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Britain Braces for Fallout as Meghan and Harry’s Interview Airs


Credit score…Daniel Leal-Olivas/Agence France-Presse — Getty Pictures

A yr after Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in a fairy-tale marriage ceremony, she mentioned in a rare interview broadcast on Sunday evening, her life as a member of the British royal household had grow to be so emotionally desolate that she contemplated suicide.

At one other level, family members advised Harry and Meghan, a biracial former actress from the USA, that they didn’t need the couple’s unborn youngster, Archie, to be a prince or princess, and expressed issues about how darkish the colour of the infant’s pores and skin can be.

An emotional however self-possessed Meghan mentioned of her suicidal ideas: “I was ashamed to have to admit it to Harry. I knew that if I didn’t say it, I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”

Meghan, 39, made the disclosures in an eagerly anticipated, and at occasions incendiary, interview on CBS with Oprah Winfrey that aired in the USA in prime time. The interview was broadcast at 9 p.m. Monday on ITV in Britain.

In describing a royal life that started as a fairy story however rapidly turned suffocating and merciless, Meghan’s blunt solutions raised the flamable problems with race and privilege in probably the most rarefied echelon of British society.

Listed below are the primary takeaways from the interview.

This briefing has ended.

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Boris Johnson Refuses to Talk about Royal Household Drama

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain was questioned concerning the latest claims made by Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Prince Harry and his spouse, Meghan.

Maybe the perfect factor I can say is that I’ve at all times had the best admiration for the queen, and the unifying position that she performs in our nation and throughout the Commonwealth. And as for the remaining, all different issues to do with the royal household, I’ve spent a very long time not commenting on royal household issues, and I don’t intend to depart from that right now. I congratulate you in your very decided try to contain me on this story greater than I’ve mentioned all already. However I actually assume that with regards to issues to do with the royal household, the appropriate factor for prime ministers to say is, is nothing. And nothing is the factor that I suggest to say right now about that, about that specific matter.

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On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain was questioned concerning the latest claims made by Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Prince Harry and his spouse, Meghan.Credit scoreCredit score…Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain on Monday refused to debate the drama engulfing the royal household, praising the contribution of Queen Elizabeth whereas declining to touch upon damaging claims made by her grandson Prince Harry and his spouse, Meghan.

“I have always had the highest admiration for the Queen and the unifying role she plays in our country and across the Commonwealth,” Mr. Johnson mentioned at a information convention in London.

“As for all other matters to do with the royal family I have spent a long time now not commenting on royal family matters and I don’t intend to depart from that today,” Mr. Johnson added.

Pressed to say whether or not he believed the royal household, apart from the Queen, is racist, Mr. Johnson once more stonewalled, saying that “when it comes to matters to do with the royal family the right thing for the prime ministers to say is nothing, and nothing is the thing that I propose to say today about that particular matter.”

Earlier on Monday Vicky Ford, minister for youngsters, additionally refused to touch upon the contents of the interview however added in an interview with LBC Radio: “there is no room for racism in our society.”

However at the very least one member of Mr. Johnson’s Conservative authorities spoke out towards Meghan and Harry. “Harry is blowing up his family,” Zac Goldsmith, a mid-level minister of environmental and overseas affairs, wrote on Twitter. “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.”

The problems raised are delicate for Mr. Johnson who, throughout his profession as a journalist, used racist language on some events, and the claims made within the interview reverberated round British politics.

On Monday Keir Starmer, chief of the opposition Labour Get together, mentioned that the allegations that had surfaced within the interview “need to be taken very, very seriously” as a result of they’re “allegations in relation to race and mental health.”

“For too many years we have been too dismissive and too willing to put these issues to one side,” he added.

Nadia Whittome, a Labour Get together lawmaker, was extra instantly vital of the monarchy. “When Meghan Markle was accused of bullying, Buckingham Palace immediately announced an investigation,” she wrote on Twitter. “Now that Meghan has revealed comments about her child’s skin color, will they investigate racism in the Palace? I won’t be holding my breath.”

