Where will you be on Sunday, March 7 at 7 p.m. ET? I, an unabashed royal watcher (by profession and proclivity) will be tuned into CBS, to see what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have to say about their experience in the British royal family. You know, where people stop being polite—and start getting real.
Real talk? Buckingham Palace—and the British press—are clearly shook about the upcoming interview, which appears to have been years in the making, even ahead of Harry and Meghan’s 2018 nuptials, at which Oprah was a guest. In a transcript provided to The Root by CBS This Morning in anticipation of the couple’s tell-all (or most of it) on Sunday, we learn that Oprah initially (and somewhat predictably) requested an interview well ahead of the May 2018 royal wedding.
OPRAH: So, I just want to say that I called you either February or March 2018 before the wedding asking, uh, would you please give me an interview, and you said I’m sorry it’s not the right time.
OPRAH: And finally, we get to sit down and have this conversation.
MEGHAN: I’m so.. Well, I remember that conversation very well. I wasn’t even allowed to have that conversation with you personally, right. There had to be people from the comp (inaudible) sitting there, everything was..
OPRAH: There were other people in the room when I was having that conversation.
MEGHAN: Yeah, even on that call.
OPRAH: You turned me down nicely and said perhaps there will be another time, when there’s the right time.
Now is clearly the right time, as Harry and Meghan, who are now expecting their second child, are finally sitting down with Oprah to “tell their truth.” The rare appearance has predictably prompted some backlash from Buckingham Palace and the British press (some of which Meghan has been engaged in a protracted legal battle with). Reports surfaced earlier this week that Meghan “bullied” senior members of the staff at Kensington Palace, where she and Harry resided with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, before establishing their own household at Frogmore Cottage. We called foul on the perpetuation of the “Duchess Difficult” stereotype, but draw your own conclusions on the timing of that announcement.
Meghan is now on record accusing Buckingham Palace of “playing an active role in perpetuating falsehoods” about her and Harry. In response, the British press is doubling down, on Thursday announcing Buckingham Palace’s investigation into the bullying claims (yet mysteriously none on royal darling Prince Andrew’s purported penchant for underage girls or prolonged affiliation with Jeffrey Epstein). Added to the fire are reports from CNN’s British affiliate, which notes the poor timing of the interview’s airing, as 99-year-old Prince Philip is undergoing a health crisis (the interview was taped well in advance of that development). Additionally, research data and analyst group YouGov, reports its latest results on the popularity of the 15 most prominent members of the royal family; as of December 2020, Meghan ranks behind Camilla as “most hated woman in Britain.”
As British-Nigerian comedian Gina Yashere told CBS This Morning on Friday morning: “They wouldn’t be in California if not for the way they were harassed and harangued while they were doing their royal duties.”
Never one to shy away from a viral moment, British journalist Piers Morgan piled on, posting on Instagram that it “[m]ight be time to ban our Princes from marrying American women,” while comparing Meghan to a previous American to marry into the royal family, Wallis Simpson, who catalyzed Edward VIII’s abdication from the throne in 1945. It’s also worth noting Morgan previously accused Markle of “ghosting” him ahead of her going public with her relationship with the prince, so make of that what you will.
Seriously, Piers...you seem hurt.
Anyhoo, while sources at Kensington Palace “believed that the public should have insight into their side of the story ahead of the couple’s highly anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday.” We believe y’all need to take a DE & I workshop, but maybe that’s just us.
As CBS noted in its press release, “Meghan feels liberated now that she and Prince Harry can make their own choices without consulting the royal family...The couple stepped back from royal life last year, and in February, the split was finalized.” More from the interview transcript:
OPRAH: What is right about this time?
MEGHAN: Um...Well, so many things. That we’re on the other side of a lot of.. a lot of life experience that’s happened. And also that we have the ability to make our own choices in a way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then. That wasn’t my choice to make. So, as an adult who lived a really independent life to then go into this construct that is um.. different than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes. I mean..
OPRAH: And to say it for yourself..
MEGHAN: I’m ready to talk. To say it for yourself.
OPRAH: And not to have to consult with anybody at this point. Yes.
MEGHAN: Yeah. To be able to just make a choice on your own. And to be able to speak for yourself.
Oprah Winfrey’s exclusive interview with Meghan and Prince Harry, “Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special” airs on Sunday, March 7 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.