Prince Harry said Meghan Markle was treated differently by the royals after the 2018 Australia tour

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Melissa Wiley
·3 min read
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Meghan Markle Prince Harry in Australia 2018
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit Bondi beach on October 19, 2018, in Sydney, Australia. Pool/Samir Hussein/Getty Images

In a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Sunday night, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said that royal life started taking a toll on Markle's wellbeing shortly after their marriage in May 2018, citing parallels to Princess Diana.

While Markle was well received by the royals at the beginning of their relationship, the dynamic "really changed" after the couple's 14-day tour of the South Pacific in October 2018, Harry told Winfrey.

The tour was "the first time that the family got to see how incredible she is at the job," Harry said, "and that brought back memories," referencing Princess Diana's 1983 Australia tour, featured in season 4 of "The Crown."

Princess Diana's six-week tour of Australia and New Zealand with Prince Charles from March to April of 1983 was her first official overseas tour. Australians were immediately smitten with Diana's easygoing manner, which created a rift between her and Charles, according to royal biographers.

"The crowds complained when Prince Charles went over to their side of the street during a walkabout ... In public, Charles accepted the revised status quo with good grace; in private he blamed Diana," Andrew Morton wrote in his 1992 biography "Diana: Her True Story."

"With the media attention came a lot of jealousy," Diana told the BBC in a 1995 broadcast, referring to Charles. "A great deal of complicated situations arose because of that."

Princess Diana First Royal Overseas Tour - Spring 1983 - Australia
Princess Diana First Royal Overseas Tour - Spring 1983 - Australia

Addressing Harry, Oprah summed up the episode of "The Crown" featuring the tour and asked if Harry saw parallels: "Your father and your mother went there, and your mother was bedazzling? So, are you saying that there were hints of jealousy?"

"I just wish that we would all learn from the past," Harry answered, adding that it was "effortless" for Markle to connect with people on their tour.

"Here you have one of the greatest assets to the Commonwealth that the family could have ever wished for," he said of his wife.

Earlier in the interview, Markle told Winfrey that the royals and the palace staff never acknowledged or defended her from the British press and that she had suicidal ideation as a result.

"It was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected, but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family," Markle said. "They weren't willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband."

The Oprah interview is the first Harry and Markle have participated in since stepping back from their royal duties in January 2020. Representatives for Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, and Kensington Palace didn't immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment for previous stories on the details of the interview listed below.

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