U.K. Press Has Hysterical Reaction to Oprah Winfrey's Interview With Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Courtesy Photo

All the major British news networks and newspapers led with wall-to-wall coverage of the CBS special.

Britain's notorious tabloid press was apoplectic with rage toward Meghan Markle and Prince Harry after their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night.

In the two-hour CBS primetime special Oprah With Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex laid bare the inner workings of the royal family and outlined the reasons why they stepped away from royal duty and moved to the U.S. In among the host of newsworthy revelations, Markle said that she had contemplated suicide over the press attacks and racism she faced, that the royal family had concerns about the color of their son's skin, and that Prince Charles does not return Prince Harry's calls.

The full interview is set to air in the U.K. on Monday evening local time on ITV, but with the interview airing Sunday in the U.S. it quickly became the No. 1 trending topic on social media in Britain, and all the major news networks and newspapers led with wall-to-wall coverage.

After dismissing the interview as a "sideshow" in the days leading up to Sunday, The Daily Mail devoted well over 20 stories to the special on its website Monday morning. In blanket coverage it usually reserves for a royal wedding, The Daily Mail raced to post photo galleries, analysis, news articles and reaction to the interview with stories that featured rambling headlines such as "Meghan makes sensational claim that Royals banned Archie from being a Prince because of concerns over how 'DARK' he would be and told her he would get no police protection but Harry refuses to reveal who made racist remark" and "'I was trapped until I met Meg, I just didn't know it': Harry says he feels sorry for William and Charles who can never escape and reveals his father stopped taking his calls during Megxit."

The Daily Mail's physical front page featured an all-caps headline "MEGHAN ACCUSES PALACE OF RACISM" alongside a closely cropped picture of Markle's face.

The Daily Mail and its sister publication, The Mail on Sunday, have been particularly virulent in their coverage of the Sussexes. The latter paper was recently ordered by a British judge to publish a front-page statement declaring Markle's victory in her copyright claim against the newspaper over its publication of a letter to her estranged father.

Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, another longtime and very public critic of Markle, opened his show by repeatedly suggesting that Prince Harry had "spray-gunned" his family with the revelatory interview and that it was "so disloyal." "He's been spray-gunning his entire family on global TV as Prince Philip lies in hospital," said Morgan, adding, "I see right through them," and that "Prince Charles has been bankrolling that couple for the last five years."

Continued Morgan: "America is trashing our country and trashing our monarchy now."

In The Sun, Matt Wilkinson wrote, "Meghan Markle may never return to Britain after angering Royal Family with bombshell Oprah interview." Citing palace insiders, The Sun story added that Markle and Prince Harry "could have burnt their bridges by failing to tell family members what was in the two-hour chat before it was shown."

Dan Wooton, a former editor at The Sun and now a talk radio host, tweeted: "Harry and Meghan have blown up their relationship with the Royal Family, especially Charles and William, in the Oprah tell-all. Hard to see a reconciliation given they have branded the royals racist and uncaring. Surely they should now renounce their titles as Duke and Duchess?"

It wasn't just Britain's rabid red-top newspapers that had their hackles raised by the interview. The Telegraph, a more upmarket daily, compared Markle's self-imposed exile unfavorably to that of Wallis Simpson, the wife of Edward VIII. Before World War II, Edward and Wallis Simpson were suspected of being Nazi sympathizers and visited Adolf Hitler in 1937. "The saddest thing is that Wallis and Edward, despite being banished, were dutiful and patriotic to the end," wrote Anna Pasternak.

The Sussexes have long had a fractious relationship with the biggest-selling tabloid titles in the U.K. Last April, the couple punched back at the constant press harassment, sending letters to the editors of The Sun, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., The Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and Daily Express explaining that they would no longer respond to any inquiries from their journalists under a new policy of "zero engagement," except when needed via the couple's legal team.

The couple said that it refused to "offer themselves up as a currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion," accusing the tabloids of publishing stories about them that were "distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason."

Alex Ritman contributed to this story.