Prince Harry was ‘naive’: ‘I had no idea the British press was so bigoted’

Alright, we have some amazing updates from Prince Harry’s FAFO promotional tour for his memoir. Harry will appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert next Tuesday, the day Spare officially comes out. This will be Harry’s first late-night show appearance, unless we’re counting his pre-taped bit with James Corden two years ago. Colbert is a good choice for Harry – the interview will be funny, I’m sure, but Colbert is very good at the serious stuff, especially discussions about grief. I imagine there will be a conversation about Harry’s mother and grandmother.

Meanwhile, Good Morning America and 60 Minutes released new clips of their respective interviews with Harry – GMA’s interview airs on Monday morning, 60 Minutes on Sunday evening. In this GMA clip, Michael Strahan asked Harry how he thinks his mother would feel about his rift with William. Harry says: “I think she would be sad… I think she’d be looking at it long term to know that there are certain things that we need to go through to be able to heal the relationship….I’ve felt the presence of my mum more so in the last two years than I have in the last 30.”

And here’s the new clip from 60 Minutes, where Anderson Cooper asks Harry about racism and bigotry. He says that Meghan’s experience in the royal family was “similar” to what Kate and Camilla experienced, “but then you add in the race element…which was the press, the British press, jumped on straight away. I went into this incredibly naive. I had no idea the British press was so bigoted. How I was probably bigoted… before the relationship with Meghan.” When Anderson asks if Harry really thinks he was bigoted before Meghan, Harry replies “I don’t know. Put it this way: I didn’t see what I now see.”

Photos courtesy of ‘60 Minutes’/CBS.

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62 Responses to “Prince Harry was ‘naive’: ‘I had no idea the British press was so bigoted’”

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  1. Noki says:

    I see now why the Netflix docu held back because Harry was getting ready to unleash in his memoir and promotional tour. He wanted Meghan to be protected and come after them solo.

  2. girl_ninja says:

    before the relationship with Meghan.” When Anderson asks if Harry really thinks he was bigoted before Meghan, Harry replies “I don’t know. Put it this way: I didn’t see what I now see.”

    Of course he was bigoted before. Of course he was. He sees it now because someone he loves was attacked by that vile pack of rats in klan hoods. That why he IS able to see now. It’s a tough way to realize the truth but I’m glad for his sake AND Meghan’s sake he does see it. Many people in IR relationships still don’t see it. Couldn’t be me.

  3. Lolo86lf says:

    It really has to hurt for Harry or anyone for that matter to see one’s wife being attacked and rejected because of her ethnicity. The BM and the RF have no heart.

  4. IForget says:

    Personally, I do think there was a degree where he was bigoted before he met Meghan. A lot of people need to experience something firsthand before it really sinks in, if you’ve not already started doing ‘the work.’ I’m sure I don’t need to elaborate on what ‘the work’ means, as y’all are generally familiar with what that means, and demonstrate that you have already done so yourselves 🙂

    I grew up in Canada, and moved to the UK 9 years ago. I thought the tabloid culture of the US/Canada was awful, but then when I moved to the UK, I realised it was small potatoes in comparison. The mail, s*n, mirror, all of them, are henious. There is so much trauma in the nation here, and as an outsider, I feel like there is such a hesitancy towards change, that it feels that generally people are emotionally constipated. Worst of all, when someone points it out, they have no idea how to react, because they are afraid of ‘the work’ for various reasons. The reaction is anger, denigration, and unfortunately, abuse. It feels so normalised in a way. Happiness and contentment seem to be generally derived from maintaining the status quo, keeping blinders on, or even burying your head in the sand. I think Elizabeth II had such an influence on culture and society in this way.

    • Nick G says:

      I don’t live in Britain, but was born there and have family and friends there.This is as perceptive an analysis of the British mindset today as I’ve ever read.

      • IForget says:

        Awe thank you for saying that!

        Obviously there’s something to like here as I’m living here. I’m dating a Londoner, I have plenty of English friends. They’re not all like that, but I feel like I went backwards in time when I moved here. My friends here think I’m incredibly switched on an emotionally intelligent, but compared to my friends back home, I really don’t think I am.

