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Students React to Royal Drama

By Shelley Dean, Staff Writer

On Sunday, March 7, Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle aired. Over 17 million people have watched the interview, and more view it every day.

In this hour and a half tell-all program, Winfrey gave viewers a deep dive into how Markle has been living since she married into the royal family in 2018. Winfrey began the interview with a disclaimer; 

“There’s no subject that’s off-limits,” Winfrey said.

For the first section of the talk, Winfrey sat alone with Markle, who gave her information that has previously been undisclosed. 

“You’re being judged on the perception but you’re living in the reality,” Markle said.

Markle realizes the life of the royals can often seem like a fairy tale from the outside, but the reality is much different. 

One of the most talked-about points from the interview was the fact that Markle felt as though she was not protected once becoming part of the family.

“I’ve advocated for so long for women to use their voice, and then I was silent,” Markle said.

Winfrey was shocked by this, and offered up a question in return; “Were you silent, or were you silenced?” Winfrey said.

Markle confirmed that the latter was true, which came as a shock to many. Social media sites have erupted in content over the interview, with tweets, memes and posts in support of the Prince and Duchess.

People are also racing to support their son, Archie. “There were conversations about how dark his skin will be when he’s born,” Markle said. 

This statement shocked Winfrey as well as viewers and has been the center of the conversation on social media.

Students on campus reacted to the interview as well.

“When I watched it I was really shocked at how they were treated,” Senior musical theatre major Stephanie Jeker said. 

Jeker watched the interview the day after it aired. She had already seen some information on social media about it but was surprised by how serious the situation was once she actually watched it.

“I never thought of the royal family as a business,” Jeker said. 

Jeker quoted many times when Markle would describe how the family and communications team put other issues above her safety and security. 

In one instance, the family suggested Markle continue acting so they would have enough money to pay for her security.

Though Jeker doesn’t keep up with royal drama regularly, she has been invested in this new information and agrees she would likely leave the family as the royal couple did.

“I would probably do the same thing, like do what I want to do and try to ignore all the drama and get out of it and as far away as possible,” Jeker said.

After watching the interview, Jeker says she will likely fact check news she hears on the royals more often now, to ensure she’s getting correct information.

Sophomore english major Clare Coursey is also keeping up with the royals. 

She remarks on a story Markle told about a rumor that circulated in the tabloids, and how the exact opposite situation was the truth. No one in the royal family sorted out the rumors to help Markle.

“It makes you think, in family business where’s the difference between the family and the business,” Coursey said.

Typically, Coursey’s sister is the one to know all the royal drama, so this deep dive is a first for her.

“I’m sympathetic with Meghan and Harry. You don’t deserve to feel isolated by anyone, let alone your family,” Coursey said.

Coursey remarks on how for many, seeing Markle and Prince Harry get out of an unhealthy household is empowering.

“Just to know that this is an option that can happen at some point is very hopeful,” Coursey said.

Though she has enjoyed getting this inner look at their lives, and wishes the couple well, Coursey hopes this new found freedom comes with more privacy.

“I don’t necessarily know if that good fortune includes the press continuing to be part of their lives,” Coursey said.

With a baby girl on the way, Coursey hopes Markle and Prince Harry can grow their family, while only giving the world small updates every once in a while.

Many rumors have spread about Markle, and she hopes this new life with her closest family members will offer her some peace.   

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