Meghan Markle on Where She Stands With Royal Family, Tabloids, and Life With Prince Harry
Meghan Markle is ready to tell her own story again: The Duchess of Sussex chose to do her first big 2022 magazine interview with New York magazine’s The Cut, appearing as the publication’s fall fashion issue cover star. And while the contents of Meghan’s interview with The Cut‘s Allison P. Davis weren’t nearly as bombshell-laden as her Oprah interview, Meghan did gracefully touch on where things stand with the royal family, discussing the tabloids’ effects on her, how she sees her image today, and what the way forward for the strained relationship with the royals and Sussexes may look like.
Here, the key reveals from the piece, well worth the read in full here:
- Meghan is flirting with the idea of rejoining Instagram—and reflected on what it was like having no control over her account as a working royal family member. Meghan started by telling Davis she was planning to rejoin the platform she used to have her own account on, then backtracked and said maybe not yet. She reflected on losing control of her personal Instagram when she first started dating Harry. “It was a big adjustment—a huge adjustment to go from that kind of autonomy to a different life,” Meghan said.
With the royal Instagrams (@KensingtonRoyal, which Meghan and Harry shared with Kate Middleton and Prince William), Meghan had no control over what was posted and when. “There’s literally a structure by which if you want to release photos of your child, as a member of the family, you first have to give them to the Royal Rota [the U.K. media pool],” she said. They would publish the photos before the royals sometimes and giving photos to tabloids that routinely attack her and Harry didn’t feel right to her. “Why would I give the very people that are calling my children the N-word a photo of my child before I can share it with the people that love my child? You tell me how that makes sense and then I’ll play that game.”
- Despite no longer being a working senior royal, Meghan still is mindful of her princess status and what that means to people—even when doing things like her Oprah interview. “It’s important to be thoughtful about it because—even with the Oprah interview, I was conscious of the fact that there are little girls that I meet and they’re just like, ‘Oh my God, it’s a real-life princess,’” she said, adding she wants them to have ambitions far greater than marrying into status. “I just look at all of them and think, You have the power within you to create a life greater than any fairy tale you’ve ever read. I don’t mean that in terms of ‘You could marry a prince one day.’ I mean you can find love. You can find happiness. You can be up against what could feel like the greatest obstacle and then you can find happiness again.”
- Meghan is looking forward to telling her own story through her Netflix documentary—which she will not give much detail on yet. She started by there’s a difference between a historical documentary and a reality docuseries, Davis wrote, then touched on how “the piece of my life I haven’t been able to share, that people haven’t been able to see, is our love story.” She quoted from the end of her wedding speech where she said she took comfort in the “resounding knowing that, above all, love wins. I hope that is the sentiment that people feel when they see any of the content or the projects that we are working on,” she finished.
When Davis asked if they were currently filming a documentary about their love story, Meghan replied, “What’s so funny is I’m not trying to be cagey. I don’t read any press. So I don’t know what’s confirmed. I will tell you [director] Liz Garbus is incredible.” She then said she’d let her publicist and Netflix decide what more can be shared. The rest of her projects are also shrouded in mystery but are rooted in her being able to use her voice now: “When the media has shaped the story around you, it’s really nice to be able to tell your own story.”
- Meghan ended up quietly packing her belongings at Frogmore Cottage while she was in England for Platinum Jubilee with Harry. The cottage was mostly untouched since they left it. “You go back and you open drawers and you’re like, Oh my gosh. This is what I was writing in my journal there? And here’s all my socks from this time?” Meghan recalled. She later said, “It was bittersweet, you know? Knowing none of it had to be this way.”
- Meghan and Harry wanted to no longer be taxpayer-funded so the tabloids would stop attacking them “under the guise of public interest.” They would’ve moved to any Commonwealth country to continue their work as non-taxpayer funded working royals and make their own money. “Anything to just … because just by existing, we were upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy. So we go, ‘Okay, fine, let’s get out of here. Happy to,’ ” she said, adding they were asking for wasn’t “reinventing the wheel” as other royals had the arrangement they wanted. “That, for whatever reason, is not something that we were allowed to do, even though several other members of the family do that exact thing.” When asked why she thought that was, Meghan initially repeated the question back to Davis, then ultimately demurred from answering it, saying, “I don’t know.”
- Meghan didn’t sign anything that keeps her from talking about her time as a royal. “I can talk about my whole experience and make a choice not to,” she said, adding she hasn’t yet because she’s “still healing.”
- Meghan believes there’s room for forgiveness between her and the royal family. “I think forgiveness is really important. It takes a lot more energy to not forgive,” she said. “But it takes a lot of effort to forgive. I’ve really made an active effort, especially knowing that I can say anything.” She went quiet, then ultimately said, “I have a lot to say until I don’t. Do you like that? Sometimes, as they say, the silent part is still part of the song.”
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.