Meghan and Harry: Gayle King says she ‘called’ couple
Meghan and Harry’s interview with their friend and US talk show host legend Oprah Winfrey was announced by US network CBS on February 15. Friend and fellow American broadcaster Gayle King then claimed she knew no topic was going to be “off-limits” during the “intimate conversation”. Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip went into hospital on February 16 — prompting calls from royal fans for the couple to delay the broadcast, to avoid adding extra pressure on the royals at a stressful time.
However, the interview aired on March 7 in the US, via CBS, and on March 8 in the UK through ITV.
On Wednesday, Ms King claimed: “Just so you know, they had done that interview before Prince Philip went into hospital.
“And if something, God forbid, had happened to him, the interview would not have run at this particular time.”
Speaking during her radio show, Gayle King In The House, she claimed: “But the interview was done and was scheduled before he went into the hospital. But a lot of people have raised that point.”
She has provided plenty of insight into the interview since it aired last week and it has been revealed that the first part of the tell-all was actually filmed in her house.
However, Ms King’s claim overlooks the fact that Meghan actually mentions Philip’s stint in hospital during the programme.
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Gayle King with Oprah Winfrey in 2020 – the two are close friends
While the first half of the interview, which included more intense questions, took place in Ms King’s garden, the second half shows Oprah visiting the Sussexes’ home the following day.
Meghan then tells Oprah: “This morning, I woke up earlier than H and saw a note from someone on our team in the UK saying the Duke of Edinburgh had gone to the hospital.
“But I just picked up the phone and I called the Queen just to check in.
“You know, that’s what we do. It’s like being able to default to not having to every moment go, ‘Is that appropriate?’”
As this footage was included in the final edit, it made up a significant part of the interview.
Meghan’s exchange with Oprah also suggests that Philip went to hospital while in between the interview segments — meaning they spoke to the US talk show host around February 16.
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Prince Philip left hospital on March 16 after a month-long stay
On the same day, Ms King also told CBS This Morning: “I know she’s [Oprah] been working on the questions all weekend long.
“I’m told nothing is off limits, nothing is off limits.
“She can ask anything she wants.”
This suggests the interview was yet to take place at the time.
Oprah briefly mentioned dates herself during the interview, too.
She said to the Sussexes: “Your exit agreement with the Royal Family, it’s…that is coming up at the end of the month.”
The Palace were expected to finalise their agreement with Meghan and Harry at the end of March — exactly 12 months after they entered the “trial” period of their life outside of the Firm — in line with the initial promises released last year.
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Meghan and Harry spoke to Oprah in Gayle King’s back garden
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Oprah’s comments subsequently suggest that the interview was filmed in March, rather than February.
Harry then replied: “Yeah, I mean, the decision — what, as of last week, or whatever it was — is that they will be removing everything.”
He was referring to the couple’s royal patronages, which Buckingham Palace confirmed it was removing from the Sussexes after the couple said they had no intention of returning to the royal fold.
The Palace’s decision was publicised on February 19, although it is not known when the Palace officially came to that conclusion behind the scenes.
Either way, Harry’s comments make it hard to pin down the exact date when the Sussexes’ interview took place.
Prince Harry and Prince Philip, his grandfather
Ms King also caused a storm this week when she revealed that Harry and his brother Prince William had tried to talk about their differences in the wake of the interview.
She said these discussions were “not productive” when speaking on CBS This Morning.
Her words surprised Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers, who told Sunrise Australia that the Queen had made it clear she wanted “to deal with everything in-house”.
He continued: “Now you have Gayle King sort of airing everyone’s dirty linen in public.
“The royals will be absolutely devastated that this has happened.
“I don’t think that this is going to do anyone any favours any time soon.
“Certainly people will be very very wary about speaking to Harry and Meghan in the future if they think it’s going to be spread all over the airways as we’re hearing once again, unfortunately.”
Oprah With Meghan and Harry is available on the ITV Hub.