Harry and Meghan interview 'decadent, inappropriate and odd' - Brendan O'Neill

An interview seen around the world of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was 'decadent, ina...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.51 9 Mar 2021

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Harry and Meghan interview 'de...

Harry and Meghan interview 'decadent, inappropriate and odd' - Brendan O'Neill

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.51 9 Mar 2021

Share this article

An interview seen around the world of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was 'decadent, inappropriate and odd'.

That is the view of the editor of internet magazine Spiked, Brendan O'Neill.

He told Newstalk Breakfast the hypocrisy in their approach has annoyed many people.


"My view is that Harry and Meghan are very privileged individuals, they are wealthy, they are well-connected.

"And I thought the sight of Harry and Meghan sitting in the luxurious surrounds of a mansion in California, telling the billionaire Oprah Winfrey how oppressed they are, how much they have been victimised, how difficult their lives have been - while Meghan was wearing a $4,500 dress - that will have struck a lot of people as decadent, inappropriate and odd."

Brendan said while the topic of Meghan's mental health was part of the discussion, this was not the main reason for the interview.

"The discussion wasn't simply about mental health, the discussion was about whether they were treated unfairly, whether they were pushed around by the establishment, whether they had a difficult life.

"And that side of it just doesn't wash at all."

'Where will we put our sympathies?'

He also hit out at the timing of the interview.

"Also I do think we have to recognise - in my view - there is an over-expanded definition of mental health problems these days.

"After a year of lockdown in the United States, where this interview took place, 14 million people lost their jobs, millions of people have been plunged into poverty.

"People are surviving on stimulus cheques worth £2,000 - which is half the cost of Meghan Markle's dress - where are we going to put our sympathies?"

Harry and Meghan Britian's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (left) with US TV host Oprah Winfrey. Image via @Oprah on Twitter

And he said while people in the UK initially liked the coupling of Prince Harry and Meghan, as they were seen as renewing the royal family, that had changed.

"People only really turned against them when they started to use their royal platform to politically lecture the rest of us about environmentalism, about feminism, about all sort of issues.

"While at the same time flying around in private jets to swanky pads in the south of France.

"People were turned off by their hypocrisy and by their exploitation of their royal position".

On the future of the British royal family, he said its reputation will take a big hit internationally.

"I think there's going to be a big fallout... the monarchy's international reputation held up pretty well even while, in the UK, there were divorces and scandals.

"Internationally it held up well: they were seen as this mysterious, strange, medieval family who everyone loved.

"That's going to take a real beating and I think the royal family's going to struggle to recover from this".

Harry and Meghan interview 'decadent, inappropriate and odd' - Brendan O'Neill

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While US President Joe Biden suggested, through White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, that the interview took courage.

"For anyone to come forward and speak about their own struggles with mental health and tell their own personal story, that takes courage. And that's certainly something the president believes", Psaki said.

Actor Hugh Jackman also praised the couple for speaking out about mental health issues.

The interview, produced by Harpo Productions and CBS, has been broadcast in dozens of other countries.

But the Labour Party has slammed the decision by RTÉ to air the interview in Ireland.

It is believed the State broadcaster spent around €10,000 for the rights to the tell-all piece.

Senator Marie Sherlock has said she was "surprised and indeed disappointed" to see RTÉ spending money on an interview that was already available to most Irish viewers on British television.

The interview

During the interview, Meghan said she was so unhappy as a senior royal that she had suicidal thoughts.

She said: "I was ashamed to have to admit it to Harry. I knew that if I didn't say it, that I would do it - I just didn't want to be alive anymore."

"I will say I went into it naively because I didn't grow up knowing much about the royal family. It wasn't something that was part of conversation at home, it wasn't something that we followed."

On their son Archie, she said: "They didn't want him to be a prince or princess, not knowing what the gender would be, which would be different from protocol, and [said] that he wasn't going to receive security.

"In those months when I was pregnant... we have in tandem the conversation of, you won't be given security, not gonna be given a title and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born."

On the conversation he had over Archie's skin tone, Prince Harry said: "That conversation, I am never going to share. At the time it was awkward, I was a bit shocked."

Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can contact The Samaritans on 116-123

Main image: File photo of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Picture by: DPPA/SIPA USA/PA Images

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