What to Expect From Harry and Meghan’s Oprah Interview


Though many high-profile names and TV networks had made bids to score the first interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex since they stepped down as senior royals, it will be Oprah Winfrey and CBS who get to do the honors. The network announced Monday that they will air the 90-minute primetime special on March 7, billed as an “intimate conversation” between Winfrey and the royals about their family life, their hopes for the future, their philanthropy, and the pressures they face in the public spotlight

It is understood that Meghan will also talk about what it was like to marry into the royal family and touch on the circumstances that drove her and Harry to quit last year, although Vanity Fair has been told the Duchess is unlikely to reveal the full details of their departure out of respect for the Queen. It is not known whether Harry and Meghan have discussed the TV interview with the Queen, but they did not consult courtiers at Buckingham Palace before agreeing to the interview. A Palace source said that the couple are no longer obliged to inform the Royal Household of their plans now that they are non-working members of the Royal Family.

The announcement of the interview comes 24 hours after the couple announced they are expecting their second child due this summer. Sources close to Harry and Meghan say they are “over the moon.”

“Meg’s on a high and so is Harry,” said a friend. “They are very excited about everything and looking forward to sitting down and sharing some of that happiness with Oprah. It’s a chance for them to give people a glimpse into their new lives and what they are hoping to achieve in the future.”

The last interview Harry and Meghan gave was to ITV’s Tom Bradby at the conclusion of their tour to South Africa in October 2019. During the interview Harry revealed that he and his brother William were on different paths, while Meghan said that she was struggling in her new role as a royal. The bombshell interview was a wake-up call for the royal family and prefaced early stage talks about the couple taking on new roles.

The Oprah interview, though given under dramatically different circumstances than the one in 2019, will still be carefully handled to avoid the couple being accused of cashing in on their royal connections and “invading” their own privacy. Last week Meghan won a High Court case against Associated Newspapers over a breach of her privacy and copyright over a private letter she wrote to her father Thomas Markle. According to former Palace Spokesman Dickie Arbiter, the Sussexes will need to be careful what they say about their son Archie and Meghan’s relationship with her father.

“The Sussexes have an army of professional well paid advisors so they will go into the interview well-rehearsed and prepared but they will have to be careful particularly when speaking about their son and Meghan’s father.” Arbiter told Vanity Fair. “Associated Newspapers will I imagine be watching the interview very carefully. They want their day in court so I can’t believe Meghan will talk in depth about the court case and she should be careful when talking about the media because from what I have seen, she hasn’t been harassed by the British media. Meghan is very smart and I suspect this is more about getting their message out about what’s next for them and what they are going to do in LA. Harry and Meghan aren’t going to make any waves, it’s not worth them upsetting the apple cart.”

Choosing Oprah to do the interview, Arbiter added “was no surprise.” Winfrey is a close friend of the couple’s and lives close to their new home in Montecito, Santa Barbara. Meghan and Harry have held off doing an interview until now, but according to those close to them, with the launch of Archewell , their new charitable foundation and a year into their new lives in LA, it was deemed the right time to do a sit down.

Global talent agent Professor Jonathan Shalit told Vanity Fair that the interview will ultimately be good PR for Harry and Meghan. “An Oprah interview is a badge of honor for any global celebrity looking to open up and present their viewpoint to the world,” he said. “As to the rights and wrongs of this there are two totally differing perspectives at play.

The UK perspective is Meghan has married into the British Royal Family and should play by UK rules and not trade on her title of Duchess. The American perspective is Meghan is an American and looking to build her own career in America and doing what is necessary to achieve this.”

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