It’s finally your turn, England, to discuss the royals. 
Credit score…CBS

The two-hour interview carried out by Oprah Winfrey with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aired on Sunday in the USA — first on the East Coast, with a repeat for the West Coast. On the primary community that aired it, greater than 17 million folks watched.

Now, the royal mess is coming residence. For as soon as, England is getting the royal information final. The interview might be broadcast at 9 p.m. Monday on ITV in Britain.

In case you missed it and wish to benefit from the stunning Santa-Barbara-adjacent setting and two hours of frank and exceedingly well-conducted dialog, right here’s how one can watch:

  • Viewers within the U.Ok. who use a VPN, together with YouTubeTV subscribers, can doubtless watch it on demand, if they’ve these ranges of technical sophistication.

  • These within the U.S. who missed it might stream all of the revelations on CBS.com.

Right here’s what those that have watched it have discovered.

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Black Britons Empathize With Meghan After TV Interview

For a lot of Black Britons, Prince Harry and Meghan’s tv interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday reaffirmed their perception that racism performed a task within the couple’s resolution to depart the nation.

“As a black woman, she didn’t get it very easy within the royal family, and the newspapers weren’t exactly friendly about it either. So, for example, when Kate was pregnant, it was, ‘Oh Kate’s cradling her baby bump, it’s so lovely. And then when it was Meghan, it was like, ‘Why don’t Meghan stop touching her belly?’ Do you know what I mean? She got a lot of negative press over here, so I can see why they decided to denounce themself from the royal family because it’s just not worth the hassle, is it?” “So many things that are kept hidden that we don’t know about. I think it’s a good thing. As Harry said something like, I saw a bit where he said, history repeating itself and it could have been a situation like that. I think they done a good thing.” “But talking about how they were talking about their son, about how the skin color was, was like really hurtful to a lot of people, to be honest, especially because I’m black as well.” “She’s clever to get out of it while it’s still early because it could have built up into the same story as Princess Diana. So it is good for her. Save your family like anybody would do.” “Let’s, let us also be clear that when we talk about this issue, particularly the issue of members of the royal family having conversations about the color of Archie’s skin, that is racist. It is, for those who would like to see that as, oh, it’s just family having a conversation. No, it’s not. And that, that kind of thinking normalizes racism.”

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For a lot of Black Britons, Prince Harry and Meghan’s tv interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday reaffirmed their perception that racism performed a task within the couple’s resolution to depart the nation.Credit scoreCredit score…Jim Clarke/Agence France-Presse, by way of Pool/Afp By way of Getty Pictures

On the heels of the interview, many Black Britons felt a measure of vindication, after Meghan and Harry made it abundantly clear that racist abuse performed a task of their resolution to depart the nation, but in addition frustration that some in Britain have been nonetheless skirting the problem.

For years, Black folks have been calling out the problematic portrayals of Meghan within the British press, and the failures by swathes of the British institution to acknowledge the problem.

Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, a lawyer and activist, has incessantly spoken out concerning the racism directed at Meghan. In a heated back-and-forth on “Good Morning Britain,” she took Piers Morgan, the journalist and a staunch critic of Meghan and Harry, to job.

He requested for a response to what he known as the couple “spray-gunning his family on global television” whereas Prince Philip, Harry’s grandfather, is hospitalized with a coronary heart ailment.

“You want to deny that the royal family has any racist undertones or actions against the first biracial person, simply because you are in love with the queen?” Dr. Mos-Shogbamimu, who’s Black, responded, as Mr. Morgan accused her of “race-baiting.”

“You can love the queen and be able to call out the actions done by the royal family when they have got it wrong,” she added.

Nadine Batchelor-Hunt, a British political correspondent, mentioned that Meghan’s therapy — from the British media and in addition in her allegations of questions on her son’s potential pores and skin shade — embodied deep-rooted racism skilled by Black folks in Britain. Ms. Batcheor-Hunt applauded Meghan’s “fearlessness,” and mentioned that as a mixed-race girl, Meghan’s feedback resonated deeply.

