LONDON — Audiences around the world were promised that Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with media mogul Oprah Winfrey would be a tell-all exclusive, in which no topics were off-limits. And Sunday night's broadcast delivered, stunning viewers and prompting celebrities, royal experts and members of the public to react to the couple's claims.
Allegations by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, that in the months leading up to Archie's birth a royal insider expressed “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born” struck a nerve with many viewers.
#AbolishTheMonarchy was trending on Twitter in the United Kingdom after the interview.
Some public figures flocked to voice support for Meghan. Tennis star Serena Williams said she empathized with Meghan’s account in a tweet.
“Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life — and leads by example — with empathy and compassion. She teaches me every day what it means to truly be noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she experienced.”
“Royalty is not a shield from the devastation and despair of racism,” Bernice King, the youngest child of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., tweeted Monday.
Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment on the interview. Meghan said she would not disclose who made the comment as it would be “very damaging to them.”
The wide-ranging interview focused on what the couple described as a lack of support offered to the newlyweds, Meghan’s experience with suicidal thoughts and the British tabloid’s harsh scrutiny of her.
Speaking on Britain's ITV, Paula Rhone-Adrien, a prominent British Black lawyer who has spoken about issues of race, said she was not shocked by Meghan’s comments and that they shined a light on bigotry that permeates British society.
“This is a family in crisis, and they need to be helped,” she said, adding that the interview brought her to tears. “Who is surprised that there was going to be these cultural issues? The royal aides have really let the royal family down.”
The intimate allegations are likely to dominate the British press and the minds of the public for weeks to come.
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Many speculated if Harry would honor his late mother by calling their new baby girl Diana — whose own story loomed over facets of the couple's intimate account, including Meghan admitting, “I just didn't want to be alive anymore.” Others said they were anxiously awaiting season five of Netflix’s hit series, “The Crown.”
As one user put it, “The writers of the Crown knowing that Season 5 just wrote itself.”
The Daily Mail has more than 30 articles on its website's homepage unpacking the couple's claims.
Meghan won a privacy lawsuit against the newspaper's parent company in February, which published parts of a letter she wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle. Court proceedings are still ongoing but last week, the high court ruled that the sister newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, would have to publish a front-page apology.
Commentators and hosts on British local morning shows also tried to grapple with the interview — many expressing concern about the inevitable damage to the royal family.
The British journalist Piers Morgan, long a critic of Meghan, called out the couple’s interview.
“They’ve trashed everything the queen has worked so hard for and we’re supposed to believe they’re compassionate?” he said.
The interview has also triggered American commentators to weigh in.
While royal officials did not immediately comment on Sunday's interview, in a rare statement last week, Buckingham Palace said they had launched an internal investigation into the bullying allegations lobbied against the Duchess of Sussex.
“Similarly serious allegations have been made now that Buckingham Palace must investigate,” Camilla Tominey, NBC News royal expert, said.
She added that the “grenade” is unlikely to repair family dynamics and cannot be matched by a family accustomed to keeping personal affairs private.