Oprah Winfrey has admitted that she was surprised that Meghan Markle ‘went all the way there’ with allegations of racism against the royal family during her and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview.
Back in March, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down with Oprah in California for a no holds barred interview about why they left the UK and Meghan’s alleged experiences with the royal family.
One of the most shocking moments came when Meghan, who is expecting her second child with Harry, claimed that royal family members had had ‘conversations with Harry about how dark [their son Archie’s] skin might be when he’s born’.
At the time, Oprah’s jaw dropped and she asked: ‘What?’
Speaking to Nancy O’Dell, the 67-yearold said: ‘I’m like, “What? You’re going there? You’re going all the way there”.’
Harry later corroborated his wife’s claim, saying the conversation ‘shocked’ him, but refused to identify who had the conversation with him.
Oprah was speaking on Nancy O’Dell on talkshoplive, where she was promoting her book What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, and shared that she had only texted with Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, before the interview.
The journalist explained: ‘Whenever I’m doing interviews with anybody for anything that is significant, I have a conversation with them before.
‘I didn’t see Harry and Meghan before but I did text them and say intention is very important to me, tell me what your intention is, so that we can be aligned in our goal. And our shared intention was the truth. They wanted to be able to tell their story and tell it in such a way that allowed them to be as truthful as possible.’
She continued: ‘The reason why it was such a powerful interview — first of all, I know how to ask questions, and you [Nancy] know how to ask questions, we all know how to do our jobs, but what makes it powerful is when you have someone else who is willing to be as open, as vulnerable, as truthful, as they were.
‘So, I don’t give myself credit for that, I give myself credit for asking the questions, but the reason the interview was what it was, was because they answered the way they did.’
In a rare incident, none of the content of the interview – which aired on CBS in the States, before being broadcast on ITV the following night in the UK – was leaked beforehand, something Oprah felt was important so that out of context clips couldn’t be ‘exploited’.
She said: ‘It was really important to me that what we put out there in the world was put out at the time everyone could see it and that things didn’t leak, and things weren’t misconstrued before the actual interview happened.
‘So I remember when we finished doing the interview and that interview was 3 hours and 20 minutes I think, and I stood up and said to the crew, we all know what was said here, and how important it is to have the trust of the people who just shared that, and so I’m hoping you all will not go out into the world and share what has happened here. And nobody did.
‘And so, as we were releasing clips to CBS, we were releasing them in such a way that whatever was being put out there could not be exploited. So a lot of time and effort and energy went into it on my part.’
The interview, which aired on March 7, attracted 17.1million viewers on CBS and made headlines globally, and as well as causing tension in the royal family, it led to the departure of Piers Morgan from Good Morning Britain, after the journalist claimed he didn’t believe Meghan when she said that she received no help from the palace when she expressed suicidal thoughts.
In turn, Sharon Osbourne left The Talk after she clashed with co-host Sheryl Underwood over Piers’ comments.
Oprah said of the interview’s effect: ‘I had no idea that it would have the reverberating impact it has had and continues to have. I did a lot of preparation for that.’
Harry is now back in the States, having flown back to the UK last weekend to attend his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral.
Meghan was unable to accompany him as she was advised not to travel by her physician at this point in her pregnancy.
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