Royal sources say there is now ‘no way back to official duties’ for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle


Harry and Meghan are set to lose all their remaining royal patronages, the Daily Mail can reveal today.

The revelation follows an announcement that the couple have recorded a ‘tell-all’ TV special with Oprah Winfrey.

It is understood the Queen is to ask them to relinquish their links with any organisations passed down through the Royal Family.

Her 36-year-old grandson would be stripped of his three remaining honorary military titles and, potentially, his patronages with the Rugby Football Union, Rugby Football League and the London Marathon. 

Harry and Meghan are set to lose all their remaining royal patronages, the Daily Mail can reveal today

The revelation follows an announcement that the couple have recorded a ‘tell-all’ TV special with Oprah Winfrey

The revelation follows an announcement that the couple have recorded a ‘tell-all’ TV special with Oprah Winfrey

Meghan would have to step down as patron of the National Theatre, unless she can negotiate another position with them. When she was handed the role in 2019, it was seen as a major gesture of support and affection because the Queen had been patron of the London institution for 45 years.

One grey area is expected to be the couple’s links with the Commonwealth, but sources suggested that these are likely to go as well.

It was confirmed last night that Meghan, 39, had agreed to a ‘wide-ranging’ interview with Miss Winfrey, who is one of the most powerful women in US showbusiness. It is believed the programme has already been recorded.

The two women are friends and near neighbours in California, with Miss Winfrey attending the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding in 2018 and plugging a range of vegan lattes that Meghan has helped finance.

It is understood the Queen is to ask them to relinquish their links with any organisations passed down through the Royal Family. Pictured: Oprah Winfrey interviewing Sarah Ferguson

It is understood the Queen is to ask them to relinquish their links with any organisations passed down through the Royal Family. Pictured: Oprah Winfrey interviewing Sarah Ferguson

Pictured: Oprah Winfrey arriving at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in 2018

Pictured: Oprah Winfrey arriving at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in 2018 

ROYAL AUTHOR: INTERVIEW IS A ‘BETRAYAL OF TRUST’ 

Royal author Robert Jobson said he thought the interview was a ‘betrayal of trust’ and Meghan and Harry ‘seem hell bent on causing the Queen more discomfort and possible embarrassment’.

‘Buckingham Palace were quick to say the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles and the rest of the family wished the couple well on the news. They were apparently told about the baby bump before Harry and Meghan went public,’ he said. 

‘But now, just after smoothing over the cracks caused by ”Megxit’ – just over a year ago – the Sussexes seem hell bent on causing the Queen more discomfort and possible embarrassment. 

‘Given the way the media focus on such royal interviews, one word out of place will be jumped on to confirm on-going feuds in the Royal Family. 

‘If Harry or Meghan talk openly about the fall-out with William and Kate it will cause uproar. If they don’t even mention them, it will be seen as a snub to his brother or just another silky PR exercise – something their friend and interrogator Oprah Winfrey won’t like. 

‘Sources in the royal household say ”Megxit” is not talked about by senior royals. ”It is a subject the family want to move on from,” one senior figure told me. 

‘But how can anyone move on when Meghan and Harry continue to drone on about the difficulties of royal life and being part of the Royal Family. 

‘This interview is a betrayal of trust whatever way you look at it. Harry, who claimed he wanted to escape the publicity of being a front-line royal, has swapped duty for a cash bonanza deal with Netflix. We are not told if money has been paid for this interview. 

‘The army veteran, who serviced with distinction in Afghanistan, often talks about respecting the Queen. 

‘But to be blunt his decision to join his wife’s tell all on US television interview after they exited the royal family so noisily and dramatically, is another act of disrespect. 

‘The Queen has always lived by the mantra of ”never complain and never explain”. With her husband’s 100th birthday celebrations approaching the Harry and Meghan loose cannon continues to fire.’

One source described the interview as ‘one of the most inevitable and, sadly, predictable consequences’ of the ‘Megxit’ saga.

Harry will also feature in the 90-minute show. It will air next month on CBS and the couple will discuss their move to the United States. It will be the first time the pair have spoken publicly about their bombshell decision to leave Britain and step down from their working roles in the Royal Family.

It follows news that the couple are expecting their second child. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they were ‘overjoyed’ at their pregnancy, revealed on Valentine’s Day.