“In my family, we don’t really care about the monarchy,” Ms. Batchelor-Hunt mentioned. “A lot of our ancestors were enslaved under the banner of the British Empire in the name of the crown.”

However allegations of racism from throughout the royal household, each from Meghan and Harry, had given the royals new relevance, she mentioned.

“Seeing her speak so openly about it is really liberating,” she mentioned, “which is why I think a lot of young people, particularly a lot of Black people, care so much.”

Many famous that the allegations made by Meghan in the course of the interview additionally highlighted a blind spot in a lot of the British information media with regards to race, with the ranks of royal correspondents almost all white.

“This is a story which is predicated on race,” mentioned Marcus Ryder, a visiting professor of media variety at Birmingham Metropolis College. “And what we have is that we have a British media that has so far been slow to recognize that this is actually a racial story.”

Mr. Ryder additionally mentioned the allegations illustrate the incongruity of a hereditary white royalty and British leaders’ said dedication to variety.

“We keep talking about issues of diversity, and how well does diversity sit with the hereditary principle?” he requested. “What she’s saying is that there seems to be a conflict.”

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, leave after visiting Canada House on Jan. 7, 2020, in London.
Credit score…Frank Augstein/Related Press

After Prince Harry and Meghan stepped down from their positions as senior members of the royal household, they have been lower off financially and their royal safety element was revoked, the couple advised Oprah Winfrey of their bombshell interview on Sunday evening.

When the couple first introduced plans to grow to be financially unbiased, they mentioned they’d now not obtain cash by means of the Sovereign Grant, a fund that the British authorities makes use of to pay the monarch to assist the royal household. (For 2020-2021, the royal household obtained about $119 million from the grant.)

They’d hoped to proceed receiving cash from Harry’s father, Prince Charles, who at one level funded 95 p.c of the couple’s private {and professional} bills by means of his personal property, they mentioned on their Sussex Royal web site.

However Prince Harry revealed within the interview that he had been lower off financially from his household in early 2020, although it was not clear whether or not any assist later resumed. He mentioned that he and Meghan relied on inheritance from his mom, which Forbes estimated at $10 million, to pay for safety.

“Without that,” he mentioned, “we wouldn’t have been able to do this.”

When the couple moved to Canada in late 2019, they got discover that their safety can be eliminated due to their “change in status,” Prince Harry mentioned. In March 2020 they moved quickly to Tyler Perry’s residence in Los Angeles, the place he supplied safety.

“I never thought that I would have my security removed, because I was born into this position,” Prince Harry mentioned. “I inherited the risk so that was a shock to me. That was what completely changed the whole plan.”

The precise protocol by which royal members of the family obtain safety is unclear. In 2011, safety was revoked for Prince Andrew’s daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, partly due to an estimated £500,000 annual value, Vainness Truthful reported.

Meghan mentioned there was “no explanation” why her son, Archie, wouldn’t be supplied with safety.

In a assertion issued in January 2020 in response to information that Prince Harry and Meghan have been stepping down from their royal duties, Buckingham Palace mentioned that it “does not comment on the details of security arrangements. There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security.”

A transition plan detailed on the duke and duchess’s official web site in Spring 2020 mentioned that Meghan and Harry would proceed to “require effective security to protect them and their son.”

“This is based on The Duke’s public profile by virtue of being born into The Royal Family, his military service, the Duchess’ own independent profile, and the shared threat and risk level documented specifically over the last few years,” the assertion mentioned. “No further details can be shared as this is classified information for safety reasons.”

It’s unclear what safety prices for a member of the royal household. Safety at Prince Harry and Meghan’s marriage ceremony, which was paid for by British taxpayers, value an estimated £30 million, or greater than $40 million.

It’s estimated that every member of the royal household prices every British taxpayer round £1 per yr. In return the royal household generates an estimated £1.8 billion a yr in tourism revenues for the UK.

