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‘Britain stands with our Queen’: Tory MPs lead the backlash against Prince Harry and Meghan


Prince Harry today claimed racism drove him and Meghan out of Britain and the Queen was too busy to meet him as he piled on new insults to his family in a series of unseen clips from his bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview. 

The Duke of Sussex accused the Queen of snubbing him after she was allegedly overruled by royal aides when she tried to invite him and Meghan on a trip to Sandringham after they announced they were stepping down.  

Harry said he received a message from the Queen saying he wanted them to visit ‘the moment you land’, but he later got a message from his private secretary at the time saying the trip had been cancelled. 

Harry said he then rang the Queen from Frogmore cottage and she said: ‘Yes, there’s something in my diary that I didn’t know that I had.’

The prince claimed the exchange showed that even the Queen could be overruled by aides, despite them giving her ‘very bad’ advice.  

He said: ‘When you’re head of the firm there is people around you that give you advice. And what has also made me really sad is some of that advice has been really bad.’ 

Meanwhile, the prince reignited his war with the press, claiming that racism ‘was a large part’ of his and Meghan’s decision to leave Britain. 

He said he was told at a charity event: ‘You need to understand that the UK is very bigoted,’ to which he replied: ‘The UK is not bigoted, the UK press is bigoted, specifically the tabloids.’

He added: ‘But unfortunately if the source of info is inherently corrupt or racist or biased then that filters out to the rest of society.’ 

Meghan also spoke about her family for the first time, claiming that she ‘didn’t have a relationship’ with her sister, Samantha, and that she only changed her surname to Markle after she married Harry. 

It came as Tory MPs today led the backlash against Prince Harry and Meghan’s ‘appalling’ accusations of racism against the Royal Family as they accused the couple of ‘detonating a nuclear weapon’ with the allegations. 

In both broadcasts, Meghan and Harry steered clear of criticising the Queen or talking about the Markle family but revealed:

  • Harry claimed racism was ‘a large part’ of why he and Meghan had decided to leave Britain; 
  • Prince said Queen was ‘overruled’ by royal aides when she tried to organised a visit to Sandringham;  
  • Oprah has since said it was not the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh who made the racist comment about how dark their baby’s skin would be; 
  • In the main interview, couple revealed the gender of their baby – a girl due this summer;
  • Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, made Meghan cry ahead of the royal wedding – but ‘owned it’ and apologised;
  • Meghan described meeting the Queen for the first time and having to learn to curtsy from Fergie. Sussexes say they speak to Her Majesty regularly on Zoom and called last week when Philip became ill;
  • Duchess claims she was ‘naive’ when she joined the Royal Family – and never researched what it would be like or anything about Harry. She said that she was initially welcomed by the royals, but was later ‘silenced’ and felt trapped. She said officials had ‘lied’ to protect other royals instead of them and took her ‘passport, my driving licence, my keys’;
  • Meghan claims a member of Harry’s family was ‘worried’ about Archie’s skin colour when asked if he was ‘too brown’. Harry was asked about it and refused to say who it was; 
  • Duchess described being cradled by Harry after feeling that she no longer wanted to live; Meghan claimed she begged for help from Palace but denied it because she wasn’t a ‘paid employee’; 
  • Harry says his family failed to ‘support’ and ‘understand’ them and reveals Charles stopped speaking to him and ‘cut me off financially’, leaving him to use Diana’s inheritance;
  • Couple show of the hens they rescued from a factory farm for ‘Archie’s Chick Inn’ as Meghan says they want to ‘live authentically’ in their LA mansion. Couple also shared unseen picture of Archie at the beach;
  • Harry says he is ‘hurt’ but ‘completely respects’ Queen’s decision to strip couple of all their patronages, but says he has ‘no regrets’ about their decision saying: ‘I’m really proud of us’. 
  • But Meghan said: ‘My regret is believing them when they said I’d be protected.’ 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have insisted their interview with Oprah Winfrey would be the ‘last word’ on them quitting as senior royals 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shared candid footage of Archie playing on a beach during their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shared candid footage of Archie playing on a beach during their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey 

Today, Tory MPs led the backlash against Prince Harry and Meghan’s ‘appalling’ accusations of racism against the Royal Family as they accused the couple of ‘detonating a nuclear weapon’ with the allegations. 

The Duchess of Sussex said ‘concerns’ were raised about ‘how dark’ Archie’s skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white, but refused to say who made the alleged comments. 

One Tory MP, who did not want to be named, suggested that the couple appeared to be ‘telling the Royal Family I’ve got this nuclear weapon and I’m going to detonate it’.

Conservative MP Andrea Jenkins tweeted: ‘Today’s Commonwealth Day gives us all another reminder of Her Majesty’s long life of service and duty, continuing to work for us all despite her husband being in hospital. Britain stands with our Queen.’

Meanwhile, Fellow MP Michael Fabricant said: ‘Every family is dysfunctional one way or another. The holder of every high position will have personal little secrets they want hidden. We are all human. Only HM Queen seems to float selflessly above it all.’

