Meghan Markle said today that she was only treated like a ‘black woman’ for the first time when she began dating Prince Harry – and that ‘things really shifted’ for her after she entered royal life.
The Duchess of Sussex made the claim during her interview with Mariah Carey in the second episode of her Archetypes Spotify podcast, part of Meghan and Harry’s £18million deal with the streaming giant.
The former Suits star, 41, said that she was inspired by the singer when she was a child because Ms Carey, 53, is mixed race. Mariah’s father is African-American and Venezuelan, while her mother is white Irish.
The Duchess, whose estranged father Thomas is white and her mother Doria is black, said that when Carey first came on the music scene she thought: ‘Oh my gosh. Someone who looks like me. She’s mixed like me’, adding that she was a ‘fangirl’ of the star.
She added: ‘Because we’re light skinned, you are not treated as a black woman. You’re not treated as a white woman. You sort of fit in between. If there is any time where there was more focus on my race it was when I started dating my husband. Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a black woman because up until then I was treated as a mixed woman and things really shifted’.
Ms Carey replied: ‘But that’s an interesting thing, a mixed woman, because I always thought it should be OK to say I’m mixed, like it should be OK to say that, but people want you to choose.’
The Duchess of Sussex called on the superstar singer to support her Archetypes show after her friend Serena Williams appeared last week. This week’s episode is called: ‘The Duality of Diva’, where Meghan herself was branded a diva by Ms Carey and the duchess admitted she went into ‘quiet revolt’/
Meghan said at the end of the episode: ‘It stopped me in my tracks. I started to sweat a little bit. I started squirming in my chair in this quiet revolt. Why would you say that? My mind genuinely was just spinning with what nonsense she must have read or clicked on to make her say that’, before adding: ‘She meant diva as a compliment. But I heard it as a dig. I heard it as the word diva, as I think of it. But, in that moment, as she explained to me, she meant it as chic, as aspirational. And how one very charged word can mean something different for each of us, it’s mind blowing to me’.
Buckingham Palace were braced for more bombshells hurled by Ms Markle after yesterday’s interview with The Cut threatened to deepen Meghan and Harry’s rift with the Windsors.
At one stage Carey declares that Meghan has ‘diva moments sometimes’.
Meghan said: ‘That’s really important for people to remember that there might be this persona, this diva thing we can play into. It’s not something I connect to but for you, it’s been a huge part.’
Carey replied: ‘You give us diva moments sometimes Meghan. Don’t even act like.’
Meghan responded with: ‘What kind of diva moments do I give you?
Carey added laughing: ‘Don’t act like you… it’s also the visual.’
Meghan replied: ‘Oh it’s the look.’
In her voiceover, Meghan said she started to ‘sweat’ when Carey called her a diva, and offered a justification for Carey’s remarks.
‘Though my fan-girling was tempered today, I kind of think she could tell, but that aside, it was all going swimmingly. I mean really well until that moment happened, which I don’t know about you but it stopped me in my tracks when she called me a diva.
‘You couldn’t see me obviously, but I started to sweat a little bit, I started squirming in my chair in this quiet revolt. Like wait, what? No what? How could you? That’s not true. Why would you say that? My mind genuinely was just spinning with what nonsense she must have read or clicked on to make her say that?
‘I just kept thinking in that moment, was my girl crush coming to a quick demise? Does she actually not see me?
‘So she must have felt my nervous laughter and you all would have heard it too and she jumped right in to make sure I was crystal clear. When she said diva, she was talking about the way that I dress, the posture of a clothing, a quote unquote fabulousness as she sees it.
‘She meant diva as a compliment. I heard it as a dig. Heard it as the word diva as I think of it, but in that moment, as she explained to me, she meant it as chic, as aspirational.’
Meghan and Mariah’s discussion about being mixed race came after Meghan claimed she didn’t want her children photographed because of racism.
She said yesterday: ‘Why would I give the very people that are calling my children the N-word a photo of my child before I can share it with the people that love my child? You tell me how that makes sense and then I’ll play that game’.