        It sounds a bit tin-foily, but I think there’s a strong force at play keeping us apathetic, coming from multiple places (government, society, culture, royalty, etc). It’s just enough carrot to prevent us from questioning the stick. There’s a real hatred towards people who put their head above the parapet in ways deemed ‘unacceptable’ by the powers that be, in my opinion.

      • Nick G says:

        @IForget i don’t think it’s tin-folly, it’s real. As a product of colonial society (English school, teachers, friends, parental influences) I felt it growing up, and it took moving to North America and marrying a Canadian to open my eyes. I will always love Britain, but there’s a lot that’s unconscious and unexplored that needs to come to the surface. IMO.

    • fishface says:

      I was born and raised in the ‘colonies’ – my mother’s family were from the UK. I have UK citizenship and have lived there at various stages of my life. I agree with IForget – and would add that the emotional constipation, the furore around Brexit, what is happening now, and of course, the institutionalised scapegoating of Meghan Markle, all stem from the elite in the UK never having come to terms with the fact that it is no longer an empire. That “white is right” is undeniably wrong on so many levels. That this muddy little island has been reduced to irrelevance in the past century because those who believed they had an inalienable right to rule were incapable of changing and acknowledging that their former global domination was achieved by bloodshed and theft. Instead, they have blamed all their failures and inadequacies on immigrants, the EU, people of colour…all the while selling their souls to money-laundering kleptocrats, gangsters and oil monarchs. The reality is – and always has been – that the polished manners of the public school-educated upper classes is nothing more than the flimsiest veneer of civility covering up feudal entitlement to lord it over the masses.

  5. Tessa says:

    Camilla had the backing of Charles and p r machine. She did not experience what Meghan did. Harry’s mother was the one who was slammed by penny, Ingrid and others during the Camilla campaign.

    • IForget says:

      Exactly. Furthermore, the things the press were accusing her of, were true. Being an adulterer, gaslighting Diana, etc. It’s not nice to be publicly shamed, but also, it’s completely different when it’s actually the truth.

    • Becks1 says:

      Come on Tessa. I know you hate Camilla with the fire of a thousand suns, lol, but we can’t act like the press was nice to her. Even with the accusations being correct, she got it so much worse than Charles when his actions were worse, since he was the one married to Diana.

      I agree that Charles did protect Camilla overall, but for a while there in the mid 90s Camilla got it pretty bad. It may have been deserved, but it was still pretty bad. Plenty of people have done a lot worse and weren’t treated the way she was.

      • IForget says:

        I wouldn’t say Camilla deserved it. I don’t think anyone deserves this, and am not a subscriber of ‘an eye for an eye.’ The press was not nice to her, and I think you pointed out something important, which is that plenty of people have done worse and weren’t treated as badly. There is a misogyny element here that cannot be ignored.

        However, I still maintain that Meghan had it exponentially worse than Kate or Camilla. Camilla is a homewrecker who gaslit Diana. Kate rarely works and didn’t work as a young woman, and constantly flashed people her bum during work and play time. It’s not nice to highlight that in the press, but Meghan did not do any of the things she was accused of in the press, plus of course the racist elements were there as well.

      • Tessa says:

        I do not hate anybody. I freely admit i don’t like her. But my posts complained about Charles silence when Meghan got lambasted. He and not Camilla had the influence to put an end to it. Shame on Charles. Yes and I admit I don’t like charles.

      • Becks1 says:

        @IForget oh I completely think Meghan had it worse, no argument there from me at all. I’m not saying what Camilla or Kate experienced was as bad or worse than Meghan, not at all.

      • IForget says:

        For sure Becks1, I didn’t think you were 🙂

        I think Harry is clever for going more after William than Kate. I think he recognises the power dynamics. I think it’s interesting he’s also going after Camilla. She has so much power, and possibly equal power dynamics with Charles.

      • MsIam says:

        I think the difference between Camilla’s and Meghan’s treatment by the press is the involvement of the palace machine in the attacks against Meghan. Like they say, the calls were coming from inside the house.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        Tessa is my spirit animal. We are united in our feelings towards KC3, Rottweiler and Diana. Ha!

