Royal reporter Omid Scobie has had up-close access to the British royal family for nearly a decade, during which time he researched and wrote the thus-far definitive text on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal family exit Finding Freedom with co-writer Carolyn Durand. Scobie and Durand’s book offered such intimate details of the Sussexes’ experience that many thought Prince Harry and Meghan themselves were directly behind it — and when Scobie was asked what he thinks will come out in their exclusive Oprah Winfrey interview, he felt there was one clear terrain that hadn’t yet been made public: the virulent racism Meghan faced as a senior royal. In a SheKnows exclusive, Scobie explains that the palace may be worried that “the truth of what has gone on behind the scenes” will come forward, and why the racism toward Meghan has gone so largely unchecked.
Addressing the Times report this week in which former palace staff accused Meghan of bullying, a move the Sussexes have blamed Buckingham Palace for outright, royal expert Scobie explains that this is the family’s way of protecting itself before any negative press from the Oprah interview comes to light.
“The fear within the palace is that the truth of what has gone on behind the scenes may come to light,” Scobie tells SheKnows. “Comments about the way certain members of staff have treated the couple may also come out.”
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“I think what we’ll hear Megan talking about for the first time is the issue of race and racism in the UK because it does take a very different shape here,” he continues. “It is a lot less overt, a lot more undercover. And I think that’s something that not everyone really understands the history of — Megan was a victim of that in many ways, not just through sections of the British press, but also through parts of the public as well. Social media became an incredibly dark place for her and for those working around them at the palace, having to deal with horrendous racism for the very first time. And, of course, through those very real threats that came to the palace.”
The threats to which Scobie is referring started coming Meghan’s way soon after she dated Harry, with one palace source in Finding Freedom describing “absolutely terrifying and stomach-churning threats made to Meghan” and noted that they far outnumbered those directed to Kate Middleton when she began dating Prince William. One letter in particular was filled with “racist musings and an unidentified white powder” that they feared as anthrax.
Scobie thinks a return to the US and to US media will represent a change in what Meghan has to deal with: “I think it shows perhaps where we [the UK] are when it comes to talking about race compared to where you are [in America],” he suggests. “That resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement was far louder in America than it was over here. And, you know, that’s why we didn’t see a member of the royal family touch on it at any point at all.”
Meghan and Harry are facing criticism from royal family members about their Oprah interview. 😬https://t.co/fSml8Bqzrr
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Already, he says, UK media is in the process of rewriting its own history: “We only had Piers Morgan on TV just a couple of days ago saying that there had been no racism at all when it came to the treatment of Morgan, which I think you have to really be blind not to see,” he notes, calling up past opinion pieces that “questioned the appropriateness of Meghan’s mother’s dreadlocks or called her straight out of Compton.”
Notably, he thinks Oprah will be the perfect platform to discuss these issues and more, as a Black woman in the public eye who has been by Meghan’s side in more ways than one. To hear more from Meghan herself, we’ll have to tune in Sunday.
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Before you go, click here to see the craziest conspiracy theories Meghan Markle has faced since becoming a royal.