It was a television event that was almost as hyped-up as the Super Bowl, with some Americans even hosting viewing parties. But despite many in the States being more supportive of Team Sussex than in the UK, Sunday’s Oprah interview still had a mixed response in the couple’s new home country.
Shock and sadness were two emotions frequently mentioned by Royal Central readers. “Sadness for them, unfortunately as a black woman none of this surprised me,” shared Texan Jasmine Coney. “As an American, tabloids are stories I don’t particularly take as gospel. However, anyone with eyes or a minimal understanding of race relations could see that Meghan was getting dragged through the press in the UK at an alarming rate.”
Philadephia royal fan Jackie Anderson said she was glad Meghan shared her story and it showed “just how happy a depressed person can pretend to be and how even when one ‘has it all’ depression is still a possibility.”
Another reader, Amanda Smith of California, said it “was a breath of fresh air hearing the truth behind the smiling pictures” and was glad “to again be reminded that the royal family, although greatly privileged, means great hardships as well.”
Christine Feenstra of Sacramento said she initially wasn’t sure what to expect out of the interview. “But I know what I did not expect, and that was for Prince Harry’s emotions to be so raw and sincere. You could hear the pain in his voice. Huge miscalculation once again by the royals and sad that they still have not learned to treat their family as people and not employees.”
Some Americans, however, did not have as positive of a view about the couple’s two-hour chat with Oprah.
Stacy Robinson, a 62-year-old lifelong royal watcher from Atlanta, said she thought “even hinting at suicidal thoughts would ensure that the majority of post-interview commentary would make that the headline and would sway the commentary to sympathy” and that Harry “cannot blame his family or ‘the institution’ for not getting immediate help for his wife.”
“I thought it was bs,” said Kimberly Ann Baxley of Alabama. “I didn’t believe a word they said. They both should be ashamed of themselves.”
Another reader, Marilyn, chimed in with: “I wish I was this rich with that much time on my hands. But alas, I am just a regular person watching two (almost) 40 year old adults complain about their first world, privileged, self-created problems. I’d suggest they read the room, COVID has ravaged this country and the world.”
Others said they saw both sides of the story. “I’m sad for Meghan. I agree that the press was terrible and racist. But I think there were some truths and also some stuff that was said to get them sympathy, hoping the American audience isn’t savvy,” said Meredith Minnick, a royal watcher from Pennsylvania.
Thomas McGinnis, who doesn’t consider himself a huge fan of the Royal Family, said: “At face value, I believe the allegations because I don’t think they have anything to lose. I think the palace has to say and do anything to survive at this point. I think some of it may be stretched or misinterpreted but I think you can definitely see the particular situations/people that have really rubbed Meghan the wrong way.”
At the end of the day, many of Royal Central‘s American readers felt protective of the Sussexes. New York author and podcaster Laura von Holt summed it up: “Sorry, Brits. Meghan, Harry, Archie and little girl Sussex are OUR family now.”