Europe’s media said Harry and Meghan had ‘declared war on the royal family’ and left the British monarchy in ‘crisis’ today after their explosive tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey was watched around the world.
German-speaking media described the two-hour special as ‘hard to beat in its explosiveness’ and ‘simply devastating for the palace’ after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex alleged that a royal figure had raised concerns about their son’s skin colour.
Some compared it to Princess Diana‘s infamous BBC interview in 1995, with French media calling the programme an ‘American-style announcement’ that ‘went against the grain of the royal family’ – with precedents that are ‘all quite disastrous’.
And Swedish media wondered aloud whether support for the Queen and the rest of the royal family would take a hit from the interview, in which Meghan said she had been driven to contemplating suicide by the pressures of royal life.
A commentator for Swiss newspaper Blick said the interview was ‘the worst that could happen to the royal family’ and described the racism allegations as a ‘declaration of war’
French newspaper Le Monde said the royal family was facing a ‘new crisis’ following the interview, highlighting the claim that the colour of Archie’s skin was a cause of concern
Germany’s best-selling newspaper Bild joked that news of the explosive allegations would be delivered to the Queen alongside her breakfast
Germany’s best-selling newspaper, Bild, ran the Harry and Meghan story at the top of its website on Monday and said the interview had been ‘worse than the royals expected’.
‘It was and is the interview of the year,’ the Bild article said. ‘What the couple revealed to US talk show legend Oprah Winfrey is hard to beat in its explosiveness.’
Broadcaster RTL, which has secured the rights to broadcast the interview in Germany, said Meghan had ‘let us see deep into her soul’.
Swiss newspaper Blick said Harry and Meghan had ‘described life in the British royal family as so gruesome that escaping was the only way for them to survive’.
One pundit, Flavia Schlittler, said in a Blick online video that the racism allegations were a ‘declaration of war on the royal family’.
Schlittler described the interview as ‘the worst thing that could have happened to the royal family’, while Blick noted how other royals had ‘demonstratively’ ignored it.
And in Austria, a comment piece in the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper said Harry and Meghan had ‘struck out with a sweeping blow’ against the palace.
‘The interview was not only far more explosive than the preview clips had led us to expect – it was simply devastating for the palace,’ it said.
Swedish broadcaster SVT wondered aloud whether support for the Queen and the British monarchy would take a hit following the interview with Oprah Winfrey
Austria’s Salzburger Nachrichten said Harry and Meghan had ‘struck a sweeping blow against the British royal family’ with the interview that aired on Sunday night
The Irish Times said in a TV review that began simply ‘Ooof!’ that ‘the couple’s devastating interview is a damning portrait of Britain’s sacred institution’.
‘In Ireland we are, of course, reflexively baffled by the deference shown to the royals in the UK. Meghan clearly shares our bemusement,’ it says.
Meanwhile, French paper Le Monde said the royal family faces ‘a new crisis’ after Harry and Meghan lobbed ‘unpinned grenades’ at the House of Windsor.
The claims ‘give the impression of an excessively traditionalist, even institutionally racist institution’ which was ‘incapable’ of accommodating Meghan, it says.
France’s BFM TV called it an ‘American-style announcement’ that went ‘against the grain of the royal family’ and its reputed motto ‘never complain, never explain’.
‘The precedents are not numerous and were all quite disastrous,’ it says, referring to the Diana interview in 1995 and Prince Andrew’s interview with Emily Maitlis in 2019.
‘If the British feel betrayed and do not appreciate this kind of unloading… Americans adhere more to this way of communicating,’ one pundit argued.
The Irish Times said the interview was a ‘damning portrait of Britain’s sacred institution’, adding that viewers in Ireland were ‘baffled’ by the deference shown to the royals
Italian paper La Repubblica recalled the 1995 Diana interview, saying Harry and Meghan had similarly ‘fired one broadside after another’ against the royal family
France’s BFM TV called it an ‘American-style announcement’ that went ‘against the grain of the royal family’ and its reputed motto ‘never complain, never explain’
Italian paper La Repubblica also recalled the Diana interview, saying Harry and Meghan had similarly ‘fired one broadside after another’ against the royal family.
‘It looks like the start of a new season of The Crown. But it’s all true. At least according to what [Meghan and Harry] said,’ one article reads.
In Spain, newspaper El Pais said it was ‘one bombshell after another for two hours… the heaviest beating was taken by the royal family’.
Another Spanish paper, ABC, said Meghan had ‘held nothing back’ and ‘painted a dark and sinister portrait of the Firm’, as it is sometimes known.
Meanwhile in Sweden, the story dominated broadcaster SVT’s website on Monday morning, with one correspondent saying the claims were ‘devastating’ if true.
‘It will be interesting to see if and how the support for the royal family is affected,’ another pundit wrote.
‘The devastating television interview with Oprah Winfrey has been called, among other things, a historic PR crisis for Buckingham Palace, the worst-case scenario for the royal family and a bombardment powerful enough to sink a flotilla.’
‘It is no wild guess to believe that support for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will increase even more now that the interview has been broadcast.’
Harry and Meghan in a promotional photo for their interview with Oprah Winfrey which was broadcast in the United States last night
The royal family has yet to respond to the interview, which has not yet aired in the UK, but reports said the Queen would not be watching the broadcast.
While Meghan was complimentary about the Queen herself, she claimed that royal aides had refused to help her even as her mental health cratered.
Meghan told Winfrey she had got to the stage where she ‘just didn’t want to be alive anymore’.
‘I said that I’ve never felt this way before and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution,’ she claimed.
Harry and Meghan both refused to identify an individual who allegedly worried aloud about how dark the skin of their first-born child might turn out to be.
Meghan told Winfrey there had been ‘concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he is born’.
Harry meanwhile suggested his family were jealous of Meghan’s popularity with the public – just as Diana’s appeal had reportedly been seen as a threat.
And he revealed he has become estranged from his father, the Prince of Wales, saying: ‘I feel really let down’, but said he wanted ‘to try and heal that relationship’.