

While she found some help from a friend of Princess Diana, Harry’s mother, she was unable to get out.

“You couldn’t just go,” she told Winfrey.

“You have to understand as well, when I joined that family that was the last time until we came here that I saw my passport, my driver’s licence, my keys. All that gets turned over. I didn’t see any of that any more.”

That proved to be a tipping point for Prince Harry and Meghan to leave.

They said they move to Canada to get away from the UK press and because they felt they were not getting enough support from The Firm, made up of the most senior working royals.

No royal family members spoke out against racist reporting

Prince Harry said he spoke to members of his family and senior palace staff about the tone of some of the reports in the UK press.

He said he told them, “This isn’t going to end well,” and said there were “many opportunities” for his family to show their support in public.

He said their behaviour was in stark contrast to a bipartisan statement from 70 female MPs in the UK who called out the “colonial undertones of articles and headlines written about Meghan”.

“Yet no-one from my family ever said anything over those three years. That hurts,” Prince Harry told Winfrey.

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Prince Harry and Meghan detail racist conversations in the royal family.

The prince said he thought members of the royal family did not act because they feared the tabloids would turn on them.

“Well it is, simply put, a case of, if you as a family member are willing to wine, dine and give full access to these reporters, then you will get better press,” Prince Harry said.

“I think everyone needs to have compassion for them in that situation. Right. There is a level of control by fear that has existed for generations.”

Meghan said racist undertones in the reporting increased the threat level against them.

Prince Charles stopped taking son’s calls

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During the Winfrey interview, Prince Harry said he had been cut off from his father, both emotionally and financially.

He said Prince Charles had stopped taking his calls at one point and the relationship was still being repaired.

“There’s a lot to work through there,” he said.

“I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar.

“He knows what pain feels like and Archie is his grandson.

Of course, I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened.

“And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try to heal that relationship.”

Prince Harry said he was also cut off financially from his family.

After losing his security detail after stepping down as a working royal, Prince Harry said he was forced to use the inheritance his mother had left him to look after his wife and child.

However, Prince Harry said he still had a good relationship with his grandmother, the Queen.

“I’ve spoken more to my grandmother in the last year than I have done for many, many years,” he said.

“My grandmother and I have a good understanding and I have a deep respect for her,” he added.

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