UK media reacts to Harry and Meghan

 

As Harry and Meghan's interview aired, UK press scrambled to put out early morning newspapers on the explosive claims with the coverage describing the tell-all program as a "bombshell" and "interview sensation".

A special late edition of the Daily Mirror ran with the extraordinary claim from Meghan about an unnamed member of the royal family's concerns about the colour of Archie's skin. It lead with a headline quote from Meghan: "They asked how dark Archie's skin would be.'

 

It also used its front page to splash with claims that Kate made Meghan cry and that the couple are having a baby girl.

While Meghan and Harry wouldn't name the royal family member who had concerns about the colour of their son's skin, associate editor of the UK's Daily Telegraph Gordon Raynor claimed the monarchy could have a case for libel against the couple.

"Unless Harry & Meghan name the "racist" royal, the other members of the Royal family would have a clear-cut libel case against them as they have put them all under suspicion," he claimed in a tweet.

The Daily Mail ran a special 3am edition of its UK newspaper and also led with the same subject, with a headline 'How dark will baby's skin be?', while listing six revelations from the interview.

 

The UK Daily Mail’s 3am edition. Picture: Supplied
The UK Daily Mail’s 3am edition. Picture: Supplied

 

 

RELATED:Oprah left speechless by Meghan revelation

Its front page breaks down many of the shocking claims made by the couple, including that the pressure of being a part of the royal family and the lack of support made Meghan not want to live anymore, palace officials 'lied to protect other royals', Charles stopped taking Harry's calls and the pair married in secret three days before their public ceremony.

As the UK woke up to Meghan and Harry's interview being aired, BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond said one specific part signalled a "worst case scenario" for the palace.

That part, to nobody's surprise, is regarding conversations with Harry about the colour of Archie's skin.

"The allegation there were discussions in the palace about how dark Meghan's first baby might be is a devastating one," he said.

"This is heading into 'worst-case scenario' territory for the palace."

Others were quick to point out the racism row wasn't just confined to the royals.

"What matters about the Harry and Meghan interview is not the gossip but what it says about our country," TV pundit Matthew Standlin wrote on twitter.

"There's still so much progress to be made on race, gender equality and mental health in Britain."

 

Footage was shown of Archie with his mum. Picture: Screengrab
Footage was shown of Archie with his mum. Picture: Screengrab

 

BBC presenter Nick Robinson said people shouldn't be so quick to dismiss what was happening as a "trivial royal soap opera".

"Some dismiss it as a trivial Royal soap opera unworthy of the attention on serious news programmes. Yet Meghan & Harry have given young & diverse Britain all they need to see the Royal Family (tho' not the Queen) as at best old fashioned & at worst bigoted. That really matters," he tweeted.

British actor David Schnieder was one of many calling for the end of the monarchy, tweeting it wasn't fit for purpose

 

NYT Metro reporter Liam Stack analysed how Harry and Meghan made a point of not just praising the queen in the interview, but telling warm anecdotes about their relationship. Their comments on Charles, William & Kate were deeply pained, he noted.

 

 

Some Brits were furious that the secret wedding still meant a hefty price tag for the public purse.

"Harry and Meghan apparently got married in a 'secret' wedding 3 days before the £37 million pound Royal wedding?" one man wrote. "What would be the point of that? Then why go ahead with the pomp and circumstance wedding, complete with horse drawn carriage?"

Controversial UK TV personality Piers Morgan, who has previously launched on air tirades against Harry and Meghan, was quick to hit out at the Oprah interview describing it as "disgraceful" and "shameful".

"This interview is an absolutely disgraceful betrayal of the Queen and the Royal Family," he tweeted. "I expect all this vile destructive self-serving nonsense from Meghan Markle - but for Harry to let her take down his family and the Monarchy like this is shameful."

The co-presenter of the British breakfast program Good Morning Britain went on to say he "wouldn't believe Meghan Markle if she gave me a weather report".

He continued his attack accusing Harry of wanting America and the rest of the world "to hate his own family, hate the Monarchy and hate his country."

"I suggest everyone waits for the victims of his wife's rampage to have their say on her outlandish claims before they do so," he wrote.

He promised an "unmissable" breakfast show and said they would need a longer show, while taking one last jab at the interview calling it "contemptible" and asking if Oscar nominations were still open.

 

On the program, Mr Morgan accused Meghan of calling the Queen a racist.

"This whole thing that she says about how the only reason Archie isn't allowed to be a prince has got nothing to do with royal protocol but all to do with his skin colour and it will be the Queen that signs that title," he said. "That is calling the Queen a racist."

But many Brits were quick to come to the defence of the royal couple, stating they believed what had been shared.

GMB panellist and American singer Chaka Khan said: "We're talking about racism. I'm coming from a country that is very racist. I lived in Britain for over 30 years. And I found some of the same stuff going on that's seen all over the world.

"I think when the royal family does look into all of these 'false' accusations that they're going to have to look pretty deep. And I'm only praying, as an American I'm not a britisher, but I'm only hoping and praying that they will look into what she is allegating [sic] and make it right."

"She has such courage for sharing her struggles talking about her mental health so honestly.

And I believe Harry, and admire his courage deal with it all and to break away," wrote one user.

 

 

Republic, a campaign group for abolition of the monarchy, was quick to use the opportunity to call for an end to The Firm.

"The monarchy has just been hit by its worst crisis since the abdication in 1936," the organisation said."Whether for the sake of Britain or for the sake of the younger royals this rotten institution needs to go."

 

The couple have been accused of being on the warpath while others have supported their decision to air their grievances. Picture: Screengrab
The couple have been accused of being on the warpath while others have supported their decision to air their grievances. Picture: Screengrab

 

Dan Wootton, former correspondent of Britain's The Sun newspaper, tweeted that Oprah's chat will go down as one of the most consequential royal interviews of all-time, alongside Diana's Panorama sit down and Andrew's Newsnight disaster.

"Does anyone benefit? Sadly, no. Harry and Meghan were on the warpath," he said.

He also questioned whether they should renounce the Duke and Duchess titles after the bombshell interview.

 

One woman tweeted how the country should be ashamed that the monarchy still exists.

"I hope this marks the start of a nation questioning the institutions and norms it accepts as parts of British life. We should be ashamed we still have a monarchy, we should be ashamed that this couple were hounded out of the country," she wrote.

Is it a royal soap opera or does it speak deeper to the institutions failings? Picture: Screengrab
Is it a royal soap opera or does it speak deeper to the institutions failings? Picture: Screengrab

Many social media users had tweeted how uncomfortable they were over Prince Andrew's friendship with Jeffrey Epstein yet he still enjoyed the support of the family, with Bafta winner Joloyn Rubinstein summing up the sentiment.

"The U.K. media eating itself whilst trying to justify why it has a bigger problem with Meghan Markle than Prince Andrew," he wrote.

Senior correspondent at Time magazine Charlotte Atler described the interview as a power play from the couple.

"On a purely tactical level, that interview was a brilliant move by Meghan and Harry," she said. "Their two obstacles to happiness were the British tabloids and the Royal Family, and this interview sprinkled enough juicy nuggets to turn one enemy (the tabs) against the other (the Firm)."

 

 

Originally published as UK media reacts to Harry and Meghan


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