Duchess Meghan: Just by existing, we were upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy

The Duchess of Sussex covers the latest issue of The Cut!! This is Meghan’s first print interview since her pre-engagement Vanity Fair cover interview in the fall of 2019. It’s a doozy too – Meghan invited Allison P. Davis into the Sussexes’ Montecito home, and Davis got to meet Archie, Lilibet and Harry too. Meghan had a lot to say about healing, moving on from the Windsors and the f–king ordeal that she’s been through. This is obviously to promote Archetypes, her already-successful Spotify podcast. Some highlights from the interview, which you can read here.

She’s getting back on Instagram: “Do you want to know a secret? I’m getting back … on Instagram,” she says, her eyes alight and devilish. “Especially now, with Archetypes coming out.” Later, Meghan would relay she was no longer sure she would actually return to Instagram.

Giving up her old IG, The Tig, her passport, and the freedom to open her own mail when she married Harry: “It was a big adjustment — a huge adjustment to go from that kind of autonomy to a different life… There’s literally a structure by which if you want to release photos of your child, as a member of the family, you first have to give them to the Royal Rota. 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.”

She is still very aware that people see her as a princess. “It’s important to be thoughtful about it because — even with the Oprah interview, I was conscious of the fact that there are little girls that I meet and they’re just like, ‘Oh my God, it’s a real-life princess.’  I just look at all of them and think, You have the power within you to create a life greater than any fairy tale you’ve ever read. I don’t mean that in terms of ‘You could marry a prince one day.’ I mean you can find love. You can find happiness. You can be up against what could feel like the greatest obstacle and then you can find happiness again.”

An appearance by Harry: “We’re fixing all these things, the pipes, but that’s a whole story in itself,” Harry explains, exasperated. The day before, while Meghan was on the photo shoot for this issue, Harry had been left to his own devices, he tells me. “You were gone for, like, ten hours yesterday,” he marvels to his wife. “Tell her the first thing you said when you got back last night,” he says, turning to me. “She said, ‘I’m not a model.’ “I was like, ‘No, you are, of course you can be a model.’ And she’s like, ‘I’m a mom!’ And it’s like, ‘You can be both.’”

Starting their new lives: “I think we always knew the first few years of creating this new life from scratch were going to be the busiest — ” says Harry. “Well, it’s a start-up,” Meghan interjects. “We were building a business. During lockdown — ” And then Harry interjects, “With everyone weighing in. If you do something, they criticize you. If you don’t do anything, they criticize you anyway. It’s a lot, but …” “Oh, and then having a baby in the middle of it all, casually,” Meghan jokes.

The reports of a docuseries: But, Meghan explains, there’s a difference between a historical documentary and a reality docuseries. “The piece of my life I haven’t been able to share, that people haven’t been able to see, is our love story,” she says, then quotes what she says was the end of a speech she gave at her wedding, in which she took comfort in the “resounding knowing that, above all, love wins.” She adds, “I hope that is the sentiment that people feel when they see any of the content or the projects that we are working on.” I ask again if what they are currently filming is a documentary about their love story. “What’s so funny is I’m not trying to be cagey,” she says. “I don’t read any press. So I don’t know what’s confirmed. I will tell you Liz Garbus is incredible. Liz Garbus also worked on Pearl.” Meghan says she’s going to leave it to her publicist and Netflix to decide what can be shared. (Not much.) As for the rest of her projects, she explains, “When the media has shaped the story around you, it’s really nice to be able to tell your own story.”

Salt and pepper are always passed together. “She said, ‘You never move one without the other.’ That’s me and Harry. We’re like salt and pepper. We always move together.”

When they returned to the UK for the Jubbly, she finally got to pack up Frogmore: “You go back and you open drawers and you’re like, Oh my gosh. This is what I was writing in my journal there? And here’s all my socks from this time?’… It was bittersweet, you know? Knowing none of it had to be this way.”

She had tried to play royal. “I​​ was an actress. My entire job was ‘Tell me where to stand. Tell me what to say. Tell me how to say it. Tell me what to wear, and I’ll do it.’ And I’ll show up early, and I’ll probably bake something for the crew.”

The Sussexit: They also thought it best to leave the U.K. (and the U.K. press) to do it. They were willing to go to basically any commonwealth, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, anywhere. “Anything to just … because just by existing, we were upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy. So we go, ‘Okay, fine, let’s get out of here. Happy to,’ ” she says, putting her hands up in mock defeat. Meghan asserts that what they were asking for wasn’t “reinventing the wheel” and lists a handful of princes and princesses and dukes who have the very arrangement they wanted. “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.”

The podcast: “It’s so real. I feel different. I feel clearer. It’s like I’m finding — not finding my voice. I’ve had my voice for a long time, but being able to use it.”

On their fathers: “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.”

She never signed an NDA: “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.” Why doesn’t she talk? “Still healing,” she responds.

On forgiveness: “I think forgiveness is really important. It takes a lot more energy to not forgive. But it takes a lot of effort to forgive. I’ve really made an active effort, especially knowing that I can say anything,” she says, her voice full of meaning. And then she is silent. She breathes in and smiles and breathes out and says, “I have a lot to say until I don’t. Do you like that? Sometimes, as they say, the silent part is still part of the song.”

[From The Cut]

I’m sorry, this whole thing is amazing. Exactly the right tone too – she’s healing but she’s in a much better place, and you can tell. She’s happier. She’s relearned autonomy and Harry is learning it for the first time. She’s making it very clear that their family bond is solid and they’re creating their own community in Montecito, and there are divisions in Sussex-ville. She still has scars from the Vile Years in Salt Island and she’s free to talk about those experiences, and she will choose when and where to have those conversations. “…Because just by existing, we were upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy.” LMAO. So true. They still are. Anyway I’m still absorbing this interview! I will have more to say about all of this in the hours and days to come. Y’all know Salt Island is going apesh-t right now. Heads are exploding.

📷: @CampbellAddy pic.twitter.com/Xv3QXF8Hli

— The Cut (@TheCut) August 29, 2022

📷: @CampbellAddy pic.twitter.com/3TEVt8So3L

— The Cut (@TheCut) August 29, 2022

Cover & photos courtesy of The Cut.

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