The interview with Oprah delved into the reasons Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to leave England and step away from their royal duties. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down for the interview with Oprah Winfrey in California, where the couple currently lives after leaving the U.K. According to the CBS network, citing Nielsen data, over 17.1 million viewers tuned in for Oprah Winfrey's Sunday night interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The two hours interview session called "Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special, " pulled in a rating of 2.6 among adults with an age range of 18-49.
This is the largest prime-time audience during the 2020-2021 TV season for any entertainment special. It is also CBS's second most live-streamed event outside of the National Football League and Super Bowl Sunday. For clarification, more people watched the interview than they watched September's Emmy Awards and last month's Golden Globes combined. Those numbers are expected to grow as adjusted data from home viewing and delayed viewing rolls in across the next few days.
This interview proved that in a time of streaming there are still events that can propel vast viewership to traditional network television. Traditionally Nielsen posts official numbers for Sunday events late the following Tuesday. The prominent figures involved create a solid return for CBS which paid Oprah's Harpo Productions a licensing fee of $7 million and $ 9 million to air the special.
The couple revealed why they decided to turn away from royal life in this interview and the friend who helped them move to California. The conversation amongst these three prominent figures included a conversation about the darkness of the baby's skin tone, the rift between Prince Harry and his father that ran so deep that his father stopped taking his calls, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex saying she "just didn't want to be alive anymore."
The couple revealed that they had gotten married in a small intimate ceremony before the official royal wedding. Harry and Meghan spent most of the conversation trying to give their side of the numerous tabloid stories that circulated about them since they got together. One of such tabloids was about how Meghan had once made her sister-in-law, Catherine, cry. Although they had sharp words for how the press treated them, the most alarming portions of the interview focused on how the members of the royal family treated them.
Prince Harry says that he has a good relationship with his grandmother, the Queen but loves his brother William "to bit', even though they're on " different parts" while he was "disappointed" by his father. Meghan, during the interview, revealed, "that in the months when she was pregnant...we have in the tandem conversation that he won't be given security, he's not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when Archie is born." Harry said it was not a conversation he ever wanted to have again.
During this interview, the couple seriously addressed what they considered as a lack of support for Meghan when she went to the palace for mental issues. Meghan said she had a "clear and real and frightening thought" about suicide while serving as a working member of the royal family. The royal family's refusal to provide security for them caused grave concerns for Prince Harry considering his mother's death. He stated that his experience with Meghan showed him how hard it must have been for his mother.
Like Meghan, Diana was often criticized in the press. "She always said, 'I want to be normal, '" Ken Wharfe, Diana's former bodyguard told CBS News' "48 hours" in 2017, as the 20th anniversary of her death approached. " The tragedy is being a member of the royal family, it's almost impossible to be normal," Meghan told Oprah that she conversed with one of Diana's friends about the pressure she faced upon joining the royal family when she was experiencing suicidal thoughts.
She said, " I didn't know who to even turn to in that. And one of the people that I reached out to, who has continued to be a friend and confidant, was one of my husband's mom's best friends, one of Diana's best friends. Because it's like, who else could understand what it's actually like on the inside". The parallels between Meghan and Princess Diana were clear even before the couple made their comparisons during the interview.
Prince Harry revealed how he thinks his mother, the late Princess Diana would react to home leaving his official role in the royal family. Harry said that he was cut off financially by the royal family from the first quarter of 2020 when he and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, decided to step back as senior royals and spend much of their time living outside the UK.
Also, since they were "no longer working members of the royal family", he told Oprah, their security was being pulled on "short notice, that security was going to be removed." This has led the couples to get by solely on the inheritance his mother left him. Harry and Meghna had first relocated to Canada but the tabloids soon published their location in Vancouver. Prince Harry confided that as the coronavirus ramped up he knew that they had to move and fast.
That he suddenly realized, "Hang on, the borders could be closed, we're going to have our security removed, who knows how long lockdown is going to be, the world knows where we are, it's not safe, it's not secure, we probably need to get out of here. Meghan confided that they didn't have a plan but then a friend invited them to stay at one of his homes, and that friend was Tyler Perry.
The actor, producer, and director offered up a house in Southern California where Meghan, Hardy and their son, Archie lived for three months with security details also provided for by Perry. Meghan said, Perry's generosity " gave us breathing room to try to figure out what we were going to do." Meghan and Harry are currently living in their own house in the Santa Barbara area and not far from Oprah who conducted the interview session in the backyard of another home.
The couple has started their nonprofit foundation, Archewell, and also signed deals with Netflix and Spotify for content creation through Archewell studio and Archewell productions. The Prince emphasized that the deals he and Meghan made with Netflix and Spotify were done in part to satisfy their ongoing security needs. He claimed that without his mother's assets, they would not be able to do all of this.
According to BBC News, Harry and his brother, Prince William received the bulk of the £13 million fortune left by their mother when she died. Princess Diana died during the summer of 1997 after divorcing Prince Charles, Harry, and William's father. She was no longer a member of the royal family and was dating businessman Dodi Al Fayed when she was killed in a car crash in Paris as the paparazzi chased down their car.
During her divorce, Diana did a televised interview with Marin Bashir in 1995, this was briefly mentioned by Meghan at the beginning of Oprah's interview. Harry during the interview also said, "Touching back on when you asked what my mom would think of this, I think she saw it coming. And I felt her presence throughout this whole process. For me, I'm just really relieved and happy to be sitting here with you, with my wife by my side, because I can't begin to imagine what it must've been like for her to go through this process by herself those years ago."
He claimed to see a correlation between his mother and wife. But feels that his wife's situation escalated as a result of racial tensions and social media. About his mother's untimely death at 36 years old, "My biggest concern was history repeating itself." He continued, "I think my mother would feel very angry with the way this panned out and very sad. But ultimately, all she'd ever want is for us to be happy.
Oprah asked Harry if they decided to move away from the U.K press or because the couple was not getting enough support from " The Firm", a nickname for the monarchy. Harry said both, adding that he did not blindside his grandmother with their decision to step down from being senior royal roles. He stated that the negative media surrounding his growing family made him fear for their safety.
According to him, "for the [royal] family, they very much have this mentality of, 'This is just how it is. This is how it's meant to be, you can't change it. We've all been through it." When Meghan was asked by Oprah if she was concerned about the reaction of the royal family to the interview, the Duchess replied, " I don't know how they could expect that after all of this time, we would still be silent if there is an active role that 'The Firm' (royal family) is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us. And if that comes with a risk of losing things, I mean, there's a lot that's been lost already." When Oprah inquired if Meghan was "silent" or "silenced" by the royal family, she said "latter the ."
This interview happens to be the first they have given since they stepped away from their official royal duties last year. According to the couple, they would have stayed back in the royal family if they had gotten more support from the royal family. In one of the few laidback and playful moments, the couple revealed the gender of their second child expected this summer to be a girl.