Meghan Markle: I think I can very safely say, as naive as it sounds now, having gone through this learning curve in the past year and a half, I did not have any understanding of just what it would be like. I don’t think either of us did though, we both said that even though we knew that it would be…
Prince Harry: I tried… to warn you as much as possible but I think both of us were totally surprised by the reaction after the first five, six months when we had to ourselves of what actually happened from then. So I think you can have as many conversations as you want and try and prepare as much as possible but we were totally unprepared for what happened after that.
Int: The scrutiny?
Prince Harry: Well all sorts.
Meghan Markle: Well I mean, I think also, because … there’s a misconception that because I have worked in the entertainment industry that this would be something I would be familiar with. But even though I’d been on my show for six years at that point, and working before that, I have never been part of tabloid culture. I’ve never been in pop culture to that degree and lived a relatively quiet life even though I focused so much on my job and so that was a really stark difference out of the gate. But… and I think we were just hit so hard at the beginning with a lot of mistruths that I made the choice to not read anything, positive or negative it just didn’t make sense and instead we focused all of our energies just on nurturing our relationship.
Prince Harry: On us.
Meghan Markle: On us.
Int: And some of that scrutiny – and you ended up making a very public statement about that – some of that scrutiny was centred around your ethnicity Meghan. When you realised that, what did you think?
Meghan Markle: Of course it’s disheartening. You know it’s a shame that that is the climate in this world, to focus that much on that , or that that would be discriminatory in that sense, but I think you know at the end of the day I’m really just proud of who I am and where I come from, and we have never put any focus on that we’ve just focused on who we are as a couple. And so when you take all those extra layers away, and all of that noise I think it makes it really easy to just enjoy being together and tune all the rest of that out.
Int: But now that it is all official, Prince Harry, do you have that sense that the combination of the two of you, your different backgrounds, that you together represent something new for the royal family?
Harry: I don’t know if it’s something new, I think it’s, you know it’s … for me it’s an added member of the family. It’s another team player as part of the bigger team, and for all of us all we want to do is be able to carry out the right engagements, carry out our work and try and encourage others and the younger generation to be able to see the world in the correct sense rather than perhaps being, having a distorted view. So the fact that I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was sort of confirmation to me that everything, all the stars were aligned, everything was just perfect. It was this beautiful woman just sort of literally tripped and fell into my life, I fell into her life. And the fact, I know the fact that she’ll be really unbelievably good at the job part of it as well is obviously a huge relief to me because she’ll be able to deal with everything else that comes with it. But we’re a fantastic team, we know we are, and we hope to over time try and have as much impact for all the things we care about as much as possible.
Ms Markle: I am very excited about that, yeah.
Int: And Meghan given your acting and the profile you had, you’ve already been involved with various causes, you’ve been an ambassador for UN women. What about this new role? You’re going to have a bigger platform, a bigger voice, what do you want to do with it?
Meghan Markle: I mean…
Prince Harry: Sing.
Meghan Markle: (laughs) Can you imagine? No. I’m not a singer. I think what’s been really exciting is we talk about the transition of this, out of my career but into the role is that, as you said the causes that have been very important to me I can focus even more energy on, because very early out of the gate I think you realise once you have access or a voice that people are willing to listen to, with that comes a lot of responsibility, which I take seriously.
And at the same time I think in these beginning few months and now being boots on the ground in the UK I’m excited to just really get to know more about the different communities here, smaller organisations who are working on the same causes that I’ve always been passionate about under this umbrella, and also being able to go round the Commonwealth, I think it’s just the beginning.
Prince Harry: There’s a lot to do. There’s a lot to do.
Int: And it’s an immense change. You’re getting a new country out of it. A husband, obviously.
Prince Harry: Sounds nice doesn’t it?
Meghan Markle: It does sound nice.
Int: (to Meghan Markle) But also giving up your career.
Meghan Markle. Yes. But I don’t see it as giving anything up. I just see it as a change.
Prince Harry: It’s a new challenge.
Meghan Markle: It’s a new chapter. Right? And also, keep in mind, I’ve been working on my show for seven years, so we were very, very fortunate to be able to have that sort of longevity on a series, and for me, once we hit the 100th episode marker I thought ‘You know what? I have ticked this box’ and I feel really proud of the work I’ve done there and now it’s time to, as you said, work as a team with you.
