Meghan Markle Oprah Interview an Insult to the Queen and the British People

COMMENTARY Europe

Meghan Markle Oprah Interview an Insult to the Queen and the British People

Mar 10th, 2021 2 min read
COMMENTARY BY
Nile Gardiner, Ph.D.

Director, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom and Bernard and Barbara Lomas Fellow

Nile Gardiner is Director of The Heritage Foundation's Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom and Bernard and Barbara Lomas Fellow.
Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on A CBS Primetime Special that premiered on CBS on March 7, 2021. Harpo Productions / Joe Pugliese / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

The interview was a petty exercise in mean-spiritedness and spite, without an ounce of grace or humility from the former actress.

Her already low popularity in Britain will sink even further following her Oprah interview, which will be rebroadcast Monday night on the U.K.’s ITV network.

Meghan does not appear to understand at all that being part of the royal family involves a life of duty and service to the British nation.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was previewed as being "bigger than the Super Bowl" in the British press before it aired last night on CBS. No doubt millions of Americans tuned in to watch the Duchess of Sussex discussing her time as part of the British monarchy in one of the biggest media events of the year.

But they were surely dismayed by the sheer vitriol on display, the huge lack of respect for Queen Elizabeth II as the head of the royal family, and the appalling vindictiveness of Meghan’s approach. If this was meant to be a public relations coup for the Duchess, it backfired spectacularly.

The interview was a petty exercise in mean-spiritedness and spite, without an ounce of grace or humility from the former actress. It was also poorly timed, with Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh recovering from surgery in the hospital at the age of 99 (he turns 100 in June).

In addition, Buckingham Palace had just announced an inquiry into serious allegations of bullying by the Duchess of Sussex, following complaints by a number of her former staff at Kensington Palace.

Meghan Markle boasted to Oprah that she had been "liberated" after leaving the royal family, and made it abundantly clear that she enjoyed her supposed newfound liberty, freed from the constraints of being part of "The Firm," as the House of Windsor is commonly referred to across the Atlantic.

In reality it is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland that has been liberated from the hostility and disdain of the "woke" Duchess, who treated her royal duties, as well as the British people, with sneering condescension and Marie Antoinette-style disdain.

Meghan was once hugely popular in the U.K. When it was announced that she would be marrying Prince Harry, the news was warmly greeted by the British public. The fact that she was an American and a rank outsider led many to believe that her addition to the royal family would be both a positive change, as well as a boost to the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.

Alas, the fairy-tale wedding of 2018 in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle is now a distant memory, and polls have shown that the British public have turned strongly against Meghan. Her already low popularity in Britain will sink even further following her Oprah interview, which will be rebroadcast Monday night on the U.K.’s ITV network. 

In contrast, I expect support for the Queen and the monarchy will grow even further in Britain, and quite possibly in the United States as well. Her Majesty is greatly revered at home, and highly respected abroad.

A recent YouGov poll conducted in the US showed that 68% of Americans surveyed approved of the Queen, 11 points higher than the approval rating for Meghan Markle. At the grand age of 94, she has been on the British throne for the premierships of no fewer than 14 prime ministers since 1952, a reign spanning nearly seven decades.

The British people do not take kindly to their head of state being attacked on foreign soil, not least on a sensational talk show broadcast from California. The Oprah interview will further underscore why the Queen was right to remove Meghan and, heavy heartedly, her grandson Prince Harry as well, from any official role with the royal family.

Meghan does not appear to understand at all that being part of the royal family involves a life of duty and service to the British nation. In stark contrast, the Queen has dedicated her entire life to leading the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of 54 countries, from Canada and Australia to India and Singapore. She is a role model of fortitude, leadership, dedication and service, and truly an inspiration.

Meghan, however, seems dedicated only to herself, her career and her own ambitions. That is a huge shame, and a disservice to the British people, who initially placed so much trust in her.

This piece originally appeared in Fox News