Using a borrowed location other than their respective Montecito mansions, Oprah Winfrey interviewed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for the delectation of seventeen million viewers on Sunday, March 7 on CBS.

CBS paid Ms. Winfrey’s company a license fee of $ 7 million for the two-hour show. She also licensed it around the world.

The dominant impression that the three gave was that Harry and Meghan were ground down. They were troubled senior royals who could get no help for their troubles from the brigade of royal retainers and family members by whom they were “trapped” in the perfumed stockade of the House of Windsor.

The chief complaint, to use the medical term, was that the Duchess was suicidal as a result of situational pressures including tabloid attacks, racism,  and family fights among the Windsors and within her own family, according to her.  The words “depression” and “depressed” were not used in the interview leaving the impression that everything would have been fine if Meghan had never become a royal.

Meghan was alone with Ms. Winfrey in the first hour of the interview. Her husband joined them for the second hour.

The show got off to an exceedingly slow start. In an early snoozer the Duchess told Ms. Winfrey that she did not know the duties and responsibilities of a royal because she had not Googled Harry, a charming non-sequitur.

In fact, as Harry’s fiancee, when she met the Queen for the first time she did not know that she had to curtsy, thinking that such a move was required at public events but not in private. Wrong! So she had to learn to curtsy on the fly. Lots of popcorn consumed by viewers during that incisive exchange.

The big item  early in the interview was that the Duchess of Cambridge made the Duchess of Sussex cry during the wedding preparations rather than the other way around, as had been previously reported. At that point toilets could be heard flushing all over America.

The pace picked up when Meghan said that during her pregnancy with son Archie somebody asked someone what color her son would be. Who asked whom was not pursued by Ms. Winfrey as clever follow-up questions were not on the menu for this interview. Ms. Winfrey asked “What!!??,” very loudly and twice for emphasis on hearing the pigmentation revelation.

Questions about the color of their son would be outrageous, racist and cruel, no doubt. But this revelation was characteristic of the others to come: no who, what, when, where and how.


Other revelations had the same lack of specificity. For example, the Duchess said that when she asked for help with her mental problems, none was forthcoming. She said that she went to the human resources office of the Palace and was told that nothing could be done because it wouldn’t look right for the Duchess of Sussex to need psychiatric care. Who made that dumb statement is left to the viewers’ imagination.

When Harry appeared on the show things picked up mostly because his remarks included verifiable facts. After leaving England, the Sussexes were in Canada when the Palace withdrew security for the couple. Frightened for their safety because of numerous threats, they accepted the offer of producer Tyler Perry to use his Los Angeles home which included security.

Holding Meghan’s hand, Harry recounted his rejection by his father and brother and said he hoped that they would be close once again. Both he and Meghan repeatedly praised the Queen for her kindness and attention to their welfare.

While some of the facts about what happened to Harry and Meghan may be in doubt, one thing is clear: each is a troubled person and each needs professional intervention to alleviate the unhappiness of their condition.

If I seem snarky it’s because another thing is clear: the Sussex travails, while nourishment for the likes of the tabloids, are inconsequential when compared to the horrors of poverty, disease, hunger and hopelessness that afflict many Americans and others around the world.

And those so afflicted will not get an Oprah Winfrey special.