Indians can’t watch the Meghan-Harry interview—but that hasn’t stopped the meme flood

Can’t watch.
Can’t watch.
Image: Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Handout via REUTERS
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Netflix’s historical drama The Crown left in its wake an appetite for royal family drama in India.

And yet, the interview Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gave to Oprah Winfrey on March 7 is not yet accessible in India, at least not through legitimate or direct channels. Residents of a former British colony would want to—but can not—watch the former royals spill tea about the goings-on at Buckingham Palace.

While some of the content on CBS, the American broadcast partner for the explosive interview, is available to watch via YouTube in India, that was not the case for the Meghan-Harry interview.

Frantic queries on Reddit, Instagram, and Twitter have Indians asking where they could watch the interview that, at least according to the trailers, headlines, and the comments from Buckingham Palace, promises to be more dramatic than Netflix’s The Crown.

People who found Torrent links to download the interview shared non-specific tips on how to go about it. Downloading copyrighted material without its owner’s consent is illegal in India. Others suggested the use of virtual private networks, or VPNs, but those can be challenging to navigate for first-time users.

And yet, the allegations of racism that Markle levied against the monarchy seemed to have struck a familiar chord with Indians and the South Asian diaspora. Based on the short clips circulating on the internet, the conflict between Markle, Prince Harry, and Queen Elizabeth was given a uniquely Indian twist in memes.

Meghan-Harry memes

Many people on social media found the shock at the allegations of racism surprising, given that a long history of discrimination against people of colour has left them with an obsession with skin colour.

Others recreated the Indian soap opera version of Markle’s revelations to Winfrey.

A large Punjabi-speaking audience found parallels between what Markle said and the lyrics of popular Punjabi pop songs.

Others still found parallels between the royal family and popular Hindi television soaps that thrive on the tired cliches and conflicts between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law.