The decision to take part in the interview risks angering – and embarrassing – the Royal Family.

It could also widen the divisions between Harry and his brother, Prince William, and William’s wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.

The interview will be staged in two parts, with Meghan first speaking about everything from ‘stepping into life as a royal, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work to how she is handling life under intense public pressure’.

She will then be joined by Harry and the couple will speak about their move last year and their future ‘hopes and dreams for their expanding family’. Titled ‘Oprah With Meghan And Harry: A CBS Primetime Special’, the programme will air on March 7.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment last night about the interview, which will be aired six weeks before the Queen’s 95th birthday and in advance of celebrations for Prince Philip’s 100th.

A royal source said that as the couple were no longer working royals, any decisions taken with regard to ‘media commitments are matters for them’. They were ‘under no obligation’ to inform the Royal Household of their plans. The interview was announced by CBS in a press release.

While there was no angry reaction from the palace – it has taken great pains not to get into a public slanging match with the Sussexes – the coldness of the response was evident. The decision to strip the couple of their last remaining royal titles is not being done as a reaction to the interview.

It is being perceived that the televised chat was agreed because the couple could ‘see the direction of travel’ of future royal roles.

Sources have stressed that a 12-month review of their new status was not put into place last year with a renegotiation of terms in mind, but as a safety net in case they moved abroad ‘and didn’t get a dime in the bank’.

Harry and Meghan have since secured multi-million deals with companies including Spotify and Netflix, meaning that their futures are now assured. But their decision to pursue commercial tie-ups has made their position as quasi-royals simply impossible, courtiers believe.

One source has said: ‘You can’t have one of the head of state’s representatives flogging cups of coffee, it’s as a simple as that.’

Patronages the Sussexes hold 

Harry’s honorary Forces titles:

  • Capt General of Royal Marines
  • Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington, Bury St Edmunds
  • Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command

He is also patron of:

  • The Rugby Football League WellChild charity
  • The London Marathon Charitable Trust Sentebale
  • Rugby Football Union
  • Invictus Games Foundation
  • (Jointly with William) The Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund

Meghan is patron of:

  • Mayhew animal welfare charity
  • Smart Works
  • The Association of Commonwealth Universities
  • The National Theatre
  • The couple are president and vice president of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust

 

Just days ago friends of the prince signalled his determination to fight in particular for his military titles: Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington in Bury St Edmunds, and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.

But it seems as if that battle, at least, has been lost.

The father of one will be allowed to keep anything that is a private patronage – and he still has several, such the Invictus Games and WellChild. Meghan holds two personal patronages, the Mayhew animal charity and Smart Works.

It is not clear when an announcement on the patronages will be made but the Mail understands that it could even be earlier than March 31, when the couple’s review period concludes.

One source told the Mail that it was hoped that the interview with Miss Winfrey would provide the couple with the chance to ‘get whatever it is they want to say off their chests and move on’.

Another added: ‘The interview has clearly come about because there is an understanding [with Harry and Meghan] that all remaining formal links with organisations will cease to exist.’

The deal has echoes of Princess Diana’s 1996 Panorama interview with Martin Bashir, which she negotiated behind the backs of the Royal Family and caused widespread damage. Miss Winfrey interviewed Sarah, the Duchess of York, in 2010.

The interview announcement comes just days after Meghan won a High Court privacy claim against the Mail on Sunday. A judge ruled it breached her privacy by publishing extracts from a letter she had sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle. 

PIERS MORGAN: Meghan and Harry’s intimate baby bump photo proves they don’t want privacy, they just want to control the media and use it to promote themselves when it suits them 

First, let me offer my sincere congratulations to Meghan and Harry on the news that they’re going to have another baby.

Any pregnancy is a wonderful blessing, though as Jerry Seinfeld once cautioned: ‘Make no mistake about why babies are here – they are here to replace us.’

It’s an especially joyful moment for a couple who suffered the pain of a miscarriage last summer, and as a father-of-four myself, I wish them nothing but happiness with their new addition when he or she arrives.

Meghan and Harry (pictured with son Archie) announced that they are expecting their second child on Valentine's Day

Meghan and Harry (pictured with son Archie) announced that they are expecting their second child on Valentine’s Day 

But I can’t have been the only one who was somewhat surprised by the manner in which we learned of this delightful development.

