Meghan Markle Denies Making Kate Middleton Cry: 'The Reverse Happened'
Oprah started the interview of the year by greeting a visibly pregnant Meghan Markle in a socially distanced way, and by making two things clear: the setting was neither woman's home and Harry and Meghan were not paid for the interview, even though The Wall Street Journal reports CBS may have paid somewhere between $7-9 million to Oprah's Harpo for the right to broadcast it.
The women kicked things off by reminiscing briefly about Meghan's wedding to Harry, with Meghan revealing she had giddily listened to the classic Dixie Cups tune "Chapel of Love" before the ceremony.
She broke news by revealing that she and Harry had married privately three days before their fairy-tale wedding in 2018, wanting a private ceremony for themselves.
Of marrying into the royal family, Meghan said, "I will say I went into it naively," asserting she had never done any research into what it would be like to be part of the family, and denying she'd ever so much as Googled her husband-to-be, instead relying on him to tell her everything she needed to know.
She even pointed out she had been unaware of the late Princess Diana's controversial 1995 tell-all interview in spite of what a watershed moment it was in the history of the monarchy.
Admitting her image of royal life was "so far from reality," Meghan said she felt judged by the "perception" of what it's like to be a royal, all the while living through the "reality" of it.
On the same day that Queen Elizabeth II spoke to her subject on the occasion of Commonwealth Day, Meghan recalled meeting her for the first time. The first meet-up between Meghan and Elizabeth was totally unplanned, and while Meghan was thrilled ("I love my [own] grandmother!") she was surprised to be told she needed to curtsy. Meghan said she had thought curtsying was something one did in public, not in private.
Giving her some on-the-fly curtsy training was none other than Sarah Ferguson!
Markle called the first meeting with the Queen "lovely," noting that meeting a royal is not the same as meeting a celebrity.
Of their decision to tell all to Oprah, Harry says, “I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago.”
Saying she is relieved to be able to live "authentically," Meghan refuted one of the most famous tabloid stories about herself — that she had made Kate Middleton cry — and said it was actually Kate who had made her cry!
Though she said Kate had profusely apologized (and been forgiven) for that incident, which took place in the run-up to Harry and Meghan's nuptials, when the story leaked six or seven months after the fact with the roles reversed, Meghan called it a "turning point."
"I don't think it's fair to her to go into that because she apologized and I've forgiven her," Meghan told Oprah, putting an end to talk of that episode. Saying more than once that she was not attempting to disparage Kate, Meghan did make a point that the royal family — the Firm — did nothing to dispute the story, which she said everyone in the Palace knew was a lie.
For anyone wondering why Meghan and Harry would speak out now, Meghan told Oprah, “I don't know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that the Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us. And if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean I — there's a lot that's been lost already."
In the days leading up to the tell-all, Buckingham Palace has announced that it is launching a probe after The Times newspaper published new bullying allegations against Meghan. They said, “We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Timesfollowing claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Accordingly, our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned."
“The Royal Household has had a Dignity at Work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace,” the statement continued.
In a statement to People magazine, Meghan and Harry’s spokesperson said, "The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma. She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good."