In the days following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s emotionally-charged tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, the internet has been wrapped up in a passionate discourse about the couple’s relationship with the Firm and its role in their uncomfortable experience. The Royal Family now has something to say about the revealing chat, and its official statement is exactly what you would expect given its history.
On Sunday March 7, CBS aired its highly anticipated interview special, which saw Oprah asking Harry and Meghan about the reasons that led them to make the history-making decision to step back from the Royal Family. The Sussexes didn’t hold back, talking openly about the various difficulties that they faced after getting together. We learned that The Firm played a significant part in the rapid decline of Meghan's mental health; they refused to respond to negative headlines about the duchess, denied her access to adequate mental health resources in the midst of a personal crisis, and even made disturbing colourist comments about the colour of baby Archie's skin.
Harry co-signed Meghan's claims and took them a step further by describing strained relationships with his family, specifically with his father Prince Charles and his brother Prince William. Because of his decision to move away from The Firm, Harry was cut off financially, and his security detail was also taken away, leaving him and Meghan to live off of Prince Diana's inheritance until they were able to nab multi-million dollar streaming deals with Netflix, Disney, and Spotify.
The interview was one of the most viewed television events in recent history, its numbers and cultural impact almost matching that of Diana's unforgettable 1995 tell-all. The new revelations stunned viewers around the world because of how closely they mirrored the experience of the late royal, from their mental health struggles to their social isolation from the rest of the royals, and the internet has since been embroiled in a passionate discourse about the power of the Royal Family.
Forced to respond amidst the vigorous dialogue taking place, the Royal Family finally released a statement addressing the interview.
"The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan," reads the official statement written by the palace's communication team on Tuesday, March 9. "The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately."
"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members,” the statement concluded.
Anyone expecting The Firm to share a more substantial public reaction to the interview probably hasn't been paying much attention to royal history in recent years — the Royal Family is notoriously tight-lipped about addressing scandals. However, the stories Meghan and Harry shared with Oprah were severe and damning, highlighting the pitfalls of an institution that puts its reputation before its people.
With everything that the couple so candidly discussed during the conversation, one might think that an official response would go further to at least include a public apology for its very public endangerment. A 61-word statement without an apology doesn't exactly do...much. But, you know. Business as usual.