Royals do not grant interviews to Oprah. It’s simply Not Done. Then again, Prince Harry, the second son of Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, herself a true iconoclast, was never going to be a by-the-book prince. Now, Harry and his wife, American-born Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are sitting down with celebrity royalty, Oprah Winfrey, for a much-anticipated televised interview.
The royal courtiers over in the palace are likely nervous about Sunday’s Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special. They like to control the family’s image, and Meghan and Harry are wild cards now.
When is Oprah’s interview with Harry and Meghan?
The Oprah, Meghan and Harry special will air on CBS on Sunday, March 7 at 8 p.m. PT/ET and 7 p.m. CT. See below for how to watch it if you don’t have cable.
The 90-minute interview will begin with Oprah and Meghan chatting, as the veteran talk show host gets the pregnant Duchess to open up about marriage, motherhood and the unique pressures of royal life. Later on, Prince Harry will join, and both are expected to discuss their move to the US and their future plans. You just know baby Archie will make some kind of appearance, because if Oprah knows anything, it’s how to make good TV, and royal babies are good TV indeed.
CBS has released three preview clips.
How did we get here?
Normal protocol for someone as high up in the royal family as Harry would be to live in the UK forever, as a working member of the royal family — attending hospital openings, museum exhibits, board meetings, playing bingo with pensioners and generally just supporting Queen Elizabeth II in a quiet yet respectful way. But that was never going to be the preferred path for rebellious Harry and his American-born actress wife. Realistically, with his father Charles, brother William, and William and Kate’s three kids all in line to the throne before him, Harry was never going to rule. So he and his wife, perhaps inspired by the late Diana’s love for America, decided to go their own way, Fleetwood Mac style.
You may have heard that Meghan and Harry (their royal titles are just too tangled to keep using here) moved first to Canada, then to California in 2020. In February 2021, after a year trial, Buckingham Palace announced the couple would not return as working members of the royal family, through they would remain “much loved.”
And Meghan and Harry have been busy. In 2020, they signed a deal to develop programming for Netflix, and they’ve also signed a deal with Spotify to produce and host their own podcasts. They’re residing in America now, and Americans gonna America. So the Oprah interview, while not something a regular royal would do, fits right in with what a Hollywood celebrity would take on.
Why not Oprah? Although Winfrey stopped making her iconic talk show in 2011, she’s still one of the most powerful, well-known women in American media, and maybe the world. Harry’s used to powerful women, of course — just look at his mom and grandma. And Oprah has been a part of the royal couple’s life for a while now. She attended their 2018 royal wedding, and lives not far from their Montecito, California, home. In fact, it was Oprah who gave baby Archie the cute book, Duck! Rabbit!, that he was seen reading with Meghan in a video released to mark his first birthday in May 2020.
Will there be bombshells?
The palace lifers can be forgiven for freaking out. Back in 1995, Harry’s mom, Diana, sat down for a televised interview with British journalist Martin Bashir. She dished pretty good — discussing her bulimia, the lack of support she felt she received from the royals and Prince Charles’ infidelity with Camilla Parker-Bowles, now his wife.
The teases for the interview indicate it’s truly going to rock the royals. In a preview clip, Winfrey announces, “You’ve said some pretty shocking things here,” and later throws her hands up saying, “Wait, hold — hold up, wait a minute.” She also emphasizes that nothing is off-limits for the discussion.
And in one clip, released Wednesday, Oprah asks Meghan how she feels about the palace “hearing you speak your truth today.”
Meghan responds that she doesn’t know how the couple can be expected to keep silent “if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us, and if that comes with a risk of losing things … there’s a lot that’s been lost already.”
Yes, she really said “The Firm,” one of the slangier terms for the royal family. But even leaving that aside, it’s likely the old guard at Buckingham and Windsor are fuming at every single word in this sentence. She seems to be suggesting a campaign of lies about the couple, coming straight from the palace itself.
Lighter fare might be discussed. Meghan is expecting the couple’s second baby in 2021, so maybe she’ll share info about that. Name preferences almost certainly won’t be revealed, and it seems unlikely Meghan will spill whether she’s having a girl or boy. But it’s possible Oprah will coax out some kind of hint about how much longer the couple has to wait for the new little one.
Maybe the couple will share some more information about their upcoming business ventures in the Netflix and Spotify worlds. That would be standard stuff for a celeb interview, but it’s still odd to hear royals — even removed royals — discussing making money from entertainment.
Royal watchers will take note of any little homey details — glimpses of the Sussexes’ California mansion, brief babbling and giggles from Archie, appearances by the couple’s dogs — the kind of things People magazine covers about movie stars. And whatever comes of it, this is new territory for the queen’s grandson. The royal family has always lived in front of the cameras, but usually in a guarded way. Oprah’s nothing if not unguarded.
How do I watch it if I don’t have cable?
If you don’t have a cable or satellite TV subscription, you can watch the interview on CBS’ streaming service CBS All Access or another live-TV streaming service.
CBS All Access
CBS All Access ($6 a month, or ad-free $10 a month) offers live TV (in some cities) from CBS, CBSN and ET Live in addition to a healthy selection of video-on-demand from ViacomCBS properties. CBS All Access also offers exclusive originals such as Star Trek: Discovery, Picard and the Good Fight. It’s about to .
Hulu with Live TV
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AT&T Now’s basic $70-a-month Entertainment package includes the four major networks — ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — along with popular cable news channels including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live.
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