Earlier than they stepped down, Prince Harry and Meghan had already generated a big quantity of income for the monarchy. Model Finance, a model valuation consultancy, calculated that their marriage ceremony generated £1 billion for the British financial system in 2018 alone, together with £300 million in journey and lodging spent by overseas vacationers and £50 million spent on merchandise resembling cash, dish cloths and clothes.

Since stepping down from their royal positions, Prince Harry and Meghan have signed multimillion-dollar offers with Netflix and Spotify.

News outlets set up cameras outside Buckingham Palace on Monday.
Credit score…Kirsty Wigglesworth/Related Press

Hours after the interview was broadcast in the USA on Sunday, Britain was grappling with the shock wave rippling throughout the Atlantic, exposing a deep royal rift.

For some, the interview was a second to replicate on the decidedly completely different public personas of Prince Harry and Meghan, as they broke with the dutiful silence anticipated of the royal household and introduced a extra American strategy. However for a lot of Black Britons, the interview supplied a scathing evaluation of the royal household and resurfaced barely submerged tensions over entrenched racism within the nation at giant.

“It’s very hard listening to the interview not to focus on some of the salacious details and the family drama,” mentioned Marcus Ryder, a visiting professor of media variety at Birmingham Metropolis College. “But what we’re talking about is a major part of the British state, it’s a major institution.”

The racism allegations made in the course of the interview may have main implications for the monarchy, he mentioned, the place funds to members of the family and family bills come partially with public funds.

“Once you realize that, and divorce it from the idea of the personal family drama, what you have is a Black woman who was the first, in the modern era anyway, to enter that British institution,” Mr. Ryder mentioned, “and makes allegations of racism at the very top.”

Meghan’s assertion that somebody within the royal family had questioned whether or not her son can be “too dark to represent the U.K.” was a serious drawback, he mentioned. (On Monday, Ms. Winfrey mentioned that Harry had requested her to make clear that neither Queen Elizabeth II nor Prince Philip was the supply of the touch upon pores and skin shade.)

The Day by day Mail, a British tabloid that misplaced a privateness case towards Meghan final month, led on Monday morning with the all-caps headline: “I wanted to kill myself.” Whereas it trumpeted Meghan’s feedback about her psychological well being, it known as the discussions about race “a sensational claim.”

Different main information shops revealed biting commentary, whereas some social media customers denounced the couple’s infidelity to the household and others firmly defended them. The response illustrated divisions between those that view Harry and Meghan as victims and people who disapprove of their habits and of their willingness to criticize the monarchy publicly.

The palace has mentioned nothing within the aftermath of the interview. It stays to be seen whether or not the palace will examine Harry and Meghan’s claims as enthusiastically because it pledged to look into the claims that Meghan had bullied royal workers.

However many agreed that the interview may have wide-ranging implications for the Home of Windsor.

“I’ve always said that the royal family would come out at best looking out of date, out of touch, perhaps unwelcoming,” Katie Nicholls, the royals editor at Vainness Truthful, mentioned in an interview on Sky Information shortly after the published. “But this is so much worse than that.”

Credit score…Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA, by way of Shutterstock

The British press on Monday was galvanized, and divided, by the bombshell allegations in Harry and Meghan’s prime-time interview with Oprah Winfrey, wherein they shared a glimpse inside the key workings of the royal household and, in one of the damaging allegations, mentioned a member of the family had questioned how darkish the pores and skin of their unborn son can be.

However the press additionally signaled a division. Headlines in lots of tabloids, with whom the pair has lengthy tussled, have been lower than sympathetic. “MEGXILE,” proclaimed The Solar, a Murdoch-owned tabloid, including: “Queen won’t even watch show” and “Whingy chat dubbed ‘Moperah.’”

“HARRY TWISTS THE KNIFE,” proclaimed the Day by day Mail, a British tabloid that misplaced a privateness lawsuit to Meghan final month, on its on-line web site. The tabloid additionally identified a possible inconsistency between Harry and Meghan’s accounts over exactly when the dialog over pores and skin shade with the member of the royal household occurred.