Int: But do you have that sense of responsibility, Prince Harry, for what you’re asking Meghan to do?
Prince Harry: Of course, that sense of responsibility was essentially from day one or maybe a couple of months in, when I suddenly realised actually this is… I feel, I know that I’m in love with this girl, and I hope that she’s in love with me, but we still had to sit down on the sofa. I still had to have some pretty frank conversations with her to say, you know what you’re letting yourself in for, is …it’s a big deal and it’s not…it’s not easy for anybody. But I know that at the end of the day she chooses me, and I choose her, and therefore whatever we have to tackle together or individually we’ll always be us together as a team, so I think she’s capable…
Meghan Markle: That’s so nicely said, isn’t it?
Prince Harry: …She’s capable of anything
Meghan Markle: Thank you
Prince Harry: And together as I said there’s a hell of a lot of stuff and work that needs doing. At the moment for us it’s going to be making sure our relationship is always put first. But both of us have passions for wanting to make change, change for good, and with lots of young people running around the Commonwealth that’s where we’re going to spend most of our time hopefully.
Meghan Markle: And it was really one of the first things we connected on. It was one of the first things we started talking about when we met was just the different things that we wanted to do in the world and how passionate we were about seeing change. I think that was, that’s what’s got date two in the books probably (laughs).
Prince Harry: Plenty to talk about.
Prince Harry: Not currently, no. No, of course, you know, I think one step at a time, and hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future.
Int: You’ve met each other’s families I imagine?
Meghan Markle: Yes, his family’s been so welcoming.
Prince Harry: You’ve met quite a few of them actually.
Meghan Markle: I have, on both sides of his family, his mum’s side as well, which has been really important to me too. But yes, the family has been great, and over the past year and a half we’ve just had a really nice time getting to know them and progressively helping me feel a part of, not just the institution, but also part of the family which has been really special.
Prince Harry: Trying to track them down and make sure that they’re around at the same time that she’s popping in without telling too many people … we’ve managed, we’ve actually done incredibly well to make sure that you’ve met all the key people.
Int: So does that mean a lot of the time that you’ve been together in this last year and a half, you’ve been at home a lot?
Prince Harry: Yes, we’ve had to sort of reverse the whole process, and cosy nights in, in front of the television, cooking dinner just the two of us by ourselves in our little cottage, rather than going out for dinner and being seen in public, so we have, we’ve reversed the whole process which … it’s provided different opportunities, and it’s made us a hell of a lot closer in a shorter space of time without question.
Meghan Markle: That’s true.
Prince Harry: So if anybody else at home is listening then maybe slow down on dates and maybe spend more time at home. But, for us, it’s an opportunity to really get to know each other without other people looking or trying to take photos on their phones and all that kind of stuff. That comes with the job, comes with the role.
Meghan Markle: And we were able to really get to know each other that way, but also then to go and have friends over for dinner or to go to his family’s for tea or…. any of those sort of things and even you know just to take the time to be able to go on long country walks and just talk.
Prince Harry: We’ve been all over the place.
Int: Have you met the Queen?
Meghan Markle: I have, yes.
Prince Harry: A couple of times.
Meghan Markle: Yes, true, a couple of times.
Int: What was that like?
Meghan Markle: It’s incredible, I think, you know, a) to be able to meet her through his lens, not just with his honour and respect for her as the monarch, but the love that he has for her as his grandmother, all of those layers have been so important for me so that when I met her I had such a deep understanding and of course incredible respect for being able to have that time with her. And we’ve had a really, she’s, she’s an incredible woman.
Prince Harry: And the corgis took to you straight away.
Meghan Markle: That’s true.
Prince Harry: I’ve spent the last 33 years being barked at; this one walks in, absolutely nothing …
Meghan Markle: Just laying on my feet during tea, it was very sweet.
Prince Harry: … just wagging tails and I was just like argh.
Int: That has to be a good sign. Speaking of dogs, have you brought yours to the UK?
Meghan Markle: Well I have two dogs that I’ve had for quite a long time, both my rescue pups. And one is now staying with very close friends and my other little guy is, yes he’s in the UK, he’s been here for a while.