  6. Seaflower says:

    The amount of work he has done on himself and his level of self awareness now is inspiring

    • Miranda says:

      And his family will never forgive him for being living proof of the potential for change through self-examination and a willingness to truly listen and be educated. If Harry, who since birth has been among the most privileged people in the world, can enlighten himself like that, it completely undermines the very premise of an institution that takes for granted that some people have magical blood and are predestined to rule over others because of it.

      • Seaflower says:


      • Maxine Branch says:

        Totally agree.

      • Mary Pester says:

        His family will never forgive him for tearing down the curtains that hid the complete sht show that goes on behind them. He has shown how the Royals brief the press on what they WANT them to print and not what ACTUALLY happened. He was used as a human shield for William, even planting negative stories about harry and meghan while they were waiting for the press to remove the video of William screaming at someone. They even printed negative stories about them to deflect from the waleses desaterous tour of the Caribbean. I asked a reporter why he hadn’t asked Williams office why they went to Boston for their earthshot celeb show as none of the recipients were there. He said they had, but were told people didn’t want to know that!!! He also said “look who lives in the US and are gaining popularity and plaudits for their work. So in other words, they were even trying their one up manship on Harry there, and that failed as well. I also bet that it never sees the light of day that William tried to get the Queen to make Harry give him invictus when he saw how successful it was, but this once the Queen told him NO

    • Lola09 says:

      Agreed. The press and the institution are mocking him for going to therapy….um, hello? Ever think you could benefit from some?? Just in case, y’know you have any untreated anger issues, eating disorder, zero emotional intelligence, anything like that? The arrogance is breathtaking.

  7. Tessa says:

    Charles should have given Meghan the same press protection he gave Camilla. His inaction speaks volumes.

  8. Thelma says:

    I’m in awe of Harry’s self-awareness and bravery. Can’t be easy to take a hard look at yourself and family. The British press is racist and has shown little inclination to change. But as an American maybe I’m missing pockets of sanity in the UK media. At the end it’s Harry’s story to tell…not theirs or anyone else’s. #goodkingharry #dianaforever

    • BeanieBean says:

      This is growth, this is what self-awareness looks like. He grew up in a bubble of privilege few can even understand. First serving in the Army then meeting & falling in love with Meghan, and his perspective changed. Good for Harry! He’s setting a great example, difficult though it may be, too much for some, not enough for others.

  9. Ginny says:

    CANNOT WAIT for the Colbert interview. No one in the late night space is better than Stephen at having conversations of substance about difficult, nuanced things.

    • Allegra says:

      +1 ! I was already thinking Colbert would be the perfect late night host for Harry. So much better than James Corden.

      Remember Colbert’s interview with John Oliver????

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      It will probably be a hilarious tearjerker. Like the best rom-com. Can’t wait!

    • QuiteContrary says:

      I can’t wait for the Colbert interview, either.

      For the Brits among us: What makes Colbert unique is his personal story. The youngest of 11 siblings, he lost two older brothers and his father in a plane crash when he was just 10.

      I think it’s interesting that Harry has chosen two interviewers — Anderson Cooper and Colbert — who experienced life-altering grief as children.

  10. Becks1 says:

    Of course he was bigoted before he met Meghan. He was born and raised in an institution and aristocracy built on white supremacy and gatekeeping (i.e. keeping “others” out.) I mean I am of the opinion that most (all?) white people are bigoted or racist in some aspects. We may not want to be, and speaking for myself I will tell you that I constantly work on examining myself and I am certainly much more aware of microaggressions than I was 5, 10 years ago – but I am not a saint and I know I still do and say things that are probably bigoted.

    How could Harry not be bigoted? He’s doing the work though now. And I love that part of that work is calling out the British press for being bigoted. They’re going to fall over themselves for the next week insisting they’re not bigoted by dragging Harry’s black wife and blaming her for everything.

    Also, I want to point out that I’ve been saying for MONTHS that he was going to go on Colbert. I KNEW IT lololol.

    • Ciotog says:

      All of us swim in a sea of racism. Of course we are affected by it, of course we internalize it. The more white people who acknowledge that, the better. That’s how you become an anti-racist.

    • MrsCope says:

      You really did call it long ago, haha!

