Amanda Gorman, the young Black American poet who famously performed at President Biden’s inauguration, spoke out against the British royals’ treatment of Meghan Markle on Sunday.
“Meghan was the Crown’s greatest opportunity for change, regeneration, and reconciliation in a new era,” she tweeted. “They didn’t just maltreat her light-- they missed out on it.”
By the time Gorman tweeted, Meghan and her husband, Prince Harry, had been broadcast all over the United States in an explosive two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey on CBS. During that interview, the Duke and Duchess alleged that members of the royal family had isolated Meghan, worried aloud about how dark her son’s skin would be, and denied her help when she was having suicidal thoughts.
“I just didn’t want to be alive anymore,” Meghan told Winfrey tearfully.
Gorman, the United States’ first youth poet laureate, responded in a series of five tweets.
“Meghan is living the life Diana should have,” she wrote, “if only those around her had been as brave as she was. Meghan isn’t living a life without pain, but a life without a prison.”
It’s that prison-like quality of life within the monarchy, as Meghan and Harry described it, that shocked many viewers on Sunday. Upon joining the royal family, Meghan said she was forced to turn over her keys, her passport, and her driver’s license. As a result, she said, when her mental health started to deteriorate, she was unable to go somewhere for treatment.
“I couldn’t, you know, call an Uber to the palace,” Meghan said.
Gorman, 23, won worldwide fame with her Inauguration Day recital of her poem, “The Hill We Climb.” In that performance, she depicted both an unsparing picture of American racism and a hopeful vision of the country’s future.
On Sunday, the poet expressed a similar outrage at the House of Windsor, which allegedly denied Meghan and Harry’s son Archie the title of prince because unnamed family members worried his skin would be too dark.
This may be part of the royals’ “missed” opportunity for a racial “reconciliation” that Gorman referred to in her tweet.
But as in “The Hill We Climb,” Gorman also found a glimmer of hope in the situation.
“Unclear if this will change the Royal family, but Meghan’s strength will certainly redefine family everywhere,” she tweeted. “Think of the women who will be inspired to stand up for their lives, the partners who will be kinder & more courageous than the kin they were born into.”