She’s interviewed everyone from Hollywood stars to world leaders and disgraced sports stars and authors. But even Oprah it seems was surprised by the openness of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in their bombshell interview in March.
“I had no idea that it would have the reverberating impact that it has had and continues to have,” the media mogul told Nancy O’Dell in her new show on the TalkShopLive streaming service.
“Our shared intention was the truth. They wanted to be able to tell their story and tell it in such a way that allowed them to be as truthful as possible,” Winfrey added.
The 67-year-old talk show veteran said she was particularly surprised the couple was willing to discuss the British royal family’s alleged concerns of the skin colour of their son Archie before he was born.
“What? You’re going there? You’re going all the way there,” Winfrey told O’Dell, adding that the interview was powerful because “you have somebody else who is willing to be as open, as vulnerable, as truthful as they were.”
More than 11.5 million people in the UK watched Oprah’s two-hour interview with Markle and Prince Harry, one day after aired in the US where it was watched by more than 17 million people.
The tell-all interview covered many other shocking revelations, including Markle revealing she felt suicidal while being part of the British royal family and Prince Harry saying his father, Prince Charles, had stopped taking his calls.
Prince Harry also expressed anger that no one in his family came to his wife’s defence amid negative press coverage, even though 72 British Members of Parliament condemned the “colonial” coverage of Markle, who is of mixed race.
The Winfrey interview dominated social media for many days, after it was aired as well as morning television shows and newspaper front pages around the world.
It also prompted Prince William, Harry’s brother, to defend thr Royal Family against allegations of racism. “We’re very much not a racist family,” the Duke of Cambridge told a g roup of reporters during a visit to an east London school a few days after the interview aired.
Buckingham Palace released a statement a few days later and said the claims made in the interview were concerning and promised the matter would be discussed within the family.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” the Palace said. “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”