After stepping down from their royal duties, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry sat down with Oprah Winfrey in a bombshell interview that created international headlines, and Seton Hall students shared their reactions.
The interview, which aired on March 7 on CBS and pulled in 17.1 million viewers, brought on allegations of racism within the British monarchy as well as complacency within the institution toward mental health struggles dealt with by Meghan. Meghan said the institutions within the royal family did not help her with her mental health struggles and suicidal thoughts and explained how the royal family took away the couple’s security.
Kaitlyn D’Addezio, a sophomore public relations major, said she felt heartbroken about this given her own struggles with mental health.
“I can totally empathize with how she feels, although we do have very different experiences,” D’Addezio said. “That said, it is even more sad to know how she was offered no support from the royal family other than to basically deal with it herself.”
Allegations of racism regarding the royal couple’s first child, Archie, became a major focus of the interview. According to Markle, the institution had “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
D’Addezio said she found this part of the interview to be the most shocking.
“Just because race is a heightened issue in America does not negate from the sad reality that there is just as much discrimination in England,” D’Addezio said. “It is just more discreet, especially in the Royal Family. The British tabloids should uphold ethical journalistic standards, as well as covering Meghan in an equal light compared to Kate Middleton. They are both beautiful, strong women who should be equally praised.”
Taylor Patnode, a sophomore business management and marketing major, said the interview made her respect Markle even more.
“For anyone, talking about mental health can make you feel very vulnerable,” Patnode said. “For Markle to be able to show the millions of people watching her that it’s okay to not to be okay is an extremely inspiring thing.”
Patnode said the interview led to her changing her views on the royal family.
“I think that many Americans, including myself, romanticize the monarchy in England,” Patnode said. “Since we are not actually affected by it, we choose to watch the royal weddings and find their strict traditions and rules entertaining, when in reality, their lack of open-mindedness is the reason that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry left.”
In the interview, Markle discussed how she felt the tabloids were obsessed with her relationship and life. She revealed that she considered “ending her life because of the unrelenting abuse from the British media.”
Natalie Guerra, a senior political science major, said that creating rules for the reporters of these tabloids is difficult because “at the end of the day, they need to make their money.”
Guerra said she finds the major issue to be rooted in culture. Guerra also said that those who are consumers of the tabloids are also to blame and that they should not give so much power to these tabloids.
“I think the problem is within the culture that they put so much stock and priority in celebrities and Royals in general,” she said.
Victoria Rossi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.