The Reasons Behind the Sussexs’ Departure from the Royal Family


Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in an interview broadcast Sunday night.

On Mar. 7, 2021, Winfrey held an interview with Prince Harry and his wife Meghan about why they had decided to leave the royal family. Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey has caused such shockwaves that it’s hard to know where to start when trying to assess the impact of everything that was said.

Their comments about race and the inner workings of the royal family hold the power to affect the monarchy and its work both at home and abroad.

In a clip of the interview not included in Sunday’s broadcast, Harry said racism was “a large part” of the reason the couple left the country.

He and Meghan, whose mother is Black, also said in the interview that an unidentified royal insider spoke with Harry about how dark their children’s skin would be.

Meghan told Winfrey the concern had been relayed to her by Harry, and when questioned further on it, Harry refused to offer more specifics, saying it’s a “conversation I’m never going to share.”

“When Meghan Markle was accused of bullying, Buckingham Palace immediately announced an investigation. Now that Meghan has revealed comments about her child’s skin color, will they investigate racism in the Palace? I won’t be holding my breath,” lawmaker Nadia Whittome tweeted.

“They have revealed the terrible strains inside the palace. They have drawn a picture of unfeeling individuals lost in an uncaring institution. They have spoken of racism within the Royal Family. This was a devastating interview,” the BBC’s royal correspondent, Jonny Dymond, wrote in an online analysis.

The most damaging revelation of all is Meghan’s very clear assertion that she felt suicidal and nothing was done to support her.

In her words, “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought…I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help…And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

So far, the royal family has remained very silent on the matter. There have been no statements made and it seems, very little guidance offered.

Many believe that they are either retreating into a “no comment” stance or are waiting to see what exactly sticks before deciding to take any further action.

It seems that the issue of security has loomed large for the couple as well. A source close to them shared how the fact that Archie didn’t have his own security was felt when the family was on their tour of South Africa in 2019. Meghan would have to choose to leave one of her protection officers with her son and have fewer for herself or leave Archie without protection.

Their security was removed when they stepped back as working royals, something Harry told Oprah was “a shock” to him. “From my perspective, all I needed was enough money to be able to pay for security to keep my family safe,” he said later in the interview.

Harry talked of hoping to repair his relationship with his father — “I will always love him but there’s a lot of hurt that happened” — adding that he felt let down, and noted a time when his father wasn’t taking his calls.

How Buckingham Palace chooses to respond to all this remains to be seen. Generally, the public approach in matters such as these is silence, and a determination to be seen as carrying on with regular duties.

No one is sure of the lasting damages that will exactly come from the interview, but many people believe that it will surely have a long-lasting effect throughout the years to come.