The statement from their spokesman, saying the couple are ‘overjoyed to be expecting their second child’, was perfectly standard.

However, accompanying it was a photograph of Meghan lying in Harry’s lap under a tree in the Californian sunshine, with her Hobbit-like bare-footed husband grinning broadly as he cradled her bump.

Like everything they do, this picture had been very carefully choreographed.

News of their second pregnancy came on the 37th anniversary of when Harry's mother, Princess Diana, announced that she was pregnant with him

News of their second pregnancy came on the 37th anniversary of when Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, announced that she was pregnant with him

They hired an old friend to capture the ‘spontaneous’ intimate moment – Misan Harriman, a Nigerian-born British photographer who a few months ago became British Vogue’s first black male cover photographer in the magazine’s 104-year history.

He took the black-and-white picture remotely with an iPad from his home in London and told Vogue: ‘With the tree of life behind them and the garden representing fertility, life and moving forward, they didn’t need any direction, because they are, and always have been, waltzing through life together as absolute soulmates. When you see people who have the connection that they have, it’s like reading the pages of a book.’

So true… if your library’s stacked with Barbara Cartland swoon-busters!

The date of the photo’s release was very deliberate too: Princess Diana and Prince Charles had also chosen Valentine’s Day to reveal they were having Harry, 37 years ago in 1984.

But it was the fact this photo was given to everyone in the media, via the Press Association, that raised my eyebrows in disbelief.

Ten months ago, Meghan and Harry declared they would now have a ‘zero engagement’ policy with four British newspapers in one of their many furious tirades against the press whenever they are criticised for doing stuff like preaching about the environment as they use Elton John’s private jet like a taxi service.

They loftily announced they would no longer have anything to do with The Sun, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Mail or the Daily Express, and all their Sunday and online versions, because of their supposed ‘salacious gossip’ about them which they apparently know to be ‘distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason.’

They insisted ‘this policy is not about avoiding criticism, shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting’, in a letter to those publications (that the couple leaked to the Guardian) – although that was exactly what it was about.

The letter ended by saying the motivation for this unprecedented and heavily criticised royal attack on press freedom was that the couple no longer wished to ‘offer themselves up as currency for an economy of click bait’.

Today, the front pages of most British newspapers carried the baby announcement news along with the couple’s tree photo.

The Sun headline was ‘HARRY & MEG BABY No2’, the Daily Mirror’s was ‘Meghan & Harry: We are having baby No2’, the Daily Mail’s read ‘MEGnificent! Baby No2 for Harry and Meghan’ and the Daily Express screamed: ‘MEGHAN AND HARRY: We’re overjoyed, Archie is going to be a big brother.’

All very positive publicity, from the same papers that Meghan and Harry supposedly detest, and a perfect illustration of the couple choosing to ‘offer themselves up as currency for an economy of click bait’ when it suits them.

Why were these papers allowed to publish such an intimate photo given the ban?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced that they are expecting their second child - who will become eighth in line to the throne (order of succession pictured)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced that they are expecting their second child – who will become eighth in line to the throne (order of succession pictured)

It seems especially baffling when you consider that last Thursday, Meghan won a legal action against the Mail on Sunday over a letter given to them by her father Thomas – and used the victory to launch a fresh attack on the paper, its sister outlets and its parent company, for what she said were its ‘dehumanising practices’, ‘moral exploitation’ and a ‘business model to profit from people’s pain’.

In a furious rant, she raged: ‘For these outlets, it’s a game. For me and so many others, it’s real life, real relationships and very real sadness. The damage they have done and continue to do runs deep.’

(Full disclosure: I write a weekly column for the Mail on Sunday along with the columns I write like this for the Mail Online)

I personally think the case should have gone to a trial where Thomas Markle, the father Meghan has disowned, could have had his say on the matter, and we could have also got to the bottom of exactly who may have helped Meghan write the letter, or who she may have revealed its contents to.

But the judge didn’t agree, so Meghan got to have yet another whack at the press.

Which makes it even more baffling as to why, just a few days later, she would then want an incredibly revealing private photo of her and Harry and their unborn child to appear on the front page of the Mail and the front pages of all the other papers she claims to hate.

