Little sympathy for Harry and Meghan on streets of NI after Oprah Winfrey interview

There was not much sympathy for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Lisburn ahead of their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey airing on British television tonight.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 2:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 10:34 am

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey for a two-hour CBS primetime special.

Among a slew of revelations, Meghan said she had times in the royal family when she “didn’t want to be alive any more” and that one member of the Royal Family had asked about how “dark” her son Archie’s skin would be.

Harry, meanwhile, said he has now been “cut off” financially, which is why the couple sought Netflix and Spotify deals.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just after the announcement of their engagement in 2017.

On the streets of Lisburn today, however, Gail Pryce, thought it was strange that they were courting such high levels of publicity.

“They left the UK for Canada to get away from the press. So to be now giving an interview to the media about all this - I don’t think they should have done it,” she said.

She added that it appeared “totally” counterproductive, to be seeking major publicity when they were so adamant that they wanted privacy.

“If they were looking for privacy then why are they then going so public with all this? Oprah is the biggest possible platform to put their story out there. It doesn’t add up at all.”

However she had some sympathy for Meghan’s suicidal feelings.

“I think it is quite a bold statement she has made [about that]”. she said. “It is a very sensitive topic and if she feels suicidal at any time she should reach out to the appropriate professionals for help. I think it is sad that she has felt like that.”

As for Harry saying Prince Charles had stopped taking his calls for a while, she did not want to comment.

“I feel that is getting into their private life. I just don’t know about that.”

Joan Sands thought the interview with Oprah was like 'washing dirty laundry in public'.

She will not be watching the interview.

“This is my day off and I just want to chill and do things that I enjoy doing,” she added.

Another shopper, Joan Sands, does not believe they should have given the interview.

Caroline Keys thought a quiet dignity would have been much more conisderate for the Queen.

“Not really, it is like washing your dirty linen in public,” she said.

“And the Queen is going to suffer from this - she is suffering now - and many of the royal family. But it is too late, they have done it.”

She watched the couple’s wedding but is now very disappointed with their conduct.

“She knew what she was getting into,” she said of Meghan. “She is not stupid. Too much craft.”

However she will be watching the interview.

“Though I might go to bed before it is over. And if it is rubbish I will definitely be going to bed early.”

Stanley Dewart believes that Meghan would have known what to expect when joining the Royal family.

Caroline Keys was another who was concerned about the impact of the interview on the Royal family.

“I thought they shouldn’t have done it at all, out of respect for the Queen,” she said.

“They should have just kept quiet because she [the Queen] has enough unhappiness at the moment and too many other things to think about, with her husband being so ill and everything.”

She thought the Duke and Duchess “very selfish really - self centred” for how they have handled the matter.

Caroline really loved the wedding of the young couple.

“I thought they were a lovely happy couple. But now I think she is a self-centred person. I mean, surely she knew something about what goes on when you join the royal family?”

Stanley Dewart was one of many who were quite nonplussed by the whole issue.

Asked if they were right to do the interview, he replied: “I have no idea”.

He added: “You reap what you sow, she knew what she was getting into before she got into it.”

As for reports that Charles stopped taking Harry’s calls after he resigned from the family, he felt that may have been too harsh, however.

“I think he should have taken his son’s phone calls certainly. He could have talked it over with his son.”

Stanley will not be watching the interview and does not know many who will.

“If the news comes on and it is on, it will be on, but other than that I would not watch it.”

He did not watch the couple’s wedding but would still class himself as a royalist “to a certain extent”.

Young mum Rebecca McKee - who was out walking her four week old daughter Aoife, supported the couple’s decision to speak to Oprah.

She has heard advance reports about racist comments that were allegedly made to Megan about her son’s skin colour and was adamant there was no problem doing the interview.

“No, definitely not,” she said. “Saying that about the child isn’t nice.”

She also empathised with Meghan feeling under such mental pressure.

“Yes, it was probably because of how famous they are. But again, you don’t know until it all comes out.”

And she will be one of many tuning in to see the drama for herself.

“Yes, definitely.”

Samantha Thomson was cautious about Meghan’s influence.

“I have seen a few things on Facebook about how they were putting down the Royal Family,” she said.

“It seemed to be that she was taking over Harry’s life in a sense, and taking him away - but at the same time I think Harry kind of wanted to anyway.”

“I don’t know really, the Royal family is the Royal family at the end of the day. I suppose they got well paid for it. I think it has more to do with her, though, that she wanted to do the interview - not so much him.”

Samantha believes the marriage was right for the young couple.

“I do think they have a good connection and there is love there, but she is the boss, she has taken control of the whole situation.”

But she feels they were not right to give their interview to Oprah: “No.”

She added: “Meghan looked like quite a confident woman with her own mind, but I suppose she just couldn’t handle the attention of the press.”

Dawn Rea was another shopper who was not too interested.

“Well that is up to them but I am really not interested in what they have to say.”

She added: “They would have been better retiring in dignity. If you step away you step away and then fade into the background.”

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Rebecca McKee, pictured with her four-week old daughter Aoife, defended the right of Harry and Meghan to do the interview,
Samantha Thomson though Meghan was leading Harry where he probably wanted to go.