Meghan Markle and Harry: Expert discusses Oprah interview
Meghan and Harry have just revealed they will be taking part in their first interview since their dramatic royal exit last year with close friend and famous talk show host, Oprah Winfrey. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are now expecting their second child, have stunned royal spheres with their decision to conduct this “intimate conversation” for US TV. It is set to air on March 7, almost exactly a year after they conducted their final royal duties in the UK — and the same month the couple were expected to have the one-year review of their exit with the senior royals.
Speculating over the upcoming interview on Monday, royal correspondent Emily Andrews and biographer Robert Jobson looked into the reports from last year when sources first suggested the Sussexes were considering talking to Oprah.
Ms Andrews tweeted: “Looks like my crystal ball was on point a year ago with the story that Harry and Meghan were considering a tell-all interview with Oprah… it airs March 7.
“They have every right to speak publicly to whomever they want: the press will take a bashing, will they dare criticise HMQ [Her Majesty the Queen]?”
Royal biographer Robert Jobson also took to Twitter, and asked: “I wonder if a possible #HarryandMeghan interview with @Oprah was part of the Megxit discussions between the Queen, Harry, Prince Charles and Prince William at the Sandringham summit last year?
“What assurances were given? Why didn’t the Queen’s aides get those assurances?”
Ms Andrews’ scoop from a year ago quoted sources who claimed the couple “may threaten” the Royal Family in Megxit negotiations with the prospect of a tell-all Oprah interview.
The Queen, talk show host Oprah WInfrey and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Meghan and Harry are set to release a tell-all interview with Oprah in March
In response to Ms Andrew’s story, Mr Jobson said: “You said, ‘may threaten’, the question is, did he?”
He added: “If Harry did indicate it was on the cards the Palace should have moved to shut it down.”
Megxit, as the Sussexes’ hasty royal departure is commonly known, was announced so suddenly to the public in January last year, it reportedly forced the Queen to call an emergency meeting, now known as the Sandringham Summit.
The monarch, Prince Charles, Prince William and Harry thrashed out the details of the Sussexes’ post-royal life together, and settled on a “hard Megxit”, rather than the “half-in-half-out” scenario Meghan and Harry reportedly had been hoping for.
A source told royal correspondent Ms Andrews: “Harry and Meghan’s people have been reaching out to all the big US networks to explore the possibilities of a sit-down warts-and-all interview.”
Speaking last January, the source continued: “Perhaps Harry and Meghan will use this as a negotiating tactic as there is no way the royals want their dirty laundry out in the open.
“Maybe they will get more money if they agree not to talk.”
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were expecting their second child over the weekend
Meghan and Harry carrying out their final royal engagements last year, in March
In ‘s article titled “Prince Harry and Meghan may threaten Queen with tell-all Oprah interview to get their way at today’s crunch Royal summit” last year, the source suggested the couple want to “tell their side of the story”, as “Meghan feels she’s been silenced and is no longer prepared to be muted”.
Since leaving the Royal Family, Meghan has mentioned that she has felt “voiceless” at times during her life, but has avoided mentioning if it was when she was a working royal.
The couple’s close friend, journalist Tom Bradby, also suggested at the time that they might consider a “no-holds barred” interview and concluded: “I don’t think it would be pretty.”
The Sussexes outlined their ideal post-royal life in an unprecedented social media post last January, and claimed they would seek “financial independence” while “balancing our time” between Britain and North America, and still “continuing to fully support” the Queen.
In the end they were barred from using their HRH titles — but not stripped of them — while Harry had to renounce his honorary military titles, and they had to agree to spending most of the time in North America rather than the UK.
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Oprah Winfrey, a close friend of the couple’s, attending their 2018 wedding
Meghan with the Royal Family in 2017, for Christmas
They were also told they could not continue to represent the Queen, in a result which reportedly left the Sussexes deeply frustrated.
When the news of an interview was announced on Monday, Buckingham Palace told the Daily Mail: “The Duke and Duchess are no longer working members of the Royal Family and therefore any decisions they take with regards to media commitments are matters for them.
As non-working MRF [members of the Royal Family] they are under no obligation to inform the royal household of such plans.”
Back on Twitter, Mr Jobson also speculated whether the Sussexes should hold onto their royal titles in the wake of the interview.
He tweeted: “Should they keep their royal titles going forward? Diana was stripped of her HRH after all.”
Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, conducted a tell-all interview in 1995 with BBC Panorama.
Meghan appeared close to some royals, such as Prince Charles
The Royal Family’s mantra is ‘never complain, never explain’
It was considered a huge mistake, as she divulged what life was really like behind the scenes with her estranged husband Prince Charles and caused chaos for the Palace.
The Queen was so horrified, she demanded that the couple find an immediate divorce settlement, and stripped the Princess of her HRH title.
Meghan and Harry vowed to continue upholding the “values” of the monarchy when they left the Firm last year, suggesting they might not reveal Palace secrets in conversation with Oprah.
However, the Royal Family’s mantra of “never complain, never explain” suggests the Firm might be concerned about what the Sussexes might say in the interview.