On the heels of Oprah Winfrey's televised sit-down with the couple, the former Secretary of State weighed in on their headline-making conversation during a virtual interview with Washington Post Live on Monday, March 8.
"I found it so heartrending to watch," the former First Lady told journalist Jonathan Capehart. "It just was heartbreaking that this incredibly accomplished woman Meghan Markle, who falls in love with Prince Harry, was not fully embraced by not just the so-called Firm, which is the name for the permanent bureaucracy that surrounds the royal family, but by the media in the UK."
Having long been a public figure, Hillary noted, "I've had my time in the box with the British tabloids as anybody who's in the public eye has had and their cruelty in going after Meghan was just outrageous."
The former Democratic presidential candidate also reacted to how Meghan has forged ahead after the treatment she allegedly faced. "The fact she did not get more support—that the reaction was, Let's just paper it over and pretend that it didn't happen or it will go away, just keep your head down...Well, this young woman was not about to keep her head down," Hillary said. "This is 2021 and she wanted to live her life. She wanted to be fully engaged and she had every right to hope for that."
In expressing her support for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Hillary also identified a larger lesson to be learned in how the former American actress was treated. "I just think every institution—obviously last night we were thinking about royalty in the UK, but every institution has got to make more space and acceptance for young people coming up, particularly young women who should not be forced into a mold that is no longer relevant, not only for them but for our society," Hillary noted. "It was heartbreaking to see the two of them sitting there having to describe how difficult it was to be accepted, to be integrated, not just into the royal family as they described, but more painfully into the larger society whose narrative is driven by tabloids that are living in the past."
In concluding on the subject, the former First Lady identified the outcome she wishes comes out of this watershed moment. "I just hope that there will be some serious thoughtful consideration in all of the institutions, not just in response to what Meghan and Harry were talking about, but literally across all of our societies," she said. "Why do we make it so hard to incorporate diversity? To celebrate it? To be proud of it? I just couldn't help but watch last night and really feel that these two young people—because by my standards they still are young—are not only standing up for themselves and for their children, but they're really trying to send a message about what institutions, including the one that they were part of, need to do to be more dynamic and forward-looking than they currently are."
For more on Meghan and Harry's jaw-dropping interview, check out E!'s breakdown here.