One of the crucial vocal critics was Piers Morgan, the controversial co-host of the breakfast present “Good Morning Britain” on the ITV community. He known as the interview “a two-hour trash-athon of the royal family” and “race-baiting propaganda designed to damage the Queen as her husband lies in hospital.”

He additionally feuded with a fellow commentator concerning the racial dynamics revealed within the interview. “You’re more outraged that Harry and Meghan had the audacity to speak their truth than you should be at the actual outrage of racism,” Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, a political girls’s rights activist, who’s Black, advised Mr. Morgan in a clip that unfold extensively on the web on Monday.

Mr. Morgan additionally appeared to solid doubt on Meghan’s revelation that she had felt suicidal at one level throughout her time in England, prompting some viewers to complain to Ofcom, Britain’s broadcasting regulator, that it was dangerous and stigmatizing to these experiencing suicidal ideas.

 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle show off their son, Archie, to Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, in 2019 in this photo provided by SussexRoyal.
Credit score…Chris Allerton/SussexRoyal

Of all of the allegations Harry and Meghan made, maybe probably the most damaging was that when she was pregnant with Archie, some member or members of the royal household speculated about what shade the infant’s pores and skin can be, and whether or not that may be acceptable for the royal household.

The prince refused to say who had made these remarks in his presence, however Ms. Winfrey mentioned on Monday that he made it clear who hadn’t: his grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

“There’s a big guessing game all around the world: ‘Who was it? Who was it? Who was it?’” mentioned Gayle King, co-host of “CBS This Morning,” interviewing Ms. Winfrey the morning after the published. With the cameras rolling, Harry had refused to reply the query from Ms. Winfrey, and he or she advised Ms. King that she had picked up the theme once more off digicam.

“He did not share the identity with me, but he wanted to make sure that I knew, and if I had an opportunity to share it, that it was not his grandmother nor his grandfather that were part of those conversations,” Ms. Winfrey mentioned. “He did not tell me who were a part of those conversations. As you can see, I tried to get that answer, on camera and off.”

The assertion by Meghan and Harry was what Ms. King aptly known as “the jaw-dropping moment” of the interview. They’d lengthy complained that a lot of the general public commentary about her, particularly within the British press, was tainted with racism, however this was the primary time they’d urged that they skilled the identical type of discrimination throughout the royal household.

Each of them spoke warmly of the queen and their relationship along with her, whereas pointedly not saying related issues about different family members.

Credit score…Henk Kruger/Agence France-Presse, by way of Pool/Afp By way of Getty Pictures

Why is Archie, the younger son of Prince Harry and Meghan, not a prince? That emerged as a murky query within the aftermath of the couple’s typically revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Meghan mentioned that the royal household had determined earlier than he was born to not grant Archie the title and the designation His Royal Highness, suggesting that it was linked to their issues concerning the shade of the infant’s pores and skin.

Below a royal conference, established by King George V in 1917, Archie was not given the title of prince at his delivery, since he was a great-grandson — not a son or grandson — of the reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Had been his grandfather, Prince Charles, to ascend the throne, Archie would routinely assume the title of prince, supplied the royal household sticks to the foundations.

However Meghan mentioned that in her being pregnant, the royal household mentioned altering the foundations to deprive Archie of the princely title completely. “I think even with that convention I’m talking about, while I was pregnant, they said they want to change the convention for Archie,” she mentioned.

Across the similar time, she mentioned, there have been “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”

On the time of Archie’s delivery, in Could 2019, British newspapers reported that Harry and Meghan had no issues together with his not being a prince as a result of they wished their son to have as regular a childhood as doable. He can be generally known as “Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor,” the double-barreled surname of Harry’s household.

Within the interview, nonetheless, Meghan disputed this rivalry. The title itself was not necessary, however it entitles its holder to safety safety, which she mentioned mattered deeply to her and to Harry.

Below the conference, Prince William’s eldest son, George, was a prince at delivery as a result of, because the firstborn youngster of the firstborn youngster of the Prince of Wales, he’s a direct successor to the throne. However the queen issued so-called “letters patent” that ensured that William’s different two kids, Charlotte and Louis, have been additionally a princess and prince at delivery — one thing she didn’t do for Archie.

