Meghan Markle The Cut interview: Nelson Mandela’s family slam duchess

Nelson Mandela’s grandson has slammed Meghan Markle for comparing celebrations in South Africa following her wedding to the scenes of joy when the anti-Apartheid hero was freed from prison.

Zwelivelile ‘Mandla’ Mandela said he was “surprised” by her comments in her interview with The Cut, and said his grandfather’s release from jail “cannot be equated to as the same” as her royal wedding.

During the eye-opening interview, Meghan said a South African actor at the premiere of the Lion King in 2019 told her: “I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison.”

‘Mandla’ Mandela, who is an MP in South Africa, told MailOnline he was “surprised” by the comments.

“Madiba’s celebration was based on overcoming 350 years of colonialism with 60 years of a brutal apartheid regime in South Africa. So It cannot be equated to as the same,” he said.

He added that the celebration of his grandfather’s freedom was far more important her celebration of marrying “a white prince”.

“We are still bearing scars of the past. But they were a product of the majority of our people being brought out onto the streets to exercise the right of voting for the first time,” he added.

Meghan and Prince Harry met Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, during their visit to South Africa in 2019.

Meghan also took a fresh swipe at the Royal Family in the new interview, declaring that “just by existing”, she and Prince Harry were “upsetting the dynamic” of the institution.

The Duchess of Sussex said that while other members of the royal household had previously been allowed to step back from official duties, they were barred from doing “that exact thing”.

Meghan also said Prince Harry had confided in her how he had “lost” his father, Prince Charles, during the tumult over their relationship. Her unofficial spokesman Omid Scobie has since claimed she was referring to losing her own father, Thomas Markle.

The Cut interview, with Allison P Davis, took place at the Sussexes’ $US14.65 million ($A21.22 million) California home where they live with children Archie, 3 and Lilibet, 1. Meghan said the couple were wary about buying the house as “we didn’t have jobs” at the time.

But a couple of trees swung the deal.

“One of the first things my husband saw when we walked around the house was those two palm trees.

“See how they’re connected at the bottom? He goes, ‘My love, it’s us.’ 

“And now every day when Archie goes by us, he says, ‘Hi, Mumma. Hi, Papa.’”

She said when she walks into the house she feels “joy, calm”.

“It’s healing. You feel free,” she said.

Turning to her brief time in the heart of the royal family, the Duchess of Sussex said it was a “bittersweet” experience and that “none of it had to be this way”.

‘Just by existing, we were upsetting the royals’

The Duchess blamed the press as being behind many of her problems. And that was one of the reasons they approached the Queen about stepping back from some duties while making their own money and not being dependent on public funds.

“Then maybe all the noise would stop,” she said of the proposal.

As part of the plan, she said leaving Britain and the gaze of the press seemed like the best idea.

“Anything to just … because just by existing, we were upsetting the dynamic of the hierarchy. So we go, ‘OK, fine, let’s get out of here. Happy to.’”

The Duchess said the proposal wasn’t “reinventing the wheel,” but it was given short shrift. She saw that as double standards.

“That, for whatever reason, is not something that we were allowed to do, even though several other members of the family were do that exact thing.”

When asked why others were allowed to do what she and Prince Harry couldn’t, she said: “I don’t know.”

Harry: ‘I lost my dad’

The Duchess also pointed a finger at the media for putting a wedge between her family members and her husband’s – including Prince Charles.

“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 said it would take “a lot of effort” to forgive the royals.

“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.

“I have a lot to say until I don’t. Sometimes, as they say, the silent part is still part of the song.”

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