In the podcast, Mariah Carey told Meghan about her childhood, saying: ‘I didn’t fit in, it would be more of the black area of town, or then you could be where my mom chose to live, where the more white neighbourhoods and I didn’t fit in anywhere at all.’
Meghan replied: ‘Yeah. I understand that.’
Carey described how she was teased by a boy at school for having only three shirts and wearing them on rotation, adding: ‘It was true.’
The singer added: ‘In a world where you’re the mixed kid of a full-on white neighbourhood that’s what you get.’
The duchess replies: ‘This is part of why when I was putting this conversation together I had to talk to you. Of course I had to talk to you. You were so formative for me. Representation matters so much.’
Mariah Carey and the Duchess of Sussex compared stories about dealing with their hair when younger.
Meghan said on the podcast: ‘Because my hair is so curly and it’s so, so thick, I just remember as a child – because my mom’s black – and so my grandma Jeanette would do my hair, she’d go ‘Just hold onto the sink’.
‘And I would grip my little hands on both sides – so you would have no luxury of being tender-headed because she would take the brush and just go whoosh, whoosh.’
Titled The Duality Of Diva With Mariah Carey, Meghan talks with the pop superstar about the ‘complexities surrounding the ‘diva” and the negative connotations associated with the word.
Carey tells Meghan: ‘I’m MC, you can call me Mimi, you can call me Mariah, whatever you want.’ The duchess began the conversation by asking the name of Carey’s dogs – Cha Cha and Muttley P Gore Jackson.
Last Tuesday she used episode one of Archetypes with Serena to take a veiled swipe at life in the Royal Family. She also recounted her horror at a time a small ‘fire’ broke out in son Archie’s room during a tour of South Africa.
The then-four-month-old was not in the room at the time that a heater began to smoke but it left duchess ‘shaken’ and ‘in tears’, she told her friend. Despite her upset, she said she was forced to continue with the couple’s official engagements.
Yesterday, in a 6,400-word magazine article to promote the podcast, the Duchess of Sussex made a series of apparent swipes at the royals, warning she could ‘say anything’ now that she has left the Firm.
Meghan, 41, even suggested Prince Harry felt he had ‘lost’ his father over his decision to quit his public duties. But in an extraordinary clarification last night, allies of the couple said the duchess had actually been referring to the breakdown of her relationship with her own father.
Meghan told The Cut magazine: ‘Harry said to me, ‘I lost my dad in this process.’ It doesn’t have to be the same for them as it was for me, but that’s his decision.’ Yesterday a source close to Prince Charles said he would be saddened if Harry felt their relationship was lost, adding: ‘The Prince of Wales loves both his sons.’
In further shock claims, Meghan said the couple felt forced to leave Britain because ‘just by existing, we were upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy’, while Harry, 37, made his own jibe at the royals, saying: ‘Most people that I know and many of my family, they aren’t able to work and live together.’
And the duchess also claimed a South African member of the cast of the West End production of The Lion King told her: ‘When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.’
In addition, the interview saw Meghan:
Refer to her and Harry as being ‘like salt and pepper’ because they ‘always move together’;
Say she has ‘never had to sign anything that restricts me from talking’ but she is ‘still healing’;
Claim she faced problems in the UK from being an American, not necessarily a black American;
Say she has made an ‘active effort’ to ‘forgive’
The couple have given a series of interviews since starting their new life in California, including the notorious Oprah Winfrey interview in which Harry claimed his father had stopped taking his calls.
In the latest interview with New York magazine The Cut, Meghan was asked if her relationship with the royals and with her own family could be healed.
She replied: ‘It takes a lot of effort to forgive. I’ve really made an active effort, especially knowing that I can say anything.’
But her apparent description of Harry’s relationship with his father Prince Charles threatened to cause fresh hurt.
She told interviewer Allison P Davis: ‘Harry said to me, ‘I lost my dad in this process’. It doesn’t have to be the same for them as it was for me, but that’s his decision.’
Later a source told the New York Post she had meant she did not want Harry to lose his own father.
