The Meghan and Harry Oprah Winfrey interview created a new narrative around the Duchess and her time in the UK, one where she had been driven close to suicide as a result of racism from members of the UK royal family and gaslighting by institutional aspects of the royal family in collusion with the UK tabloid media. To make matters even worse, centuries-old conventions were changed to deny her future children their birthright as future royalty.
Where was Kate when all this was happening? It is an open question whether the sister-in-laws would be expected to bond, but indifference between two women of the same age married to brothers should be considered unusual.
Perhaps the most ambiguous revelation related to the preparations for Meghan and Harry’s wedding. In November 2018, the UK tabloids were full of the news that Meghan had bullied Kate to tears in the run up to her wedding. This story came out over half a year after the wedding, which could suggest its release was part of a campaign to damage Meghan’s burgeoning popularity following a highly visible Australasian tour. In the Oprah interview, Meghan claimed that “the reverse happened’ and that Kate had made her cry.
No one from the UK Royal Family has explicitly denied Meghan’s claim, although the Queen is quoted as stating “recollections may vary’. OutliarTM analysis suggests that Meghan’s version of events is truthful, and that she tactfully omits details that could portray Kate in a damaging light.
In the extract below, Meghan maintains that Kate was “upset about something”; it is odd that Kate would be upset leading up to someone else’s wedding. There is a hint of damning with faint praise in Meghan’s insistence that Kate “owned” and “apologised” for her negative outburst. Or it may be that Kate’s apology was actually less than sincere. At any rate, it is the circumstances around the crying that need investigating rather than the facts of who cried.
Later on, Meghan gives a bit more detail about the reasons for the tears – the “flower-girl [bridesmaid’s] dresses” but remains discreet. OutliarTM analysis again indicates that this narrative is truthful but suggests Meghan’s claim that everybody knew her side of the story is potentially deceptive
Overall, Meghan wants to give Kate the benefit of the doubt and would rather blame ‘the institution’ but it appears that the pair were more rivals than friends.
Later, Oprah encourages Meghan to give a positive story of her and Kate’s relationship by referencing their widely covered trip to Wimbledon tennis tournament – but Meghan declines.
Overall, Meghan seems to be doing Kate a favour by being diplomatic and understanding, although admitting some level of personal culpability might appear more charitable than simply saying “I forgave her”.