Meghan mentioned she had seen this as discriminatory therapy. She mentioned she had objected to Archie’s not being a prince as a result of “it’s not their right to take it away,” and due to safety issues. She expressed anger at “the idea of our son not being safe, and also the idea of the first member of color in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be.”

Credit score…Olivier Douliery/Agence France-Presse — Getty Pictures

Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry drew a large viewers on Sunday, however not as large as a few of the blockbuster interviews broadcast within the days earlier than on-demand streaming, when such scheduled prime-time occasions have been appointment viewing for a lot of extra Individuals.

The interview attracted 17.1 million viewers on CBS on Sunday evening, in line with preliminary Nielsen figures, and the estimate will develop after Nielsen tabulates some viewers who streamed the particular, in addition to out-of-home viewing.

That’s about twice the variety of viewers for the prime-time scores winner in an unusual week, however nicely in need of the figures for related prime-time exclusives from years previous, regardless of the times of promotion and sniping in anticipation of Ms. Winfrey’s particular. The viewers was about the identical measurement because the one which tuned in, in 2015, to see Caitlyn Jenner disclose to Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “20/20” that she was transgender.

In 1993, Ms. Winfrey’s prime-time interview of Michael Jackson at his Neverland Ranch, broadcast by ABC, attracted an viewers of at the very least 62 million. Six years later, additionally on ABC, Barbara Walters sat down with Monica Lewinsky for a two-hour particular that drew 48.5 million folks.

Networks and high-profile journalists as soon as competed fiercely for such “big gets,” jam-packed with profitable commercials, however have carried out so much less lately. In 2018, a equally ballyhooed interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” with the porn star Stephanie Clifford, speaking about her affair with Donald J. Trump, drew 22 million viewers, which was thought-about a powerful displaying.

Ms. Winfrey’s particular got here within the wake of days of anticipatory protection hinting at what the couple may reveal about their experiences with the royal household and their resolution to depart the palace behind.

Oprah Winfrey interviewing Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle.
Credit score…CBS

For viewers to return collectively on this age and on this financial system for tv at an appointed time — interrupted by commercials even! — requires a excessive bar.

Final evening’s interview drew in a bit greater than 17 million folks.

Watchers have been reminded of the ability, empathy and simply all-around mastery of communication and focus of Oprah Winfrey as interviewer. Even when it was all showbiz, even it was all an act, for viewers it felt engrossing and shifting.

Ms. Winfrey, after all, was one of many creators of interview tv when she wasn’t busy profitable Tonys, Peabodys and getting Oscar nominations. “The Oprah Winfrey Show” started in 1986 and concluded, 25 seasons later, with greater than 5,000 episodes, in 2011. She has mentioned she has interviewed 37,000 folks.

The “big get” interview is a TV style unto itself, wherein a well-known anchor or host elbows out rivals to land an unique sit-down with a newsworthy topic. Additionally it is a style previous its heyday. Together with Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters, Ms. Winfrey, an interviewer extraordinaire who began her TV profession within the Nineteen Seventies, was a serious participant when the competitors for such exhibits was at its top.

It was 1993 when she interviewed Michael Jackson in an occasion that stopped folks of their tracks. (Prince Harry was not but a young person.) It was on the time the most-watched televised interview in historical past, with tens of hundreds of thousands of individuals tuning in. (The New York Occasions reported 62 million viewers; Ms. Winfrey claimed 90 million worldwide.)

In 2019, she revisited the Jackson scenario, interviewing the 2 topics of the documentary “Leaving Neverland,” who accused the singer of sexually abusing them once they have been kids.

Journalists on Twitter paid tribute to the strategies Ms. Winfrey used within the interview, which was concurrently intimate and charged, variety however agency. The ability of her consideration is riveting.

Behind the scenes, almost each interview ends the identical method, Ms. Winfrey mentioned in a latest interview herself. The participant, irrespective of how rich or well-known, asks: “Was that OK? How was that? How did I do?”


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