Royally changed: Evidence suggests Meghan has been deeply affected by her experiences as a Royal
Since Harry and Meghan’s March 7th interview with Oprah Winfrey, there have been countless assessments of the couples’ motivations, integrity, and truthfulness. Media outlets in both Europe and North America brought pundits on their shows to analyze the content of the interview - specifically Meghan’s side of the story - and share their opinions on the Duke and Duchesses’ exit from the British Royal Family.
The language we speak carries clues about who we are - indicators of our personality, our emotional state, and what drives our behaviour. Language analysis allows us to make inferences about who a person is and how they act, including how stable and genuine they are over time. In order to understand more about Meghan Markle’s frame of mind and motivations, we decided to analyze her language from the Oprah interview and compare it to interviews she’s given in the past.
Process & Findings
Our team collected public interviews with Meghan from before she became a member of the Royal Family, and created a baseline with which to compare her language from the interview with Oprah. These interviews date back to 2015, and are extremely useful when trying to assess how Meghan was communicating and feeling during her most recent interview. We scored Meghan’s language using all of our Receptiviti measures, and have drawn out the significant findings from our analysis of the data.
Our evidence suggests that while Meghan’s personality was largely consistent throughout all of her interviews, she was significantly burdened by the stress and anxiety of her situation with the Royal Family, and that she spoke to her experience with the Royal Family with confidence and authority.
Similarities and differences in personality
While her personality demonstrates stability, the significant increase in neuroticism suggests that she is speaking to certain subjects that are understandably more stressful than topics she’s previously discussed publicly.
While Meghan’s personality has remained consistent over the years, there were a number of key changes that suggest she’s been deeply affected by her experiences as a Royal. She has become far more melancholic and cautious, yet far less self-assured, trusting, and ambitious. These changes are indicative of someone who has been traumatized and likely changed as a person by her recent experiences.
Working through a difficult situation
Meghan’s language from the Oprah interview also suggests significant and noteworthy differences in cognitive load and analytical thinking. An increase in cognitive load suggests that an individual is devoting higher than normal effort towards thinking and problem-solving as they are still working through the subject matter. The increase in cognitive load manifested during the Oprah interview also significantly impacted Meghan’s analytical thinking – suggesting that Meghan was still working through the aftermath of her exit from the Royal Family.
Connecting with others and speaking with confidence
Despite the intensity of the subject matter during the Oprah interview, Meghan continued to show high levels of affiliation, suggesting her language is consistently focused on building relationships and connecting with others. Meghan also showed confidence and authority when speaking to her experience with the Royal Family as compared to her older interviews, suggesting she was speaking from a place of personal truth and authority.
Motivations and drivers behind the Oprah interview
Based on all of her interviews, Meghan doesn’t appear to be a person with an elevated need for power or fame. Her language from the Oprah interview indicates a slight increase in risk-seeking behaviour, which was likely increased due to the sensitivity of the subject matter and the discussion of personal and emotional details. However, Meghan’s overall language suggests she is not a person who engages in risk-seeking behaviour, and instead has a more tentative and apprehensive approach when speaking during interviews.
Based on our analysis of language from Meghan’s interviews, we do not see signs of narcissism, deception, or instability. Instead, we see someone who remains both deeply and negatively affected by her experience at a very personal level, and she is clearly still working through and trying to reconcile many of the challenges she has faced.