“I had been asking the institution for help for a long time … after we had gotten back from our Australia tour which was about a year before that and we talked about when things really started to turn and we knew we weren’t being protected, it was during that part of our pregnancy that I began to understand what our continued reality was going to look like.
“And that was when they were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince or a princess, which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security. It was really hard. He wasn’t going to receive security. This went on for our last few months of my pregnancy.
“How does that work? He needs to be safe … but if you’re saying the title is what’s going to affect his protection, we haven’t created this monster machine around us.”
When Archie was born it was announced he would be called Master Archie, even though he could have had HRH or even had his name styled as Lord Mountbatten-Windsor or taken one of Prince Harry’s lesser titles, such as Earl of Dumbarton. It was believed the break in tradition was a decision by his parents but Meghan has revealed that it was not their decision.
The baby was not given a HRH, even though the Queen could have tweaked the rules, as she did for Kate and William’s children, to make him a prince.
Meghan went on to explain how it was the potential of Archie’s skin colour being dark that also seemed to be a problem.
“I can give you an honest answer. In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we have in tandem the conversation of he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin is going to be when he’s born..”
Oprah is momentarily speechless. “What? What? Who is having that conversation with you?”
Meghan says she won’t reveal who had the conversation: “I think that would be very damaging to them. That was relayed to me, that was Harry’s conversations with family.” Meghan says it’s safe to assume the concern among some royals was her mixed race child could be “too dark.”
Oprah asks Harry about that shocking royal question before Archie’s birth, about how dark-skinned he would be. Harry’s reluctant to share much more than Meghan already has.
“That conversation I’m never going to share,” says Harry. “I was shocked.”
There were some obvious signs before we were married that this was going to be really hard,” says Harry, who insists that “without question” they’d still be there if they’d received the support they requested.
Meghan says they exited the royal family with “so much respect – we did everything we could to protect them.”
Meghan continued: “The Commonwealth is a huge part of the monarchy and I lived in Canada for seven years, but it wasn’t until Harry and I were together that we started to travel through the Commonwealth … growing up as a woman of colour, a little of colour, I know how important representation is.
“The idea of our son not being safe, and the idea of the first member of colour in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be – you know the other piece of that is this convention is that when you’re the grandchild of the monarch (when Prince Charles becomes King), automatically Archie and our next baby would become prince or princess … It’s not their right to take it away … They wanted to change that convention, for Archie. I mean, why?”
It was never Harry or Meghan’s decision to make Archie have any royal titles, but Meghan knew that he would be more protected if he had one.
Her Majesty delivered several barbed comments in a special broadcast called A Celebration for Commonwealth Day, which referred to “testing times” and featured Kate and William, Prince Charles and Camilla and Prince Edward’s wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.
The hour-long program took place to mark Commonwealth Day on Monday – and came ahead of Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, which airs on CBS in the United States at 8pm-10pm ET on Sunday (12pm-2pm Monday AEDT). The rival broadcasts by the royal family and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex land amid huge controversy over Megan and Harry’s decision to give a tell-all interview on Palace life.
The Duchess of Sussex is also facing allegations of bullying aides during her time as a working royal, which she strenuously denies, with a spokesperson for the couple saying it is “no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining the Duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and the Duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience.”
Last month, the Sussexes officially stepped back from royal duties, after announcing they were expecting their second child.