The time has finally come for audiences to hear Meghan and Harry describe the backstory and effects of their tumultuous split from royal life.
Sunday night’s airing of a two-hour special hosted by Oprah Winfrey will provide the first, and unprecedented, peek into the couple’s departure from royal duties and the strains it has placed on them.
How it’s received is likely to depend on which side of the Atlantic Ocean viewers are on.
The show, which includes Winfrey’s interviews with Meghan and Harry, will air first in the United States — Meghan’s home country — at 8 p.M. Eastern. Hours earlier, Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, will deliver a royal address before Commonwealth Day.
British audiences will wake up Monday to headlines and social media posts about Winfrey’s special, but won’t be able to see the full interview until Monday night when it airs on ITV. Royal interviews that aren’t tied to a specific topic are rare, and prior televised sessions have often proved problematic. Prince Andrew’s 2019 BBC interview about his links with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein led to his own departure from royal duties after he failed to show empathy for Epstein’s victims.
Harry and Meghan’s departure from royal duties began in March 2020 over what they described as the intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media toward the duchess, who is biracial.
Clips released ahead of the airings suggest that at least Meghan will have some pointed criticisms of royal life. In one she describes the royal family as “the firm,” a nickname that is sometimes used affectionately and sometimes critically.
At one point, Winfrey asked Meghan how she felt about Buckingham Palace “hearing you speak your truth today?”
“I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there was an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” she said. “And if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, there’s been a lot that’s been lost already.”
In another clip, Harry invoked the memory of his late mother, Princess Diana, who had to find her way alone after her divorce from Prince Charles.
“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,” Harry said, adding, “because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us.”