The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have been ruled out as the mystery royal who made the racist comment about how dark their great-grandson Archie’s skin would be.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex claim there had been “concerns and conversations” before their first child was born about his skin tone and “what that would mean or look like”.
It was one of a series of shocking revelations during a candid interview by the couple, alongside suggestions the family was jealous of Meghan and that she had contemplated taking her own life while pregnant.
Speaking hours after the bombshell interview aired in the US, Oprah Winfrey said Harry had not told her which member of the royal family was involved in the conversation, but added that he had said it was neither of his grandparents.
She told CBS This Morning: “He did not share the identity with me but he wanted to make sure I knew, and if I had an opportunity to share it, that it was not his grandmother or grandfather that were part of those conversations.
“He did not tell me who was a part of those conversations.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had the “highest admiration” for the Queen but, asked at a Downing Street coronavirus press conference about the claims, said that “when it comes to matters to do with the royal family, the right thing for prime ministers to say is nothing”.
Appearing vulnerable at times during the lengthy sit-down, Meghan revealed that working for The Firm – as the royal family is sometimes known – ultimately left her feeling that ending her life was an option, and how she had not been protected by the monarchy.
Asked explicitly by Winfrey if she was thinking of self-harm and having suicidal thoughts at some stage, Meghan replied: “Yes. This was very, very clear.
“Very clear and very scary. I didn’t know who to turn to in that.”
Harry suggested his family was jealous of Meghan’s popularity with the public – just as the appeal of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, had reportedly been seen as a threat.
And he said he has become estranged from his father, the Prince of Wales, saying: “I feel really let down.”
He added that he would make it one of his priorities “to try and heal that relationship”.
Describing how she had been misrepresented in the press, Meghan said the Duchess of Cambridge had made her cry ahead of her wedding – the opposite of reports circulating ahead of the Sussexes’ nuptials that Meghan left Kate in tears at Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress fitting.
In a previously unseen clip showed on CBS This Morning – as part of extra footage not screened in the original broadcast – Meghan said while her sister-in-law had been dubbed “Waity Katie” during her long relationship with William, she and Kate’s experiences with the press were different.
Meghan said: “Rude and racist are not the same.”
In a lighter moment, the couple, who announced in February that they are expecting their second child, said they are due to have a baby girl in the summer.
They also disclosed that they were married by the Archbishop of Canterbury three days before their formal ceremony, although it has since been reported this was a private exchange of vows.
Life behind palace doors has not been exposed to this degree since the days of the “War of the Waleses”, when the turmoil of Charles and Diana’s disintegrating marriage was laid bare in the 1990s.
Meghan told Winfrey she had got to the stage where she “just didn’t want to be alive any more”.
When she turned to the institution of the monarchy for help, her request was turned down, she said, adding that when she said she needed to “go somewhere” she was told “that it wouldn’t be good for the institution”.
Harry was asked if he told his family that he needed to get help for Meghan, and admitted he could not talk to them, describing it as a “very trapping environment that a lot of them are stuck in”.
In another previously unseen clip broadcast on CBS This Morning, Harry said: “I am very aware of this, that my brother can’t leave that system but I have.”
Asked if William – a future king – wanted to leave the system, Harry replied: “I don’t know. I can’t speak for him.”
Harry described the “toxic environment” he felt there was with the “control and the fear by the UK tabloids”.
Asked if Charles thinks it is a “toxic environment”, Harry said: “I think he’s had to make peace with it.”
When Meghan brought up the subject of Archie’s skin colour causing “concern”, a stunned Winfrey was told it had been raised by a member of the royal family with Harry.
The duchess said: “That was relayed to me from Harry. Those were conversations the family had with him, and I think it was really hard to be able to see those as compartmentalised conversations.”
Asked who had those conversations, Meghan did not give a name and said: “I think that would be very damaging to them.”
Harry was later asked about the episode and said: “That conversation, I am never going to share. At the time it was awkward. I was a bit shocked.”
He said he was “not comfortable” sharing the question he was asked by the unnamed person, but said it happened “right at the beginning” of their relationship.
In a damning comment, the duchess claimed the monarchy had double standards when it came to handling negative press stories – failing to protect the Sussexes but lying to defend other members of the royal family.
She said: “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. But they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.”
Harry was equally cutting about the financial support he received from family, saying they “literally cut me off financially” in the first quarter of 2020, and he went for the Netflix and Spotify deals to pay for his security.
He said he had what Diana left him and “without that we would not have been able to do this”.
Winfrey said the full interview was three hours and 20 minutes long and was edited down to one hour and 25 minutes for the US broadcast. The most important question she wanted answered, she said, was “Why did they leave?”
Meanwhile, the Society of Editors has said it is “not acceptable” for Meghan and Harry to claim sections of the UK press is bigoted “without providing any supporting evidence”.