The former first lady talked to Today's Jenna Bush Hager about the recent Oprah interview.

By Ruth Kinane
March 16, 2021 at 11:26 AM EDT
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Michelle Obama has weighed in on Meghan Markle and  Prince Harry's sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey in which they accused an unnamed member of the royal family of racism.

On Tuesday, the former first lady sat down with Jenna Bush Hager on NBC's Today show and was asked her opinion on the revelations that came from the conversation with Winfrey.

"Public service, it's a bright, sharp, hot spotlight and most people don't understand it, nor should they," began Obama. "The thing that I always keep in mind is none of this is about us. In public service it's about the people that I serve. I always try to push the light back out and focus on the folks that we're actually here to serve."

Asked specifically about racist comments made by a member of the royal family about Markle and Prince Harry's unborn child, Obama added: "Race isn't a new construct in this world for people of color, so it wasn't a complete surprise to hear her feelings and to have them articulated."

She continued, "The thing that I hope for and the thing that I think about is, this first and foremost is a family and I pray for forgiveness and healing for them so that they can use this as a teachable moment for us all."

Michelle Obama; Meghan Markle
Credit: Jim Bennett/Getty Images; Samir Hussein/WireImage

In an interview with Winfrey that aired on CBS on March 7, Markle and Prince Harry shared that the press treatment in the U.K. and the lack of support from the royal family pushed the former actress to the point of contemplating suicide. Markle also shared that she felt silenced during her time as a royal living in Britain and that there were racist comments made about her future children.

In response to the interview, the Royal family said it was "saddened to "learn" of Markle and Prince Harry's challenges, and would handle the issues raised, including those of race, "privately."

In polls after the interview, it became clear that the British weren't taking the interview statements well. One survey showed that 50 percent of Britons felt the interview would hurt Markle and Prince Harry. Another showed that the couple's popularity in the UK had plummeted to a record low.

Like the Obamas, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have founded a new production company and signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce feature films, scripted series, documentaries, and children's programming since stepping back in their royal duties.

Obama's new 10-episode children's food series, Waffles + Mochi — designed to encourage kids to eat healthily — arrives on Netflix March 16.

Watch the Today video above.

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