Or rather, it’s not baffling at all.

For this is yet another example of Meghan and Harry’s brazen hypocrisy, and further evidence that they don’t have any real desire for privacy.

They just want the right to use the media to promote themselves when it suits them, and trash and ban them when it doesn’t.

In fact, it’s quite clear that the pair of them crave attention and publicity like ravenous jackals gorging on the carcass of a freshly slain gazelle.

Since they quit Britain and royal duty 13 months ago, barely a week has gone by without a new grainy self-promoting Zoom chat, statement or interview being released from their Santa Barbara mansion, or announcements about their latest lucrative multi-million-dollar commercial deals with the likes of Netflix or Spotify, or leaked details of power-broker meetings with top politicians like California’s governor Gavin Newsom.

They know all this publicity is key to their success and bank balance, and they depend on the media they profess to loathe to deliver it.

In this regard, they’re no different to reality TV celebrities like the Kardashians who don’t actually do anything for a living other than sell their ‘brand’ to the highest bidder.

In Meghan's New York Times article about her miscarriage, pictured, she urges people to ask others if they are ok, adding: 'In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing'

In Meghan’s New York Times article about her miscarriage, pictured, she urges people to ask others if they are ok, adding: ‘In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing’

It’s a self-promotional hustle and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have proven to as effective at it as Kim and her sisters.

I just find it contemptible that they continue to exploit their royal titles in such a ruthless greedy way without doing any of the hard graft that other royals back home in the UK have to do to earn their keep.

As I’ve said many times, they want to have their royal cake and eat it, and they shouldn’t be allowed to trade off their royal connections like this.

As for privacy, do they even know what it means?

One of the numerous reasons they attracted criticism in the UK before quitting was their weird refusal to share details of their son Archie’s birth with the British public who’d just paid millions for the refurbishment of their new home.

They briefed that this was to safeguard his privacy.

Yet they didn’t give a damn about Archie’s privacy when it came to recently launching their new podcast – releasing tapes to the world of him giggling and gurgling to his parents in an effort to stimulate media interest in their otherwise rather boring woke meanderings.

In fact, they were cynically invading their young son’s privacy purely for click-bait and personal financial gain.

Just as they were happy to sign a $100 million contract with Netflix who, with latest series of The Crown, have invaded and gnawed over more royal privacy, including that of Harry’s parents, than any tabloid ever did.

And now they’re marketing their own privacy.

I’m thrilled for Meghan and Harry that they’re having another baby.

But not as thrilled as they will be feeling about their very private photo adorning the front page of every paper that they banned for intruding into their privacy.

As I write this, I know their diehard fans – including many of the most horribly abusive people on social media – will already be screaming ‘LEAVE THEM ALONE!’ at me.

But the one thing Meghan and Harry want least is to be left alone, which is why it’s just been announced they’re giving a ‘wide-ranging’ interview about their private lives to Oprah Winfrey for a 90-minute prime-time special on March 7. That’s just the kind of thing people do when they want to be private!

As for the baby bump photo, they could have refused to let the papers they despise have it. That would be consistent with their ban.

But they wanted it splashed all over their sworn enemy’s front pages because it will boost the Sussex brand and earn them even more money. 

This decision made them look like the perfect expectant parents.

It also made them look like a right royal pair of shameless hypocrites.   

So much for privacy! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set to tell all to Oprah in ‘wide-ranging’ and ‘intimate’ prime time TV interview that will cover ‘everything’ from their royal exit to marriage and pregnancy  

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to sit down for a ‘wide-ranging’ and ‘intimate’ TV interview with Oprah that will send tremors through Buckingham Palace and cover everything from their latest pregnancy and marriage to their exit from the royal family. 

Royals will be braced for a host of potentially embarrassing revelations from the 90-minute primetime chat, which the couple have agreed to in spite of their insistence that the media respects their privacy.

The tell-all special, entitled ‘Oprah with Meghan and Harry’, will air on US network CBS on March 7, and will focus primarily on the Duchess of Sussex who will discuss ‘everything from stepping into life as a Royal, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work to how she is handling life under intense public pressure’.

