Oprah Winfrey's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the duke and duchess of Sussex, aired in the wee small hours of Monday morning in Britain. But the British press, one of the two institutions that came out poorly — along with the British royal family — stayed awake for the tightly held interview. Their headlines steered away from the media criticism and focused on the allegations of dysfunction and, above all, racism at Buckingham Palace.
Markle's revelation, backed up by her husband, that an unidentified member of the royal family expressed concern "about how dark" their soon-to-be born son's "skin might be" is "devastating," BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond wrote. "This is heading into 'worst-case scenario' territory for the palace." And Harry's description of his father and brother being "trapped" inside the cold, sclerotic royalty "is a velvet covered dagger into the institution he has left," Dymond adds.
The Daily Mail, whose parent company recently lost a privacy lawsuit to Markle, and the Daily Mirror focused on the racism charge, while The Sun headlined her suicidal ideation amid a double blow of palace-ordered isolation and tabloid harassment.
The Daily Express led with Markle upending tabloid gossip, while the Daily Star tried to snark off the whole thing.
The Daily Telegraph featured a column calling the couple "woke" but focused its top story on pre-interview comments by Queen Elizabeth II.
The "devastating interview" delivered "a body blow to the institution" of the royal family and "upended the narrative created by Britain's bestselling newspapers," Dymond writes. But "the newspapers that the couple so despise — will they change their tune? It is not in their nature."