top of page
  • Reverend James Squire

Life Lessons Learned from Harry and Meghan’s Interview Storybook or Playbook

There are few things that could live up to the hype of Oprah’s interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex better known as Harry and Meghan. However, this interview did and then some. We talked about the upcoming interview with our friends from England on a zoom call. Their perspective was that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were good people, but the press was not. As we watched the interview and various newspaper and tabloid papers’ headlines scrolled across the screen, we could see why our English friends came to that conclusion. The headlines targeted Meghan with harassment of her, but the headlines would certainly cause the public to pick up the newspaper to see exactly what happened. Those headlines sold papers.

One of our alumni at EA was a columnist for the Inquirer. He made an interesting statement when he addressed our student body on the nature of the newspaper business. He said, “What you want is a response from the public. It doesn’t matter if it is good or bad.”

When the interview began, I was very skeptical about why this interview was necessary. I knew that Oprah was getting 7 million dollars to show it. I assumed that Harry and Meghan were trying to “have their cake and eat it too”. In essence, I thought that they wanted to keep the titles and everything that went with it but have an independent life on their own terms. Oprah’s first comment was to clarify that Meghan wasn’t being paid to do the interview.

Boy, was I wrong! Here are some conclusions that I drew from the interview that were themes that relate to the rest of us.

If something is too good to be true, it is usually too good to be true. The world watched the wedding ceremony. There were lots of smiles and “princess bride” implications. Wow! People wished that they could have that kind of life. As it turns out Harry and Meghan were actually married three days prior to the event to have a private ceremony with the Archbishop of Canterbury. One of the things that I have learned over the years is that there is always a story behind the story. It came with my position as Chaplain. I knew many of the back stories of people in our community. Behind smiling faces was a degree of pain. As one rock star, Jim Morrison, put it, “No one gets out alive!” meaning everyone takes a hit along life’s way, some more so than others. Rabbi Harold Kushner reminded us in his book, When Bad Things Happen To Good People, that tragedy doesn’t have a ticket into our lives. It has a box seat. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when tragedy will cross our path.

Giraudoux, a French novelist, once said that “once you can fake sincerity, you got it made.” I couldn’t disagree more. Meghan and Harry’s sincerity and authenticity were very evident. Their pain, struggle, and empathy for others were very present as well.

Oprah was the talented interviewer that we know her to be, but even she was shocked by the question raised to Harry who told Meghan, “People are wondering how black our children will be?” Oprah literally leaned into that comment wanting to know who said that. The couple didn’t reveal that out of concern for the people who raised it. We do know in an after comment that it was not the Queen or Prince Philip. Before any of this breach with the family, it was made clear that their child would not have a title or protection. If this whole thing wasn’t due to racism, I will eat my hat.

Harry and Meghan did not read the culture of the monarchy as well as they should have. They bought into the storybook and forgot about the playbook, namely what was required of them. We should learn to enhance our own social intelligence and read better the situations that we find ourselves in. Remember just one word. That word is expectations for a good deal of anger is based in missed expectations. Think of the last time that you were angry, and I bet that there is a missed expectation nearby.

Harry quickly channeled his experience of his mother. We all channel experiences of formative people in our lives. It is usually our parents as they are the key players who have the most influence.

Meghan articulated the theme of “it takes courage to ask for help if you need it”. Her story may have saved lives as a result of that statement so we owe them both our prayers and hope for a happier future.

RACISM AND EXPECTATIONS were the key issues, in my opinion, to what brought the once royal couple to the interview with Oprah last night.

I have a WISH, HOPE and a FEAR.

I wish that there was a way for someone to interview them with the royal family present before the Oprah interview. Empathy is getting into someone else’s shoes. I know they tried to do this before, but one more time is only going to help. They couldn’t say that Meghan and Harry didn’t let them know how revelatory the interview would be. It is always good to run sensitive material by people who are going to be affected. They could even do it by letter. I hope no lasting damage has been done because family is family even a royal one. It is defined as the “place where they always have to take you in”. They needed to hear all of this before the world did.

My fear is that Meghan and Harry were most concerned about protection above all else. Since racism is so alive and well in England and America, I fear that someone may now be empowered to harm them since the world knows that their protection has been removed.

Last, the truth shall set you free, but it may make you miserable in the interim.

97 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page