Harry and Meghan’s two recent interviews are significant steps in finding their ‘public voice’
We’ve only see one 30-second clip of the eagerly-awaited sit-down that Prince Harry and wife Meghan have filmed with chat-show queen Oprah Winfrey, but the accusations of hypocrisy have already started.
A royal storm has been brewing online amid claims of double-standards, for the celebrity duo claiming they want more privacy to raise their family while signing multi-million-dollar deals with Netflix and sitting down with a global star for the exclusive interview.
Their choice of Winfrey for the tell-all chat could be seen as deeply anamolous with their decision to step back from the public eye.
But it’s also a smart move, given that they’re friends with her; she attended their wedding and they can relax more, knowing they’ll be given a ‘soft’ interview, devoid of leading questions or combative responses.
It’s no secret that Prince Harry has always had a difficult relationship with the media since the sudden passing of his mother, the late Princess Diana, while being pursued by paparazzi in Paris in 1997.
However, he too chose a good friend for a revealing interview last week, namely James Corden.
The ‘Late Late Show’ host also attended his 2018 wedding and the paid appeared relaxed and in good spirits as they rode around in an open-topped bus.
Prince Harry used that opportunity to state that he and his wife stepped back the royal family last year because the British tabloids were “destroying” his mental health.
“I was like, ‘This is toxic.’ So I did what any husband and what any father would do,” he said.
The two recent interviews are significant steps in finding their ‘public voice’, unemcumbered by the laborious Buckingham Palace PR machine, having had their entire relationship analysed to an uncomfortable degree since they first paired up.
Their first joint interview since moving to America after ‘Megxit’ in January 2020, the full sit-down will be broadcast in a two-hour special by CBS on March 7.
Filmed in the sprawling back garden of a mansion in Santa Barbara, it starts in dramatic fashion with Oprah asking an upset-looking Meghan (39): “Were you silenced or were you silent?”
The presenter then adds, thrillingly: “I just want to make it clear to everybody, there is no subject that is off-limits.”
Referencing something Meghan appears to have just said about her 20-months spent as a member of the Royal family, Oprah then states: “Almost unsurvivable, sounds like there was a breaking point.”
To the backdrop of a dramatic overture, attention then turns to Prince Harry (36) who appears to reference his late mother Princess Diana’s troubled public life.
“I'm just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, because I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago,” he said.
“Because it's been unbelievably tough for the two of us but at least we have each other.”
Commentators have been claiming that the Queen was reportedly 'blindsided' by the Sussexes' decision to take part in this interview. It has also been noted that its timing may seem a little callous, given that Prince Harry’s grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh (99) is currently in hospital battling an issue with his heart.
Much has also been made of the fact that pregnant Meghan, who is due a sibling to Archie (21 months) within the coming months, chose a €4,000 Armani dress for the interview.
Yet one can’t help but wonder if she chose to wear something from the high street, that also might have sparked suggestions that she’s now “dressing-down” now she’s Stateside and no longer an official member of ‘The Firm.’
And surely it’s hard to gauge their motivation for the surprise sit-down without being given more context?
But the celebrity pair certainly seem like they have a lot to get off their chest. And without the shackles and constraints of being working members of the Royal family – and with a new €11.63m base thousands of miles from Buckingham Palace – they are now at last free to set the record straight on a few issues. Not to mention lift the lid on the inner workings of one of the most sacred British institutions. Talk about must-watch TV.
Many of the commentary surrounding Meghan Markle from certain sections of the British media has been profoundly inappropriate, bordering on misogyny with racist undertones.
She was branded “vulgar” for not wearing flesh-coloured tights at an event, for letting her bra strap slip out at outing, not to mention the achingly-predictable claims of rivalry with the Duchess of Cambridge.
It reached a particularly low point when she was heavily pregnant with their first child and she was at the centre of scrutiny on fashion and tabloid pages.
So how about we wait until the interview broadcasts before we make snap judgements and instead #bekind? This celebrity couple clearly fled Britain for a good reason and without all the facts to hand, it’s impossible to make a balanced judgement.