      • Becks1 says:

        It was because Colbert was mentioning the royals a lot around the funeral and such, and he mocked W&Ks Boston trip, but almost never mentioned Harry’s name. It was a very pointed omission in my opinion. I thought it was clear that the interview was already scheduled at that point.

  11. CooCoo Catchoo says:

    Imagine enduring years of emotional, psychological, and physical abuse by people who are, quite literally, above the law. The British tabloid media has made a fortune vilifying the victims of that abuse. Thankful that Harry and Meghan had the resources to get as far away as possible from those vipers.

  12. Bitsycs says:

    I personally think a lot of people (esp youngish white people) leading up to the 2014-2016 era were incredibly naive about racism/bigotry and I count myself among that group. I realize that is a US informed perspective but I think a lot of white people especially thought we were making progress and moving forward.

    Idk whenever I see discussion of this and with Meghan too, I think of the general naïveté that I feel existed prior to Brexit/its fallout and in the US: Ferguson police killing of Michael Brown, election in 2016…and a little earlier with the murder of Trayvon Martin. I just think a lot of people – especially youngish white people – thought we were further along than we are and that was esp true in the lead up to 2016, which is when Harry and Meghan got together.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I’m embarrassed to say I’m one of those white Americans who thought we’d been making social progress, particularly on the thorny issues of racial inequalities, seeing a slow march forward from the Brown v. Board of Education decision in the 1950s, through actual marches in the ’60s for justice, to the passage of the Civil Rights Act & so on. How naive, how so embarrassingly naive I’ve been. My eyes & brain have been opened these past several years.

      • Carrot says:

        @BeanieBean I really thought the US was making so much positive change in social awareness too and I’m a person with a mixed race, mixed national heritage

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Bitsycs, I was also someone who thought the same. Then in the later 90s a friend commented to me that racism isn’t gone it just went underground (in our area, I have no idea about the South). She gave me some examples. Since that time, I’ve been much more vigilant–it truly is a life-long process to undo what has been ingrained in us. I’m not glad how we got to today, but I’m glad that we’re again talking about it and fighting it. I hope that we’ve finally figured out that it is going to take time and we have to continue to be vigilant for a long time, but I really am hopeful that we’re going to get there. I keep thinking of the younger generation–they’re not going to let us stop!

  13. Becks1 says:

    He says he didn’t realize how bigoted the PRESS was. I’m sure he knew there was racism in the UK, but he probably saw it in a much more black and white issue, so to speak. He probably thought if someone wasn’t flat out saying “I won’t hire because you’re black,” then it wasn’t racism.

    • Thea says:

      “He probably thought if someone wasn’t flat out saying “I won’t hire because you’re black,” then it wasn’t racism.”

      Spot on, @Becks1. I’m not sure if there is a different understanding or perception of “racism” in the UK/British mindset, but I think this is the reason why William and other Royals believe they are not racist. They’re not thinking about the harmful impact of their actions or inaction. They’re thinking they deign to stand next to, talk to or touch Black or other persons of colour and go visit the countries with Black/brown people, so therefore they are not racist. It’s a very antiquated definition of racism, just like everything else with the Royals.

  14. C-Shell says:

    We are not even a week into 2023 and this is already the cultural event of the year that we will be talking about for months. The upheaval Harry will cause with his brutal honesty in this book and these interviews cannot yet be calculated. The influence that Harry and Meghan have garnered since they’ve started their lives separate from the Firm is global and reaches the highest levels. The quaintly vile BRF and BM don’t have the heft to cause lasting damage to the Sussexes because THEY WILL BE DEFENDED. Rather, they should be looking to their own flanks. Harry and Meghan are brilliant to put every bit of this in the public domain. Their lives are literally in danger because of the hate and smear campaigns leveled on them for years. Call them all out, kids. Name names.

    Anyway, I’ll be glued to the television Sunday and Monday, then reading and listening all day Tuesday!

    • Maxine Branch says:

      C-Shell you nailed it and I will be watching as well. Meghan and Harry have established a lot of currency and as vile as the gutter media is, I do believe the Sussexes will be left standing tall. Much of what Harry is sharing, needs to be said.

