Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and CBS have whet audience’s appetites ahead of their two-hour interview special with a slew of video teases.
It’s now time for royal kick off for Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special.
Markle kicked off the interview by revealing she does know the gender of her second child and will reveal later in the interview.
Winfrey said that there was no agreement, no subject off limits and the pair aren’t getting paid for the interview.
Markle said she went in to her marriage “naively” and that she didn’t know much about the royal family. “I didn’t look up my husband online,” she said, adding that she also didn’t “fully understand what the job was”.
There wasn’t a huge “formality” when she first met the Queen, Markle revealed. Harry asked if Markle knew how to curtsey and that was the moment “the penny dropped”. “I did a very deep curtsey,” she said.
She added that growing up in LA she saw celebrities all the time. “This is not the same,” she said.
After the first ad break, Oprah donned her “wellies” to check on the pair’s chickens, a moment where Markle revealed that they actually got married three days before the royal wedding.
“Everything changed” over the narrative after the wedding when British press said that Markle made Kate Middleton cry – which Markle said never happened.
The issue was flower girl dresses, and Markle said it actually made her cry. Why didn’t the royal “institution” clear up the narrative? “It’s a good question,” she said, adding that Middleton is a “good person”.
The avocado issue came up, where the British tabloids accused her of fuelling deforestation with the fruit, while Middleton was praised for her taste in breakfast. “That’s a loaded piece of toast,” Markle joked.
On a more serious note, she revealed she was “silenced” by the royal family. “Everyone in my world was given very clear directive to say no comment,” she said. “Even as things started to roll out in the media… I said ‘Don’t worry, I’m being protected’. I believed that and that was really hard to reconcile because it was only once we were married and things started to worsen that I realised I was not being protected but they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family but they weren’t prepared to tell the truth to protect me.”
Markle calls the royal family “the firm” – a common reference in the UK. But she said it was important to distinguish between the family and the institution. “It’s a family business. There’s the family and then the people running the institution. The Queen has always been wonderful to me.”
Winfrey sat down with the former Suits star to speak about everything from stepping into life as a Royal, marriage, motherhood, her philanthropic work, and how she is handling life under intense public pressure before being joined by her husband to speak about their move to the United States and their future hopes and dreams for their expanding family.
Buckingham Palace has been in defence mode ahead of the interview, which will not be seen in full in the UK until Monday evening when it airs on ITV.
The royal spin team have told the Sunday newspapers Queen Elizabeth II would avoid the broadcast and focus on her engagements this week, including hopefully welcoming her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh home from the hospital.
It comes as Buckingham Palace took the unprecedented step of launching an investigation into bullying allegations made against Markle in 2018, when she was based at Kensington Palace. The Times Of London obtained an email sent in October 2018 by Jason Knauf, a former communications executive for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in which he claimed that Markle “was able to bully two PAs out of the household.”
Many royal watchers have pointed out that Buckingham Palace has yet to open an investigation into the actions of Prince Andrew, relating to his friendship with convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew was the subject of the last major televised royal interview and that didn’t go particularly well for Queen Elizabeth’s son.
The special is produced by Harpo Productions. Executive producers are Terry Wood and Tara Montgomery, co-executive producer is Brian Piotrowicz.
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