You won’t find kings, and queens, and castles in this country (except at Disney Resorts, of course) but that doesn’t mean we don’t have our own version of royalty. Royals on this side of the Atlantic are known by another name. They’re called celebrities.

What Happened During the Meghan Markle Oprah Interview?

Recent commentary and reaction to Oprah’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry continue to dominate the headlines. In the world of media, Oprah reigns supreme. Some might say she is our Media Queen. Vox described her as the interviewer-in-chief.

But if you ask me, the world’s most respected interviewer missed a huge opportunity to help those in the audience—an estimated 17 million—struggling with mental health issues. Those viewers like me.

As I watched the 2-hour long pre-recorded drama unfold, I kept waiting for Meghan to share her secret. No, not THAT secret (the sex of their unborn baby). I think the reason she didn’t reveal it was because she simply wasn’t asked about it.

As a suicide survivor (my uncle took his life not terribly long ago) and a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder II, I am unfortunately very well-acquainted with the feelings of loneliness and despair Meghan articulated.

I absolutely believe that the racist issues around her marriage and pregnancy and the isolation she described feeling in the Palace might trigger suicidal tendencies. So, when she confessed, she wanted to kill herself while pregnant with Archie, her first son, I didn’t find it surprising.

I’ve been at the mercy of a cruel mind. I’m painfully familiar with the ways the mind can blind you to any sense of hope or (perplexingly) trick you into thinking that making yourself disappear is an acceptable solution.

And therein lies my beef with Oprah…

The Lack of Mental Health Support for Meghan Markle

Why didn’t she ask Meghan how she got out of that dark, dark place?

After the “human resources” staff at the Palace refused Meghan’s permission to get help, did she eventually get treatment?

Where was her obstetrician and why didn’t she/he notice anything about her affect? Did she have postpartum depression following Archie’s birth? (That image of her weeping while breastfeeding Archie was hard to forget.) For an overwhelmingly large percentage of women with depression during pregnancy, it continues postpartum.

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My questions go on.

Where was Harry? Even if the Palace had confiscated Meghan’s passport and car keys, was there no way for Harry to whisk her through the royal gates and into a doctor’s arms?

As a person who has experienced this pain, it’s hard for me to buy that the exit from royal life and the relocation to California solved everything at once.

While I understand that she might consider her treatment plan none of my business, if a celebrity truly wants to help others by sharing their pain around mental health, that’s the part I crave.

In the end, I don’t doubt that by speaking about her experience, she helped people who might be ashamed or afraid to reveal their own mental health problems, particularly vulnerable women in the Black community. And I also believe the Windsor’s should have learned from Princess Diana’s devastating experiences with bulimia to take Meghan’s mental health issues much more seriously and sought immediate help.

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But what I really wanted to know is how she dealt with the suicidal ideation and how she managed to move on with her life.

No one’s talking about THAT.

Meghan Markle Oprah Interview Takeaways

Maybe hearing how such a privileged couple have gone through hell allows us to appreciate how mental health issues can affect anyone–high or low–and take comfort that it isn’t only our fate. We might reassure ourselves that, even blessed with beauty, wealth, talent, and opportunity, tragedy struck their house as well.

Or we might view it in an entirely different light.

Given a pandemic year filled with so much sorrow, isolation, loneliness, and loss that has resulted in an extreme crisis of mental health issues around the globe, maybe we should listen to Meghan’s story, wish her well, then switch off the TV.

After all, at the moment, there are more than enough pressing issues to tend to at home and though I may empathize with Meghan’s pain, as compelling as her story is, part of me asks: What does she have to do with me?

Watch the Meghan Markle Full Interview on CBS

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2021