Prince Harry will then join his wife in front of the camera, and the two will open up about their decision to move to the US following Megxit, and their ‘hopes and dreams for their expanding family’, a CBS spokesperson revealed.

The news will raise fears at the Palace that bombshell details of Harry’s reported rift with members of the Royal Family including his brother Prince William could be aired for the world. 

It would also be Harry’s first opportunity to publicly discuss the Megxit summit with the Queen that he called as his bitter split from royal life unfolded. 

The meeting could become one among a series of TV chats that have rocked Buckingham Palace to its core, along with Prince Andrew’s 2019 interview with Newsnight and Princess Diana’s bombshell 1995 interview with Panorama.  

It was not immediately clear who will air the interview in the UK. 

Opening up: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will sit down for a primetime TV interview with Oprah, it has been announced, one day after they revealed they are expecting a second child

Opening up: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will sit down for a primetime TV interview with Oprah, it has been announced, one day after they revealed they are expecting a second child 

Connections: It will likely come as no surprise that the couple have chosen to speak with Oprah, 67, who is a close friend of the couple and was a guest at their 2018 wedding

Connections: It will likely come as no surprise that the couple have chosen to speak with Oprah, 67, who is a close friend of the couple and was a guest at their 2018 wedding 

ROYAL AUTHOR: INTERVIEW IS A ‘BETRAYAL OF TRUST’ 

Royal author Robert Jobson said he thought the interview was a ‘betrayal of trust’ and Meghan and Harry ‘seem hell bent on causing the Queen more discomfort and possible embarrassment’.

‘Buckingham Palace were quick to say the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles and the rest of the family wished the couple well on the news. They were apparently told about the baby bump before Harry and Meghan went public,’ he said. 

‘But now, just after smoothing over the cracks caused by ”Megxit’ – just over a year ago – the Sussexes seem hell bent on causing the Queen more discomfort and possible embarrassment. 

‘Given the way the media focus on such royal interviews, one word out of place will be jumped on to confirm on-going feuds in the Royal Family. 

‘If Harry or Meghan talk openly about the fall-out with William and Kate it will cause uproar. If they don’t even mention them, it will be seen as a snub to his brother or just another silky PR exercise – something their friend and interrogator Oprah Winfrey won’t like. 

‘Sources in the royal household say ”Megxit” is not talked about by senior royals. ”It is a subject the family want to move on from,” one senior figure told me. 

‘But how can anyone move on when Meghan and Harry continue to drone on about the difficulties of royal life and being part of the Royal Family. 

‘This interview is a betrayal of trust whatever way you look at it. Harry, who claimed he wanted to escape the publicity of being a front-line royal, has swapped duty for a cash bonanza deal with Netflix. We are not told if money has been paid for this interview. 

‘The army veteran, who serviced with distinction in Afghanistan, often talks about respecting the Queen. 

‘But to be blunt his decision to join his wife’s tell all on US television interview after they exited the royal family so noisily and dramatically, is another act of disrespect. 

‘The Queen has always lived by the mantra of ”never complain and never explain”. With her husband’s 100th birthday celebrations approaching the Harry and Meghan loose cannon continues to fire.’

The interview is the latest in a line of carefully planned publicity moves from the couple and the announcement comes less than 24 hours after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they are expecting their second child.     

If Meghan and Harry’s decision to record an interview will be seen as surprising, their choice of Oprah is not given their close friendship with the TV host, who was a guest at their 2018 wedding in London, and now lives just a short distance from the couple’s $14.5 million Montecito mansion.  

In December, the TV mogul made clear her close relationship with the couple when she promoted Meghan’s new range of vegan coffee in an Instagram post that is estimated to have been worth $1 million in free publicity.

However, their decision to take part in such an ‘intimate’ interview is certainly at odds with the couple’s ongoing insistence that they wish to maintain complete privacy. 

The Palace said they would not be formally commenting. 

But a source said that the Duke and Duchess were no longer working members of the Royal Family and therefore any decisions they take with regard to media commitments were matters for them and they had no obligation to inform the Royal Household of such plans. 

Phil Dampier, who has been writing about the royals for 35 years and is author of Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan In Their Own Words, told MailOnline news of the interview would the the ‘last thing the Queen and the rest of the royal family will want to hear at the moment’.