And journalist Omid Scobie, who co-wrote a flattering biography of the Sussexes and is close to the couple, tweeted: ‘There seems to be confusion in some headlines about this quote in The Cut interview.
‘I understand that Prince Harry is actually referring to Meghan’s loss of her own father, and Meghan is saying she doesn’t want Harry to lose his.’
Asked about the confusion regarding Meghan’s comment, The Cut declined to comment.
A source added: ‘This line is a direct quote from Meghan’s interview with Allison, and as a general rule, we don’t comment or speculate on sources’ intent outside of the text of the story.’ Meghan said she and Harry felt they had to leave Britain because of negative media coverage, including of their £2.4million refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.
Mother-of-two Meghan and the American singer talk about the ‘complexities surrounding the word diva’ and the negative connotations associated with it.
‘I think that’s really important for people to remember that there might be this persona, and yes, the diva thing, we can play into,’ said Meghan during the podcast, before adding: ‘It’s not something I connect to.’
However, Mariah was quick to disagree with the Duchess, insisting: ‘You give us diva moments sometimes, Meghan, don’t even act like.
‘What kind of diva moments do I give you?’ a shocked Meghan replied, to which the singer said: ‘Don’t act like…’, before the Duchess questioned: ‘Can you see me right now?’
‘It’s also the visual, it’s the visual,’ Mariah explained. ‘A lot of it is the look, let’s say you, let’s pretend that you weren’t so beautiful and didn’t have the whole thing, and didn’t often have gorgeous ensembles, you wouldn’t maybe get as much diva.
‘I don’t care, I’m like when I can, I’m going to give you diva,’ she added, while Meghan said: ‘That’s the thing, I associate it differently.’
‘Oh man, I love it, she is so Mariah,’ commented the Duchess following the segment, which the singer also insisted: ‘I was playing with you when I said that,’ seemingly referring to her ‘diva comment’.
Later in her podcast, Meghan admitted that she initially thought Mariah was criticising her by calling her a diva, only to learn that she meant it as a compliment.
‘My fangirling was tempered today,’ said Meghan. ‘I kind of think she could tell. But that aside, it was all going swimmingly, really well, until that moment happened, which I don’t know about you, but it stopped me in my tracks. When she called me a diva.
‘You couldn’t see me, obviously, but I started to sweat a little bit and started squirming in my chair in this quiet revolt, like “wait, no, what, how could you? That’s not true, why would you say that?”
‘My mind was genuinely just spinning with what nonsense she must have read or clicked on to make her say that, and I just kept thinking in that moment was my girl crush coming to a quick demise? Does she actually not see me?
‘So, she must have felt my nervous laughter, and you would’ve all heard it too, and she jumped straight in to make sure I was crystal clear when she said diva, she was talking about the way that I dress, the posture, the clothing, the quote, unquote fabulousness, as she sees it.
‘She meant diva as a compliment, but I heard it as a dig, I heard it as the word diva as I think of it, but in that moment as she explained to me, she meant it as chic, as aspirational, and how one very charged word can mean something different for each of us, it’s mind-blowing to me.’
Meghan continued: ‘It actually made me realise, and in these episodes as I’ve opened the door for conversations surrounding archetypes that try to hold us back, what I hadn’t considered is that for some, reclaiming the words is what they feel will propel us forward.’
When they were planning their departure, Meghan said they asked the Royal Family if they could be allowed to work on behalf of the monarchy and make their own money, and were willing to live in a Commonwealth country to help the transition. But she told the interviewer: ‘That, for whatever reason, is not something that we were allowed to do, even though several other members of the family do that exact thing.’
In fact, no other working royals are allowed to make their own money at the same time as performing official duties.
There are fears the Sussexes are planning to ramp up media appearances, culminating in the publication of Harry’s highly anticipated memoir. Sources have previously hinted at Harry’s ‘truth bombs’, of which there may be more to come.
In the latest interview, Meghan hinted she had more to say about her life in the Royal Family, but was ‘still healing’.
She said: ‘It’s interesting, I’ve never had to sign anything that restricts me from talking… I can talk about my whole experience and make a choice not to.’ Buckingham Palace declined to comment.