The royal family has been advised to run for cover as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gear up for what could be an explosively revealing – and for the Windsors, highly damaging – tell-all interview with their pal Oprah Winfrey, The Sunday Times reports.
Right after announcing that they are expecting their second child, Harry and Meghan dropped the bomb about the Oprah interview early last week. A worried Buckingham Palace responded by moving up its announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as the couple is also known, would never again be considered working royals.
Now Queen Elizabeth and her crew are reportedly preparing for Meghan and Harry to drop truth bombs during the Oprah interview that could yield PR catastrophes akin to those spawned by Princess Diana’s notorious 1995 sit-down with Martin Bashir.
Oprah will start her interview with a one-on-one with Meghan, during which the talk show queen intends to question the duchess about “stepping into life as a royal, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work” and “how she is handling life under intense public pressure.” Then Harry will join for a three-way chat.
Ratings aside, the precedents are not encouraging. The Duke of York’s disastrous 2019 Newsnight interview about his friendship with the late paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Espstein, an interview he thought had gone well, forced him to step back from public life. Charles is understood to regret his 1994 interview with Jonathan Dimbleby in which he admitted to adultery.
Diana would come to deeply regret her interview with Bashir, during which she sent shockwaves around the globe with her reflections on Prince Charles’ philandering with Camilla Parker-Bowles – now his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded,” Diana famously said.
Now that the Queen has stripped Harry of his honorary military titles and he and Meghan of their royal patronages, royal watchers are expecting the couple to attempt to have the last word through their interview with Oprah.
“Time to hide behind the sofa at the palace,” said an insider of how the Windsors should be preparing for the Oprah interview with Meghan and Harry. “Oprah is skilled at getting people to talk about their feelings and bound to take them down a path they’ll almost certainly regret. There will be an element of reliving Megxit and airing their grievances. No one benefits from that, but Oprah will get it out of them whether they like it or not.”
Express predicts that Meghan will leverage the Oprah interview to issue a liberal manifesto that will ultimately catapult her into a political career.
The probing interview, which is said to include revealing details of the final chapter of Megxit – which saw the announcement on Friday that couple quit their royal roles entirely and have been stripped of all patronages – provides an “ideal platform for her manifesto,” according to royal author Margaret Holder.
Royal watchers have predicted Meghan is looking to follow in the footsteps of other California celebrities who have made the leap from acting to politics, including Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Holder pointed to Meghan and Harry’s recent hour-long video chat with California Governor Gavin Newsom as evidence that the duchess will use the Oprah interview as a springboard for an eventual political run.
Speaking of Meghan and Harry’s upcoming Oprah interview, Holder stated, “The combination of friendly neighbor Oprah as her gentle inquisitor, plus the overwhelming attraction of a prime time audience, would guarantee Meghan unequalled publicity for her liberal views on various issues.”
According to The Sun, a YouGov poll found that 46 percent of Britons think that Meghan and Harry’s upcoming Oprah interview is inappropriate. Just 29 percent support it.
After being stripped of their royal roles, the couple had a dig at the Queen. Her Majesty had said they could not continue with “responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service”. But the pair hit back saying: “We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.
Meghan and Harry are, indeed, neighbors of Oprah, who lives not far from the couple’s lavish $14 mansion in Montecito, California.
The Mirror reports that news of the upcoming Oprah sit-down blindsided Queen Elizabeth II.
Oprah reportedly spent two days with the Sussexes last week.
Royal biographer Angela Levin has speculated that the royal family and their courtiers are more than anxious about what embarrassing secrets Meghan and Harry might disclose during the Oprah interview.
When senior members of the Royal family say too much or say things that (the Queen) thinks are wrong the whole family is affected by it,” Ms Levin said. “I think she is very concerned about what the interview with Oprah Winfrey will reveal.”