He added: ‘The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William will be bracing themselves for a series of accusations and revelations, as will Buckingham Palace courtiers.

‘And the sad truth at present is that Harry and Meghan, buoyed up by recent legal victories against the press, feel they have the upper hand.

‘There is little anyone can do stop them but history tells us that royal interviews – be they Diana’s Panorama, Charles’s admission of adultery to Jonathan Dimbleby or Prince Andrew’s Newsnight clash with Emily Maitlis, normally end in tears.

‘Whether justified or not, the fear will be that the couple claim Meghan was not welcomed into the royal family, experienced a degree of racism, and was hounded by the British tabloids.’

Royal author Robert Jobson said he thought the interview was a ‘betrayal of trust’ and Meghan and Harry ‘seem hell bent on causing the Queen more discomfort and possible embarrassment’.

‘Buckingham Palace were quick to say the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles and the rest of the family wished the couple well on the news. They were apparently told about the baby bump before Harry and Meghan went public,’ he said. 

ROYAL INTERVIEWS THAT SHOOK THE PALACE 

In late 2019 Prince Andrew gave a ‘no holds barred’ interview with the BBC ‘s Emily Maitlis about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, along with claims the royal had sex with one of the billionaire paedophile’s young ‘slaves’.

‘Prince Andrew & the Epstein Scandal’ was filmed at Buckingham Palace – a sign it had Her Majesty’s approval – and was the first time the duke was grilled on his friendship with the American sexual abuser, who was found dead in his New York prison cell while awaiting trial for sex-trafficking.

Andrew – the Queen’s second son – stepped down from public life on November 20 2019, following the fallout from his disastrous Newsnight interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein.

The duke was criticised for showing a lack of empathy towards the paedophile’s victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with the pervert.

In the interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, the duke denied claims that he slept with Virginia Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by Epstein, on three separate occasions, including when she was 17, still a minor under US law.

Decades earlier, in a sensational 1995 Panorama interview, Princess Diana said there were ‘three people in my marriage’, a reference to her estranged husband’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, now Duchess of Cornwall.

No one and nothing was off limits; Diana didn’t even spare her own reputation. In one gripping exchange with Mr Bashir, she admitted she had been unfaithful with Army officer James Hewitt.

‘Yes, I adored him,’ she said. ‘Yes, I was in love with him.’

For Prince Charles the examination was excoriating as his estranged, but not yet divorced, wife questioned his credentials to be king, while publicly placing Camilla Parker Bowles front and centre as the reason their marriage broke down.

‘But now, just after smoothing over the cracks caused by ”Megxit’ – just over a year ago – the Sussexes seem hell bent on causing the Queen more discomfort and possible embarrassment.’ 

He added: ‘This interview is a betrayal of trust whatever way you look at it. Harry, who claimed he wanted to escape the publicity of being a front-line royal, has swapped duty for a cash bonanza deal with Netflix. We are not told if money has been paid for this interview. 

‘The army veteran, who served with distinction in Afghanistan, often talks about respecting the Queen. 

‘But to be blunt his decision to join his wife’s tell all US television interview after they exited the royal family so noisily and dramatically, is another act of disrespect. 

‘The Queen has always lived by the mantra of ”never complain and never explain”. With her husband’s 100th birthday celebrations approaching the Harry and Meghan loose cannon continues to fire.’

What is clear is that this interview will likely be the couple’s most candid yet, with a statement from CBS promising that Meghan and Harry will open up about a variety of hot-button topics – perhaps most significantly their exit from the royal family in January 2020, and the Duchess’s views on what it was like to ‘step into royal life’.  

‘Winfrey will speak with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, in a wide-ranging interview, covering everything from stepping into life as a Royal, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work to how she is handling life under intense public pressure,’ a CBS press release revealed. 

‘Later, the two are joined by Prince Harry as they speak about their move to the United States and their future hopes and dreams for their expanding family.’ 

The interview will be the first time that either Meghan or Harry have addressed Megxit directly in a public forum; thus far the couple have remained silent about their reasons for leaving the royal family – despite both waxing lyrical about their new life in Los Angeles during several public appearances. 

