"Set in a lush but painstakingly tended garden belonging to a 'friend,' Meghan and Harry gave Winfrey the kind of interview that’ll be talked about for years to come," says Inkoo Kang. "A visibly pregnant Meghan wore a black dress with white floral embroidery and Winfrey a pastel-pink sweater, endowing the two-hour interview with a kind of California casualness that belied the many upsetting and emotional revelations to follow. Focused on Meghan in its first half and featuring the couple in its second, the conversation came just shy of scorched-earth — addressing, among other things, the alleged lack of support Meghan got when she went to the palace with her persistent suicidal ideations; the denial of security protection for the Sussexes’ child, Archie; and the royals’ apparent prenatal concerns over the skin tone of Meghan and Harry’s progeny, which flabbergasted the usually unflappable Winfrey." Kang adds: "It’s likely no coincidence that Meghan reached out to a fellow Black woman for such an intimate and wide-ranging interview. Winfrey was at the top of her game as she drew from the Sussexes a measure of how race has affected their relationship, from the tabloid vilification of Meghan for the same things they praised in Kate (like eating avocado) to the crown changing its own rules to ensure that Archie, the first child of color born to the royal family, would be denied the title of 'prince.' Though neither Meghan nor Harry were explicit about it, both drew a distinction between interpersonal niceness — Meghan was apparently treated so well by Elizabeth that the queen reminded her of her own grandmother — and institutional inertia, with systems perpetuating the status quo, including racist dynamics. The Sussexes admit that every member of the royal family was welcoming to Meghan, but also allege that the Windsors did little to nothing when it came to countering the racism within the British press, lest they themselves lose the favor of royal watchers...While it’s no surprise that Meghan came across as relatable — a naive outsider who made the mistake of assuming the queen doesn’t really expect her grandson’s girlfriends to curtsy for her (she does) — it’s shocking how relatively open Harry was about his family, sharing his current estrangement from his brother and father and wondering aloud who among his 'trapped' clan has contemplated suicide."
Oprah Winfrey is a great interviewer because she paints the corners: "It seems odd to say someone who has reached the summit of several different media mountains had a re-defining career highlight yet, as we sit here some 12 hours later in reflection, that's exactly what happened," says Kyle Koster. "Thirty-five years after the debut of her trailblazing, eponymous talk show, Winfrey proved she's every bit the superstar she's always been, whether that be as an actor, journalist, icon or producer. All hats she needed to wear in some capacity to pull this high-stakes, high-wire act off without breaking a sweat. Comfortable near the white-hot nexus of fame, Winfrey secured a sit-down with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, whose very presence as her neighbors suggests something unprecedented is happening with the Royal Family, the gulf between Harry and Meghan wider than the ocean and former colony separating them from departed home. Seated some eight feet away from Markle in a beautifully regal pergola, Oprah struck a friendly and curious tone, masterfully editing her many questions down to the ones drawing the most frank responses, then pivoting with ease to chase the follow-ups to ensure she was always exploring the most interesting angle. And that is no small feat. For the most famous interviewer in the world to be smart enough to remain humble, to largely stay out of the way of the subject's story, is an unbelievable accomplishment. The natural tendency is to try to match the gravitas of a big guest and it so often ends up in stepping on toes and ruining the casual flow of conversation. Winfrey did not let her ego drive the story she wanted to tell. Instead, she gently pressed for more details at every turn, and as a result both she and the audience was richly rewarded with a layered, complete, and powerful narrative from the couple."
Why the Oprah-Meghan-Harry special isn't "trivial nonsense": "Am seeing a bunch of 'this is trivial nonsense and why are we paying any attention to these people' responses to oprah/harry/meghan, which boggles my mind," tweeted Kathryn VanArendonk. "-it's a story about people pushing against the racism deep within a beloved, revered, centuries-old institution. -it's a story about the power and toxicity of social media, celebrity, public image and public narrative, all of which are deep at the heart of our own politics. -it's an illustration of individuals versus systems and the difference between individual action and systemic change. -it is a story about mental health, and about the power of choosing to talk about it publicly. -it is an absolutely stunning example of one of the most fundamental, fascinating things about being human, that we can't know what someone is feeling based on the outside image. -if you can't see how any of this isn't relevant to american politics and our own consumption of / illiteracy around public image and systemic resistance to change, I just don't know. (except that you're clearly having a sexist reaction to some combo of oprah/royals/lady stuff)."
How Britain reacted to news of Oprah's interview, which airs tonight on ITV: "Oprah Winfrey’s sensation-causing interview with Prince Harry and the former actress Meghan Markle isn’t scheduled to air in Britain until Monday evening, but that hasn’t stopped the British commentariat from breathlessly weighing in after seeing clips and reading about it," write London-based Los Angeles Times reporters Henry Chu and Christina Boyle. "Royalists expressed polite dismay, while Britain’s notorious tabloids were livid — hardly a surprise, since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been vocal in blaming them for being intrusive, mendacious and downright racist. The palace itself is keeping mum."
Piers Morgan led British TV's outrage over Meghan and Harry's "trash-a-thon": “I’m angry to the point of boiling over. I’m sickened by what I’ve just seen," he said on Good Morning Britain. "This is a two-hour trash-a-thon of our monarchy and royal family. They trash everybody. They basically make out everybody in the royal family is a white supremacist. I just don’t think that’s acceptable.”