Meghan and Harry Oprah interview: How the UK papers reacted

Eleanor Sly
·3 min read
<p>Some newspapers suggested the couple was deliberately trying to cause the royal family harm</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

Some newspapers suggested the couple was deliberately trying to cause the royal family harm

(AFP via Getty Images)

The UK’s newspapers were flooded with the aftermath from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s two-hour-long interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The CBS special, watched by millions, was broadcast first in the US in the early hours of Monday morning and later in the UK on Monday evening.

The couple covered everything from mental health struggles, to their wedding, to relationships with key members of the royal family.

British newspapers were up in arms, with some even accusing the couple of using the interview as an attempt to cause the palace “harm.”

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The Daily Telegraph said in an opinion piece that the interview represented a “devastating insult” to the Queen. The piece went on to suggest that this would not only have repercussions for the royal family, but could also act to destabilise the Commonwealth.

Allison Pearson wrote: “Above all, many of us will have felt the insult to the Queen. However loudly Harry and Meghan may have proclaimed their affection for the monarch there is no question that their interview was a devastating act of lese-majeste.”

The article said that the couple had “unleashed demons” which could act to destabilise the monarchy and called it a “weird, reeling ride of an interview” which appeared to be “vengeful, self-absorbed and attention-seeking.”

The Daily Mail took a similar stance, with a pointed headline which read: “What have they done?”

The paper’s royal editor Rebecca English called the interview a “bombshell” and suggested that Buckingham Palace had been “paralysed with ‘horror and dismay’.”

Similarly, the Daily Express wrote that the situation had caused “turmoil at the palace,” while its columnist Stephen Pollard criticised Meghan and Harry airing their grievances on “prime time TV.”

Comparing the interview with the Queen’s Commonwealth address, he said: “Meghan and Harry took to the airwaves for a two-hour long interview in which they spoke about themselves, their feelings and their wishes to the exclusion of all else.”

Other papers focused more on the impact that Meghan’s claims of racism could have.The Times said that allegations of racism “could hardly be more damaging to the royal family”.

It read: “The implication that the monarchy is racist could hardly be more damaging to an institution that relies for its legitimacy on its claim to represent the whole of modern Britain.”

The Guardian called the allegations that the pair made “devastating” and The Mirror described the situation as “the worst royal crisis in 85 years,” suggesting that the palace was in a “meltdown” and was considering how to respond.

The Sun used its front page to demand that the identity of the unnamed senior royal, who allegedly made a racist comment about the colour of the couple’s then unborn son, be disclosed.

An editorial published in the paper asked: “Did they keep this incendiary charge vague and anonymous to make it impossible to counter?

“In doing so they have smeared Harry’s entire family. Exonerating the Queen and Philip merely amplifies the injustice to the others.”

Meanwhile, the whole saga appeared to have passed byThe Daily Star, as the paper ran with the front page: “Our telly broke last night. Did we miss anything?”

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