Meghan’s decision to discuss her experiences of royal life may also be cause for concern from the Queen and her aides, particularly given that the Duchess has already stated in court documents that she felt ‘unprotected by the [royal] institution’ during her pregnancy – and claimed that she was ‘prohibited from defending herself’ against stories published in the media.

Opening up: According to CBS the couple will open up about a number of sensitive topics, including Meghan's entry into the royal family, and their decision to quit royal life for the US

Opening up: According to CBS the couple will open up about a number of sensitive topics, including Meghan’s entry into the royal family, and their decision to quit royal life for the US  

The choice to broadcast the interview on CBS is surprising, given that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex inked a very lucrative deal with Netflix just last year in a move that is believed to have earned the couple up to $150 million. 

HOW DOES MEGHAN KNOW OPRAH? 

Oprah was friends with Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39 (as well as Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland) before their move to the US, and attended their royal wedding in May 2018.

However they appear to have grown considerably closer over the past 12 months, with Oprah proving herself a generous friend, gifting story books to their son Archie and organising for her friend Tyler Perry to let them stay in his Beverly Hills mansion while they found their feet across the pond.

Oprah had met Meghan just once before her royal wedding to Prince Harry, but has reportedly since played the role of a mentor to the duchess.

Discussion of a possible interview had taken place before Harry and Meghan gave up their positions as working royals, according to The Times.  

It has been reported that Oprah got in touch with Meghan in 2018 through CBS, and after a phone conversation the American chat show host was invited to meet Meghan at Kensington Palace before the royal wedding.  

In 2020 it had become an ‘open secret’ among palace circles that Meghan had agreed to the idea of an interview, reports say. 

And last year it was claimed that Oprah had helped advise Meghan and Harry on leaving their posts as senior members of the Royal Family – but she denied this.

In April 2019, the Duke of Sussex announced a partnership with media mogul Oprah as co-creators and executive producers of a new mental health documentary series for Apple.

The pair had reportedly worked on it for ‘several months’ during a number of ‘secret meetings in London’ – however it emerged this week that Covid-19 restrictions, Harry’s exit from the Royal Family and move to the US with Meghan Markle has ‘stalled’ production.

Meghan has gifted Oprah a bundle of coffee from a company she invested in to plug to her 19.2 million followers on Instagram.

Oprah captioned the post: ‘On the first day of Christmas my neighbor ‘M’ sent to me… A basket of deliciousness! (Yes that M).’

It later emerged that the Duchess has decided to invest in Clevr Blends as she begins to build a portfolio of startup investments – her first such venture since officially stepping back from royal duties.

PR guru Mark Borkowski told MailOnline that Oprah’s endorsement was worth at least $1million and is probably the most valuable piece of free publicity in history.   

Their partnership with Netflix sparked furious controversy – and further questions about the legitimacy of their pleas for privacy – particularly given that the streaming site is responsible for The Crown, which delved into the very private life of Harry’s mother Princess Diana in its most recent season.

Although the fourth season of the show did not premiere until several weeks after Harry and Meghan’s Netflix deal was revealed to the public, it had already been widely publicized that it would cover Diana’s heartbreaking battle with bulimia in great detail, as well as her turbulent relationship with Prince Charles.   

It is understood that such a public and dramatized depiction of such a private matter caused great ‘discomfort’ for Prince William, and many other senior members of the royal family, with one source revealing in September last year that Harry’s partnership with Netflix had created yet further tension between him and his brother. 

‘William and other senior royals are incredibly uncomfortable about this drama and livid Harry is now in partnership with the company that’s airing it,’ the insider told The Sun. 

Details of the couple’s Netflix partnership were kept closely guarded, with the streaming site only revealing that the deal included a wide range of content, from documentaries and children’s programming to feature films. 

Oprah also boasts her own multi-year streaming partnership with Apple TV+, on which she recently streamed an interview with former President Barack Obama.  

Harry and Meghan have mirrored many of the Obamas’ post-White House deals, following in their footsteps by inking multi-million-dollar deals first with Netflix and then with Spotify, just as the former President and First Lady had already done.   

It is unclear whether the interview has already been filmed, or it location; a CBS spokesperson refused to comment, telling DailyMail.com: ‘We have no further information at this time.’

The network has also not revealed whether Harry and Meghan’s son Archie will make an appearance during the 90-minute interview.  

