Meghan said the Royal Family tried to silence her and people within the institution not only failed to protect her against malicious claims by the British press but lied to protect others.
“It was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family,” the Duchess of Sussex told Oprah Winfrey during an interview aired Sunday.
“But they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband,” she said, referring to Prince Harry.
Meghan also refuted British tabloid reports that she made her sister-in-law Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, cry before her 2018 wedding, but rather that the reverse happened.
Meghan told Winfrey that Kate subsequently apologized and she forgave her. But when tabloid stories emerged purporting the opposite, Meghan said that marked a turning point for her relationship with U.K. media, and said she would have hoped Kate would have wanted the story corrected.
“What was hard to get over was being blamed for something that not only I didn’t do, but that happened to me.”
Sunday night’s two-hour special — which opened with a one-on-one interview between Meghan and Winfrey — provided a first, and unprecedented, peek into the couple’s departure from royal duties and the strains it has placed on them.
The show, which included Winfrey’s interviews with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aired first in the United States — Meghan’s home country — and Canada at 8 p.m. ET. British audiences will wake up Monday to headlines and social media posts about Winfrey’s special, but won’t be able to see the full interview until Monday night when it airs on ITV.
Meghan told Winfrey that she realized life as a royal would be different than she anticipated when her future husband, Prince Harry, asked her if she knew how to curtsey before meeting Queen Elizabeth.
“There was no way to understand what the day-to-day was going to be like,” Meghan told Winfrey.
“I went into it naively,” she said about joining the royal family.
Meghan, who said she was not being paid for the interview, also said she and Harry were married by the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before their public wedding. She called that day an “out-of-body experience.”