While the majority of us don't have much (if anything), to report from the last year, Meghan and Harry have quite the roll call. After stepping back as senior royals, being rebranded as normies, celebrating the 1st birthday of their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, signing a $100m Netflix deal, launching a podcast, moving to Santa Barbara, suffering a miscarriage and becoming pregnant again... for them, it's been, a year. One that's been splashed across and scrutinised in newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic. It's hardly surprising then that they've seized the opportunity to tell their side of the story.
Ahead of the interview (airing in the US on Sunday, and on ITV on Monday – the channel reportedly paid £1 million for the rights), CBS has teased two thirty minute, deliciously moreish clips in which we hear Oprah say "there is no subject off limits." When asked about the royal family's reaction to this interview, Meghan answers frankly: “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that ‘the firm’ is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” adding that ”if that comes with risk of losing things... I mean, there’s a lot that’s been lost already”. Joining them for the second half, Prince Harry says: “my biggest concern was history repeating itself,” in reference to his late mother.
Ahead of the interview, the palace announced that it's launching an investigation into the Duchess' treatment of palace staff. It's a move that Mark Landler, London bureau chief of The New York Times, refers to as a “long used by members of the royal family or their allies to settle scores.” The couple's supporters are enraged, highlighting the hypocrisy that Prince Andrew has been subject to no such investigation, despite his ties with Jeffrey Epstein. One Twitter user commented: “Imagine for a moment if we lived in a world where the media scrutinised Prince Andrew as much as they do Meghan Markle". Another read: “Sorry media, I'm not going to take a single story about Meghan Markle seriously until Prince Andrew is drop kicked into the sun”.
“This is an ongoing distraction tactic, when what should be the focus are the very serious allegations of child trafficking and rape by a senior royal who was close friends with a convicted paedophile and Ghislaine Maxwell, who is due to stand trial for her part in recruiting and trafficking teenage girls – one of those girls has accused Prince Andrew of rape,” said Munroe Bergdorf, who has been a vocal supporter of the Duchess from the get-go. Bergdorf continued saying that The Times’ article “is targeted harassment of a woman who is pregnant with her second child and a man who lost his mother in his childhood because of similar incessant media harassment”.
Regardless, the decision to the air their grievances in the heat of the Hollywood sun with a chat show legend was always going to be a controversial one. It will air while an ailing Prince Phillip, 99, remains in hospital recovering from a heart operation. “The family is very worried about him and their thoughts are very much with him rather than this Oprah interview. They have much more important things to worry about,” a source close to the Royal family told the Telegraph.
Monday 8 March, 9pm ITV