Harry and Meghan’s sit down chat with the famous broadcaster will be aired on March 7, just a few weeks from the one-year anniversary of the couple ending their roles as senior royals.  

Winfrey is a personal friend of Meghan and attended her royal wedding in May 2018, and there was speculation at the time the couple were likely to be interviewed by the celebrity.

The global chat show star has welcomed everyone from Tom Cruise and Madonna to former president Barack Obama to sit down and discuss their lives. 

The last royal television interview aimed at setting the record straight failed spectacularly when the Duke of York appeared on a special edition of the BBC’s Newsnight.

Andrew’s attempt to explain his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein led to him withdrawing from public life after he was accused of lacking empathy for Epstein’s victims.

His ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York was interviewed by Winfrey in 2010 after she was left humiliated by a newspaper sting that caught her offering to sell access to Andrew for £500,000.

She repeatedly talked about herself in the third person and also broke down in tears during the confessional interview.

It is not known if Harry and Meghan informed the royal household in the UK about their plans to be interviewed, but as non-working members of the monarchy they do not have to give notice of their media commitments. 

Guest role? It is not yet known whether the couple's son, Archie, will make an appearance during the interview, and CBS refused to comment on any other details about the sit-down

Guest role? It is not yet known whether the couple’s son, Archie, will make an appearance during the interview, and CBS refused to comment on any other details about the sit-down 

PHIL DAMPIER: ROYALS ARE ‘BRACING THEMSELVES’ 

Phil Dampier, who has been writing about the royals for 35 years and is author of Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan In Their Own Words, told MailOnline news of the interview would the the ‘last thing the Queen and the rest of the royal family will want to hear at the moment’.

He added: ‘Like everyone else they are looking forward to the end of lockdown and better times ahead but this brings into sharp focus that the problems of ”Megxit” haven’t gone away.

‘The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William will be bracing themselves for a series of accusations and revelations, as will Buckingham Palace courtiers.

‘And the sad truth at present is that Harry and Meghan, buoyed up by recent legal victories against the press, feel they have the upper hand.

‘There is little anyone can do stop them but history tells us that royal interviews – be they Diana’s Panorama, Charles’s admission of adultery to Jonathan Dimbleby or Prince Andrew’s Newsnight clash with Emily Maitlis, normally end in tears.

‘Whether justified or not, the fear will be that the couple claim Meghan was not welcomed into the royal family, experienced a degree of racism, and was hounded by the British tabloids.

‘She might say she was shocked when Princess Michael wore a ”racist” brooch depicting a black figure to a royal Christmas lunch.

‘She might claim she wasn’t supported when the row with her father exploded.

‘And she has already stated that no-one asked he if she was coping with life in the royal spotlight.

‘Harry has already talked about his relationship with his brother Prince William, telling ITN’s Tom Bradby after their South African tour in 2019 that they were on different paths.

‘He resented it when William asked him right at the start of Meghan’s arrival if he wasn’t rushing into the relationship and should take more time to decide if she was the right girl.

‘And we all saw the body language between the so-called ”Fab Four” of William and Kate and Harry and Meghan when they were seated near each other at the Commonwealth Day Service just before the couple quit for the States.

‘Instead of building bridges and calming the undoubted rifts down, there must be concern the ‘Fright of the Oprah’ will make things worse.

‘Harry is expected to travel to the UK in the coming months, either for the Queen’s 95th birthday in April, Prince Philip’s 100th in June, Trooping the Colour (If it goes ahead) and for the unveiling of a statue of Princess Diana at Kensington Palace.

‘We will all be watching William and Harry to see how they get on, but royal rictus grins will be obvious, and if Harry flies home without patching things up with his brother they may never heal.

‘I don’t expect Meghan to travel to the UK anytime soon, especially as she is expecting again, and being pregnant gives her the perfect excuse not to come.

‘If the couple criticise the Queen, Charles and Camilla or William and Kate directly, it will be tragic.

‘The royals have played a blinder during the pandemic and are more popular than ever, while Harry and Meghan, who may have a following in America, are no longer a golden couple in the eyes of the British public.

‘The Queen is reluctant to strip them of they royal titles, and desperately wants to keep a lid on any family feuds, but this interview could be a make or break moment.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk