Meghan and Harry's tell-all sit down with Oprah Winfrey has smashed US ratings records.

Early ratings showed the two hour special was the most watched non-sports broadcast this season in the US, with over 17 million live TV viewers.

This exceeded the recent Golden Globes and Emmys telecasts.

The early figure was for the free-to-air CBS telecast and does not take in on-demand, cable and streaming viewers.

It comes as multiple bombshell revelations were dropped throughout the interview with America's top talk show host.

Oprah Winfrey revealed that Prince Harry had told her that the Queen and Prince Philip were not behind the racist comments about baby Archie.

 

 

The talk show queen shared new clips of the interview that had been cut from more than three hours to 85 minutes.

"He did not share the identity with me," Winfrey said.

But she said Prince Harry had made clear "not his grandmother, not his grandfather who were a part of those conversations."

"He did not tell me who were a part of those conversations, as you can see I tried to get that answer, both on camera and off."

Winfrey appeared on CBS on Tuesday morning US time to discuss her interview with Prince Harry and Meghan.

QUEEN SNUBBED HARRY AND MEGHAN

She said that the couple had wanted to dismiss suggestions that they "blindsided" the Queen with Megxit.

"There had been months and months of preparations before their move to Canada," she said.

She said that the Queen was ill advised after she refused to see Prince Harry at Norfolk.

"There are, as Harry just indicated, there are people surrounding the family who are advisers to the family who have been there a long time and those people have a lot of influence and input," Winfrey said.

Prince Harry said that the Queen had been prevented from seeing him at the height of Megxit by her advisers.

The Queen had invited him and Meghan to Norfolk, her estate about two hours north of London.

But those plans were derailed by the Queen's minders.

"The moment we landed in the UK we got a message from… Please pass on to the Duke that he cannot come to Norfolk, the Queen is busy all week," Prince Harry said.

When Oprah asked why the Queen did not get to do what she wanted, Prince Harry said:

"No, when you're head of the firm there are people around you that give you advice. That makes me really sad that some of that advice was really bad."

 

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

Winfrey said that the couple wanted to set the record straight by doing their interview.

"(They) wanted to do it, were ready to do it because when you have been lied about for a series of years I think anybody, you can understand this in your own office or in your own family and somebody is saying things that aren't true… how hurtful that is," she said.

"Imagine that for a period of months and years."

 

Prince Harry gives Oprah more details on how their exit from the royal family occurred. Picture: Screengrab/CBS
Prince Harry gives Oprah more details on how their exit from the royal family occurred. Picture: Screengrab/CBS

'RUDE AND RACIST ARE NOT THE SAME'

Prince Harry said the royal family had not expressed remorse that Meghan was a target for racism.

"No sadly not, the feeling is that this was our decision therefore the consequences are on us. despite three years of asking for help, of visualising how this might end," he said.

"It's been really hard because I'm part of the system with them, I always have been.

"But I guess I'm aware my brother can't leave the system, but I have."

He said that the royal family was trapped by the British media.

"The fear by the UK tabloids, it's a toxic environment," Prince Harry said.

"I will always be there for my family."

He said Prince Charles "had to make peace with" the Press.

However, in the new clip, Meghan said "this was different", saying social media made it worse.

"Plus my being American it translated in a different way across the pond," she said referring to America.

"If they can compare what the experience that I went through. Kate was called Waity Katy, while I imagine that was really hard, this was not the same.

"Rude and racist are not the same."

 

Prince Charles, 72, or his wife Camilla, 73, and Prince William, 38, or Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, are now under a cloud following the claim.

 

WHICH ROYAL MADE ARCHIE SKIN COLOUR COMMENT?

Chris Ship, a respected royal reporter for Britain's ITV, narrowed down the search.

"It was a conversation that Harry had with his family members," Mr Ship told Good Morning Britain.

"I should be clear here, I've been told it's not the Queen, and it's not the Duke of Edinburgh.

"So that only leaves two family members.

"The two people you are left with is either his father Prince Charles or his brother Prince William or their wives."

Mr Ship said the racism claim was "pretty serious."

"They protected the Queen throughout this," he said of Prince Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39.

"But equally they are criticising the institution of which she is head, and therefore you're criticising his grandmother the Queen."

There were now calls for Buckingham Palace to investigate the claim, with the identity of the alleged racist likely to be the subject of ongoing speculation.

British Labour MP Nadia Whittome said: "When Meghan Markle was accused of bullying, Buckingham Palace immediately announced an investigation.

"Now that Meghan has revealed comments about her child's skin colour, will they investigate racism in the Palace? I won't be holding my breath."

Vicky Ford, the UK's Children's Minister, said there was "no place for racism in our society".

"We all need to work together to stop it," she told the BBC.

Britain has worked hard to combat racism, particularly in Premier League football where there are ongoing advertising campaigns.

Players also, across many grades of competition, take the knee before matches in a nod to the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

 

Daily Mail front page from UK press, which Prince Harry told Oprah is ‘bigoted’. Picture: Supplied
Daily Mail front page from UK press, which Prince Harry told Oprah is ‘bigoted’. Picture: Supplied

 

 

Prince Harry said he left the UK because of racism, according to a clip of his interview with Oprah Winfrey.

"It was a large part of it," he said.

He said that someone spoke to him at a Sentebale charity dinner at the Ivy in London after they had announced they wanted to step back from full time royal duties.

Prince Harry said that the person asked him not to go to war with the British Press, saying they would ruin his life.

And the friend said that Britain was a "bigoted" country.

"The UK is not bigoted, the UK press is bigoted," he said.

Prince Harry said "I completely disagree" but hit out at the media, saying the source of information for most people was "completely racist."

 

Meghan Markle has claimed she was suicidal when pregnant with Archie.
Meghan Markle has claimed she was suicidal when pregnant with Archie.

MEGHAN'S FEAR OF FATHER'S BETRAYAL

In a new clip, Meghan revealed her pain at her father's "betrayal" when he spoke with the "tabloids".

She said media outlets paid to find his address.

"From that point, the tabloids moved into the apartment next door," she said.

"The whole thing brings us to where we are today. I'm trying to decide if I'm comfortable even talking about that.

"We called my dad and I asked him and he said no, absolutely not (that he sold pictures to the paparazzi).

"Also, me saying, just saying if we use this to protect you we won't be able to use this to protect our children one day.

"I genuinely can't imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my children."

She said that the Press had the story for a month but only dropped it a week before her wedding to Prince Harry to create drama.

Of her half-sister, Samantha Markle, Meghan said that she did not know her and questioned how she would have enough information to fill a "tell all" book about her.

"It would be very hard to tell all when you don't know me," she said.

"This is a very different situation from my dad. I don't feel comfortable talking about people I don't know.

"I grew up as an only child, I wished I had siblings, that's why I'm so excited I'm pregnant (so Archie has a sibling).

"The last time I saw her (Samantha) must have been 18 or 19 years ago and before that 10 years...

"She changed her name back to Markle only when I started dating Harry, so that says enough."

 

 

 

MEGHAN'S SUICIDE PAIN

The Duchess of Sussex revealed how Prince Harry "cradled her" when she told him she was on the verge of suicide when she was five months pregnant.

And in further claims that have plunged the royal family into crisis, a candid Meghan Markle and emotional Prince Harry also said that royal figures were jealous of Meghan's success on her tour of Australia in 2018, in a similar way to the envy shown to Princess Diana when she dazzled Down Under in 1983.

Meghan chats to Oprah inside a chicken coop at her Montecito estate.
Meghan chats to Oprah inside a chicken coop at her Montecito estate.

Prince Harry said that his father Prince Charles, 72, cut him off and had "stopped taking his calls" last year, and had "really let him down".

He described his relationship with Prince William as "space at the moment", adding "time heals all things, hopefully."

The bombshells rained down repeatedly during Oprah Winfrey's two-hour televised chat with the couple, which was filmed in the exclusive enclave of Montecito, California, where all three of them live.

"I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry … I knew that if I didn't say it that I would do it and I just knew that I didn't want to be alive any more," Meghan, 39, said of the moment she told her husband in January 2019.

"I remember how he just cradled me and I went to the institution … I went to one of the most senior people to get help."

 

Meghan said in the special, which aired on CBS in America and Channel 10 in Australia, that it was a scary time.

"I thought it (suicide) would have solved everything for everyone," she said.

"This was emails and begging for help, saying very specifically 'I am concerned for my mental welfare'.

"I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that I've never felt this way before and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn't, that it wouldn't be good for the institution."

Prince Harry says he was concerned he would lose his wife.
Prince Harry says he was concerned he would lose his wife.

Prince Harry, who at times appeared on the edge of tears, repeated his concern that he feared "history would repeat itself" and he would lose his wife in a similar way to how his mother, Princess Diana died in 1997.

The comments, which he first said after the couple's tour of southern Africa in 2019, were given added weight following the revelations of Meghan's suicidal thoughts.

But he said it was "far more dangerous" today than in his mother's circumstances because Meghan had the added burden of being bi-racial and the intense pressure of social media.

 

Prince Harry said he was disappointed his family did not add to the voices of 70 female members of UK parliament who had "called out the colonial undertones" of the British media's coverage of Meghan.

"Yet no-one from my family ever said anything over those three years. That hurts," he said.

The couple were officially set adrift from their royal duties on February 19, with the Queen refusing to reinstate their roles during an expected 12 month review of Megxit.

 

The couple signed deals with Netflix and Spotify worth up to $150 million after stepping down from senior royal duties.

Prince Harry lost his military titles, which meant a great deal to him, while Meghan was stripped of patronages, including her place at the Royal National Theatre and they both lost jobs at the Queen's Commonwealth Trust.

 

The couple used the Winfrey interview to set the record straight, claiming that the Royal Family had refused to give Archie the title of Prince, which would have entitled him to security for life.

It had previously been reported that Prince Harry and Meghan had not wanted to give Archie a royal title.

 

DEATH THREATS AND RACE-HATE

The cost of security became a major sticking point, with Meghan saying the couple had received death threats and race-hate correspondence.

Prince Harry said that the couple moved to Los Angeles where they were offered American actor Tyler Perry's mansion and his security team for nothing after the royal family had refused to pay for their ongoing security in Canada.

The couple were careful in the wording of their criticisms, repeatedly referring to the institution, however there were veiled attacks on Prince Charles, Prince William and his wife Kate.

Prince Harry said he had spoken more to his grandmother the Queen in the past year than he had in the many years previous.

And both he and Meghan were at pains to point out their respect for the Queen, which may help salvage some chance of reconciliation in the future.

 

KATE CRY STORY: 'CHARACTER ASSASSINATION'

Meghan said she regretted that she believed Buckingham Palace would "protect her" from negative stories in the press.

And she claimed that a much repeated story that she had made Kate cry in the lead up to the couple's royal wedding was wrong, although conceded the dispute was about flower girl dresses.

"The narrative of making Kate cry was a real character assassination and they knew it wasn't true," she said.

 

When Winfrey asked Meghan directly if she made Kate cry, she replied: "No, the reverse happened, I don't say that to be disparaging to anyone.

"She was upset about something, but she owned it, she apologised, she sent a note.

"I don't think it's fair to get into the details because she apologised and I forgave her for that,"

The pressure of the wedding had been so intense that she and Harry decided to have a private ceremony three days before the televised event which she described as an "out of body experience".

"We were both really aware… that this wasn't our day, this was the day that was planned for the world," Meghan said.

The couple showed off the garden in Montecito, where they paid $20 million for a 16-bathroom mansion, doing part of the interview from the chicken coop, which housed rescued hens.

And while Prince Harry acknowledged he had a beautiful home, he said that he was most grateful for being able to take Archie on a bike ride through the safe streets and down to the beach without worrying about their security.

Prince Harry was beaming when he told Winfrey that the couple's second - and last - child was expected to be a girl.

 

 

The couple's interview is tipped to significantly damage the royal family's reputation.

Prince Harry was due to come to Britain for his grandfather, Prince Philip's, 100th birthday in June.

The 99-year-old remained in King Edward VII's Hospital in London recovering from minor heart surgery.

It was also unclear whether he would also attend the Trooping of the Colour in honour of the Queen's birthday, likely to be one of the first public events with crowds following the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, a source told the UK Telegraph, one of Prince Harry's favoured newspapers, that he was determined to stand shoulder to shoulder with his brother Prince William for the unveiling of a statue in honour of Princess Diana in Kensington Palace gardens on July 1.

Tennis player Serena Williams said after the interview that Meghan was a "selfless friend".

"Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she's experienced," she said.

HOW AUSSIE TOUR SPARKED 'JEALOUSY"

They offered hope to a drought-ravaged Dubbo, rubbed shoulders with then Governor-general Peter Cosgrove on Sydney Harbour, and rode an iconic Melbourne tram.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's tour of Australia in 2018 was an overwhelming success, with the duchess the star of the show.

The former actress, who revealed she was pregnant during the tour, "effortlessly" took to her new role.

 

However, Prince Harry claimed that Meghan's popularity sparked jealousy in the royal family, in the same way as Princess Diana's triumphant tour of Australia in 1983.

"It really changed after the Australia tour. It was also the first time the family got to see how incredible she was at the job," Prince Harry said in the interview with Oprah.

Prince Diana's torment in Australia was detailed at length in the latest series of The Crown, a Netflix drama, which was based on the British monarchy.

While there are some criticisms that The Crown took poetic licence with plots, Prince Harry hinted that it was on the money when dealing with his mother's tour Down Under.

 

When asked about the show, which airs on the streaming service the couple now have a contract with, Prince Harry said: "I've watched some of it. We've watched some of it."

He added that he was disappointed that Meghan's popularity, like his mother's, was not embraced.

"I just wish that we would all learn from the past," he said.

"But to see how effortless it was for Meghan to come into the family so quickly, in Australia, and across New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, and just be able to connect with people in such a [way]."

 

The couple had 76 engagements over 16 days in their first major tour.

The visit also coincided with the Invictus Games, an Olympics-style event for injured war veterans, which Prince Harry helped create.

There were claims this week that there was tension during the tour, which could be considered in a bullying probe into Meghan's behaviour launched by Buckingham Palace.

However, it was unclear how far that investigation would go following Meghan's revelations about her mental health.

Prince Harry was under strain during the tour, and hit out at journalists when he spoke to them on a private flight with them in Australia.

"Thanks for coming, even though you weren't invited," Prince Harry said at the time.

stephen.drill@news.co.uk

 

 

 

If you or someone you know needs assistance: Lifeline on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au

Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or at www.beyondblue.org.au

 

Originally published as Queen's Harry and Meghan snub was 'bad advice'

The royal pair with interviewer Oprah Winfrey.
The royal pair with interviewer Oprah Winfrey.

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