By Pierre Briançon
Questions raised within the British royal family about their first child’s prospective skin color nearly drove the wife of Prince Harry to suicide, the couple said on Sunday night in a much-anticipated and enormously well-viewed CBS /zigman2/quotes/200340870/composite VIAC +0.25% /zigman2/quotes/206702514/composite VIACA +2.85% interview with Oprah Winfrey.
“I just didn’t want to be alive anymore,” Meghan Markle told Winfrey, evoking what she described as years of stress and isolation in London. She also faulted the royal household for not protecting her family against tabloid newspapers’ attacks and allegations.
The couple declined to name the member of the royal household who had raised concern about the color of skin of their children. Markle’s mother is of African-American descent.
In the two-hour interview, Harry, the duke of Sussex, said memories of his mother Diana’s unhappiness as royal princess also contributed to the couple’s decision to relinquish their royal duties and leave for California, where they now reside.
He also said that relationships with his father Prince Charles, who cut him off financially, and with his brother Prince William had been damaged by the experience.
According to the Wall Street Journal , CBS paid a fee of between $7 million and $9 million for the interview, along with the rights to sell it globally. It was due to broadcast on Britain’s ITV channel on Monday night. The couple wasn’t paid for the interview, as Winfrey established early in the televised interview.
The outlook: Buckingham Palace has yet to respond to the accusations, and, according to British newspapers, Queen Elizabeth let it be known that she wouldn’t watch the interview.
But in the week before the interview, allegations that the duchess of Sussex had once bullied Buckingham Palace staff were widely leaked in London’s newspapers.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a U.S. network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-800-273-TALK.