Tennis star Serena Williams has come out in support for her “selfless friend” the Duchess of Sussex following the royal couple’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Social media users have been largely sympathetic towards Meghan and Harry – many being shocked by the number of revelations that have surfaced from the two-hour special with the chat show host.
Meghan’s long-term friend, Williams, led the support, tweeting that the duchess “teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble”.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) March 8, 2021
Williams added: “I want Meghan’s daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect.
“Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Meghan and Harry on Oprah: Duchess tells chat show host she contemplated suicide
Daniel Martin, who did Meghan’s make-up on her wedding day, shared a picture of the pair on Instagram, alongside a poem from Maya Angelou that said: “You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt. But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”
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A post shared by Daniel Martin (@danielmartin)
During the broadcast – which was aired a year after the couple made the US their home – serious topics including mental health, race, lack of support and the colour of Archie’s skin were discussed.
Meghan also revealed she had contemplated taking her own life at the height of her distress within the Royal Family.
American activist Brittany Packnett tweeted: “Trigger warning: suicide Them denying her help for mental distress and suicide ideation is one of the sickest things I’ve ever heard. It is SO so hard to reach out and ask for help. I know this personally and intimately. This is so triggering.”
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The niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, Meena Harris, was also among celebrities and US activists expressing their support for the couple.
Prior to the interview airing, she tweeted: “Happy Meghan Markle appreciation day.”
She later tweeted, “She was suicidal and begged for help”, referring to Meghan’s confession, and “Her Majesty The Queen Oprah.”
She was suicidal and begged for help.
— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) March 8, 2021
American comedian Matt Bellassai tweeted: “The little inhales Meghan and Harry both take before dropping each bombshell……. the ‘I’m about to say this s*** to Oprah’ breath.”
Lord Alan Sugar said: “I just watched the Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah on US TV. Hmm … I’ll be interested to see the reaction in the UK tomorrow.”
When asked for his take on the interview, Lord Sugar replied “I have no comment!”
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Arguably the most damning allegation against the firm was of racism, when Meghan revealed there were “several conversations” about her son Archie’s skin tone.
Bernice King, the youngest child of the late civil rights activist Martin Luther King, tweeted: “Royalty is not a shield from the devastation and despair of racism.
“I’m grateful that #MeghanMarkle is still here.”
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Author Morgan Jenkins speculated that the race conversation was “probably worse than what we’re even imagining” because Harry did not elaborate on it.
Other social media users highlighted the similarities of the interview with Princess Diana’s infamous Panorama interview with Martin Bashir in 1995.
“The parallels between these two interviews almost 30 years apart. Mind-blowing and heartbreaking,” Twitter user Gina wrote.
The parallels between these two interviews almost 30 years apart. Mind-blowing and heartbreaking. #HarryandMeghanonOprahpic.twitter.com/DKzpcERI0b
— Gina (@GinaWatss) March 8, 2021
Social media also erupted when Meghan told Winfrey that it was the Duchess of Cambridge who reduced her to tears, not the other way around as many papers reported.
Activist Brittany Packnett also shared her views on this topic, tweeting: “The polarity is precisely the issue. The difference in treatment between Meghan and Kate is one of the clearest examples of the misogynoir at play & is a reminder that if they can do that to a Duchess, it’s happening to Black women *everyday*”.
Kate literally took Meghan to Wimbledon 2 years in a row. Kate is patron of Wimbledon and is there in a formal capacity and usually attends with William, she took Meghan too.
It was a united front and a public show of support against the feud stories. #OprahMeghanHarrypic.twitter.com/uP5EMV2ajs
— Kayla Adams (@KaylaAdams___) March 8, 2021
Others defended Kate, with royal watcher Kayla Adams writing: “Kate literally took Meghan to Wimbledon 2 years in a row. Kate is patron of Wimbledon and is there in a formal capacity and usually attends with William, she took Meghan too. It was a united front and a public show of support against the feud stories.”