Oprah Winfrey Defends Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Amid Criticism Over Privacy Request

Oprah Winfrey defended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after some followers criticized the couple for speaking out while also requesting privacy. "Privacy doesn't mean silence."

By Elyse Dupre May 21, 2021 2:43 PMTags

As if we needed another reason to want to be friends with Oprah Winfrey. Because the Queen of All Media doesn't stand for anyone trashing her pals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, addressing criticism the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have received for requesting privacy while also speaking out about their experiences. 

"You know, I ask for privacy, and I'm talking all the time," Oprah reasoned to Hoda Kotb on the May 21 episode of Today. "So I think being able to have a life that you are not intruded upon by photographers or people flying overhead or invading your life is what every person wants and deserves. That's what people are missing. Privacy doesn't mean silence."

Oprah and Harry just launched a new documentary series on Apple TV+ called The Me You Can't See in which they discuss mental health and emotional well-being and share their own journeys. In the first episode, for instance, Harry looked back at the anxiety and anger he experienced following Princess Diana's death and how he had to "heal" himself from the past.

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"His interest and partnership was really authentic about his desire to champion these conversations," Oprah added, noting Harry cited mental health and climate change as the two most important issues facing the world today. "And so I think that your asking for privacy in your own personal life does not mean that you don't want to also use your platform to help the world see itself differently."

Harpo Productions/ Photographer: Joe Pugliese

Harry and Meghan also sat down with Oprah for an interview earlier this year to talk about their decision to step back from royal life. Perhaps you heard about it?

In between spilling some royal tea, the duchess spoke about her own mental health, recalling how there was a time when she "didn't want to be alive anymore." In addition, Meghan, who is expecting a baby girl, said an unnamed individual had "concerns and conversations about how dark" her 2-year-old son Archie Harrison's "skin might be when he's born." Meghan did not name this person as she said "this would be very damaging to them," but Harry confirmed to Oprah that it wasn't Queen Elizabeth II or the late Prince Philip. The Queen later released a statement saying "the issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately."

When asked if the duke and duchess had any "regrets" about the interview, Oprah told Hoda, "They have not shared any regrets with me." 

"I understood what had happened to them, and I wanted the rest of the world to come away being able to answer the question, 'Why did they leave?'" she added. "And I think by the time that interview was done, people understood."

 (E! and NBC are both part of NBCUniversal).