    • Concern Fae says:

      I don’t know. Looking at the replies on some of the Page Six tweets, I’m seeing the full Amber Heard treatment being applied. Curious whether it will stick. I’m seeing some of the “cool kids” entertainment writers, who generally celebrate diversity, treating Harry as a bit cringe.

      • Emily_C says:

        Those “cool kids” writers only celebrate diversity in the most shallow of ways. When someone actually is different, all the way through — when they challenge power structures or preconceived notions — those “cool kids” don’t like it at all. They didn’t get to be “cool” by actually challenging things. They also didn’t get to be “cool” by admitting they truly care about anything.

  15. Deanne from Canada says:

    With all of these excerpts, clips, anecdotes, you all must realize his entire plan is to suck out the oxygen from the British Media who uses / would use all of Harry’s “dirty laundry” as salacious news to in lieu of BRF naughty bits. From a macro lens, all these moves shout: Come at me! Pick your fight with me! I’m far from perfect. I have made endless mistakes (ones you have used to tarnish my name ) and I am done with this entire Institution & BRF info wars. I was a naive entitled sheltered moron and now I’m owning it all.”

    On a side note, Tamara Ecclestone (k+W’a neighbour) posted a random photo of Kate with her kids on Halloween standing before a large wrought iron gate trick or treating. One: where’s Willy? Two: it’s nice to know how rich people knock on doors (it just strikes me as funny (odd)).

    • ChewieNYC says:

      I saw that photo from “Halloween” except the kids aren’t even in costume? Is that common in England to not dress up for Trick or Treating?

      • Deanne from Canada says:

        @chewienyc. Yes! I took the lack of costume to be jarring. Like: are they just wearing Marvel tee-shirts are call that dressing up? I lived in France and going trick or treating is not a thing. Dressing up – is kinda recognized but not the door to door candy grab.

        I viewed the photo as a reflective portrait of Kate as a single parent. That parenting rests solely on HER SHOULDERS. This may be the slow drip showing that W is not the happy daddy but a lonely rage monster. I suspect Kate’s circle who pity her will unload more bits. It will be interesting to watch.

    • Mrazi says:

      @Deanne This is exactly the conclusion that I have come to. If Harry puts it all out there, there’s nothing that the media can then reveal about him. Nothing to hold over his head, like they do with Willy, Charles and the rest. Harry has essentially removed himself from that cage that the rest are stuck in. It is brilliant in some ways.

      I just hope that when we get to read the book, everything falls into place given context. Some things pulled out as quotes are quite odd like the William balding thing.

  16. Noor says:

    The press and the experts are not only bigoted but they are prejudiced and bias for or against an individual like Meghan and Harry ,and the press is biased on behalf of institutions like the monarchy .

    Where is the much vaunted press line that they hold the rich and the powerful to account.

  17. Tessa says:

    Kate was a lot more by the media than Meghan. Adoring articles were out and excuses made for het being work shy
    Like she and will needed to not work much so they could spend time together, the queen wanted them to have something like the Malta time she had with philip, Kate had to learn the ropes and research her charities all that behind the scenes work. Meghan on the other hand had nasty articles about her each day.

  18. Beverley says:

    The British press IS viciously and unapologetically racist. It’s obvious that the British media feels comfortable enough to be openly bigoted, which means they are CONFIDENT that the majority of their readers agree with and approve of the virulently racist coverage. Hating biracial Duchess Meghan has become a national pastime – no, a national SPORT – and appears to be financially and spiritually supported by an enthusiastic national readership.

    This tells the rest of the world all we need to know.

  19. Sue says:

    I’m reminded of how John Lennon and Yoko Ono left the UK for New York because the press so was disgustingly bigoted toward her.

  20. JMW says:

    Coming from a family of mixed races, I cannot tell you the number of times my white family members have said the exact same thing Harry said “I did not see what I now see”. If you think that is something, my biracial family members including my grandchildren all have this feeling of not being Black enough or White enough. Cruelty based on skin color is ugly, vile, and just plain wrong.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      JMW, this breaks my heart. Did it ever occur to people to simply agree they’re CHILDREN. Good God, what does the color of their skin matter.