Meghan Markle's chat with Oprah Winfrey was planned after royals stopped her from speaking to Gayle King: Sources

The former actress' 'short interview' with King was canceled by the royal family's public relations machine


                            Meghan Markle's chat with Oprah Winfrey was planned after royals stopped her from speaking to Gayle King: Sources
Meghan Markle (L) wanted to do an interview with Gayle King (R) before chat with Oprah Winfrey happened (Getty Images)

Meghan Markle has been planning to give an interview to Oprah Winfrey for two years after the royal family's public relations machine canceled her sit-down chat with Gayle King. Sources revealed to DailyMail that the former actress had actually planned to do a “short interview” in 2019 about her experience with the royal family and her motherhood with the US star, but the Palace vetoed it. As per TV sources, since then King and Winfrey have both been in touch with Meghan and Harry, and this eventually resulted in CBS’ explosive two-hour interview set to air on Sunday, March 7.

Back in 2019, when Meghan thought of doing the “short interview”, public relations officials at Kensington Palace did not approve it fearing “it would alienate the UK press,” an insider disclosed. As compensation, an untraditional deal was done, where King and her CBS TV crew were invited to the first photoshoot of the couple with their newborn baby at St. George's Hall in Windsor. This was unusual because normally, the footage is first given to British TV broadcasters as a “royal pool arrangement”. But since the interview was canceled, “Meghan put her foot down” demanding King and Winfrey’s presence at the shoot.

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The insider said that Meghan was trying to “manage their own public image away from select UK media” and her motto was “our lives, our way.” “It was seen as a huge stride away from the usual methodology of Royal PR. It caused friction with the Sussexes, and a feeling that this was forbidden. They were emphatically told she could not conduct her own lengthy interviews with US media friends after Archie's birth. That led to tension with courtiers as the pair wanted to tell their stories about philanthropic and personal matters. Certainly from their side there was an element of feeling handcuffed and not having full ownership of their image,” the palace insider said. “The couple wanted to usher in a new era and mindset about having control, not just in their messaging but also about who they chose to speak with. Oprah and Gayle have been supportive publicly of Meghan and Harry, since they dated. So for the Sussexes, their friends felt like a safe place.”

Harry and Meghan Markle gave their first interview with Oprah since their engagement in 2017 (CBS)

Continuing, the source explained: “This interview has been two years in the making with either Gayle or Oprah asking the questions. In reality it is the two of them prepping for the in-depth conversation. It is what the Sussexes have wanted for a long time — to present ‘our lives, our way’.”

Meanwhile, during the February 26 episode of ‘Good Morning America’, King called Meghan and Harry’s interview with Winfrey a triumph. “Harry and Meghan are talking to Oprah. It's their first major broadcast since giving up their senior royal duties. I've heard from reliable sources — this is Oprah talking — that it's the best interview she's ever done. So I'm curious. I think that's saying something!” she added. While ITV's Chris Ship said to ‘Good Morning America’ that the Duchess of Sussex “is going to mention things like mental health and the impact of being in the UK had on her mental health. I know that she’s going to mention about the press intrusion, but also she’s going to raise the issue of race in Britain."

Meghan talks with students during a visit to Tupou College in Tonga (Getty Images)

Ship was one among the three White guests on the show as he told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, “I’m not sure this is the right panel to discuss that about how when you are either Black or mixed heritage like Meghan how she felt in the UK. That issue, I think, is the one we are going to be talking about next week."

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