In the first interview last night, The Duchess of Sussex told Oprah she ‘couldn’t be left alone’ and told her husband she ‘didn’t want to be alive anymore’ before claiming the Buckingham Palace HR department ignored her plea for help because she wasn’t a ‘paid employee’.      

In the first broadcast, the Duchess of Sussex said ‘concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born’ happened ‘in those months when [I] was pregnant’ with Archie. 

However, when Prince Harry was asked about the exchange later he appeared to suggest he heard the alleged slur from a royal figure earlier, before he and Meghan got married. 

He said: ‘That was right at the beginning, when she wasn’t going to get security, when members of my family were suggesting that she carries on acting, because there was not enough money to pay for her, and all this sort of stuff. 

‘Like, there was some real obvious signs before we even got married that this was going to be really hard.’

Meanwhile, Meghan told Oprah she ‘couldn’t be left alone’ and told her husband she ‘didn’t want to be alive anymore’ before claiming the Buckingham Palace HR department ignored her plea for help because she wasn’t a ‘paid employee’.

Describing how she considered ending her life believing it ‘was better for everyone’, Meghan said: ‘I knew that if I didn’t say it, that I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. I remember how he just cradled me. I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that ‘I’ve never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere’. And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution’. 

She said that after confiding in her husband, she was forced to go to the Royal Albert Hall for a charity event in January 2019, claiming photos from that night ‘haunt me’. She told Oprah she later reached out to one of the best friends of Diana, Princess of Wales, because she felt unsupported by the palace. 

The main bombshells from the Oprah interview

– Harry says he and Meghan left UK ‘because of racism’ 

Asked by Winfrey if the couple left the UK because of racism, Harry replied: ‘It was a large part of it.’

Recalling a conversation he had at a Sentebale fundraiser, he said he was urged by someone who is ‘friends with a lot of the editors’: ‘Please don’t do this with the media, they will destroy your life.’

He said he was told: ‘You need to understand that the UK is very bigoted,’ to which he replied: ‘The UK is not bigoted, the UK press is bigoted, specifically the tabloids.’

He added: ‘But unfortunately if the source of info is inherently corrupt or racist or biased then that filters out to the rest of society.’ 

– Meghan’s mental health

The Duchess of Sussex revealed she had suicidal thoughts and said: ‘I just didn’t want to be alive any more.’

She said she begged for help, and asked to go somewhere to get help, and approached one of the most senior people in the institution, but was told it would not look good.

The duchess said: ‘I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that I’ve never felt this way before and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.’

– Baby Sussex is a girl

Harry and Meghan revealed they are expecting a baby girl.

The duke joined his wife in the second half of the interview, and told the chat show host: ‘It’s a girl.’

He said his first thought was ‘amazing’ when he discovered they were having a girl, adding: ‘Just grateful. To have any child, any one or any two, would have been amazing.

‘But to have a boy and then a girl, I mean what more can you ask for? Now we’ve got our family, we got the four of us and our two dogs.’

Asked if they were ‘done’ with two children, Harry said ‘done’ and Meghan said: ‘Two is it.’

She also confirmed the baby is due in the ‘summertime’.

– Royal family accused of racism

Meghan said, when she was pregnant with Archie, an unnamed member of the royal family raised ‘concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born’.

Asked whether there were concerns that her child would be ‘too brown’ and that would be a problem, Meghan said: ‘If that is the assumption you are making, that is a pretty safe one.’

Pushed by Winfrey on who had those conversations, Meghan refused to say, adding: ‘I think that would be very damaging to them.’

She added: ‘That was relayed to me from Harry, those were conversations the family had with him, and I think it was really hard to be able to see those as compartmentalised conversations.’

– Archie’s title

Meghan suggested she and Harry wanted Archie to be a prince so he would have security and be protected.

The duchess expressed her shock at ‘the idea of our son not being safe’, and the idea of the first member of colour in this family, not being titled in the same way as other grandchildren.

Archie, who is seventh in line to the throne, is not entitled to be an HRH or a prince due to rules set out more than 100 years ago by King George V.

He will be entitled to be an HRH or a prince when the Prince of Wales accedes to the throne.

As the first born son of a duke, Archie could have become Earl of Dumbarton – one of Harry’s subsidiary titles – or have been Lord Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, instead at the time of his birth, a royal source said Harry and Meghan had decided he should a regular Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

– The Prince of Wales

The Duke of Sussex said his father the Prince of Wales stopped taking his calls while Harry and Meghan were in Canada ‘because I took matters into my own hands. I needed to do this for my family’.

He said Charles wanted him to put his plans in writing.

– The Queen

Harry denied that he had ‘blindsided’ his grandmother Queen with the bombshell statement about stepping down as senior royal.

The duke said he believed the report probably could have come from ‘within the institution’.

– The Duchess of Cambridge

Meghan said Kate made her cry ahead of her wedding.

Reports circulated ahead of the Sussexes’ nuptials that Meghan left Kate in tears at Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress fitting.

But Meghan told Winfrey the ‘reverse happened’.

Meghan said she was not sharing the information to be ‘disparaging’, but added it was ‘really important for people to understand the truth’.

‘She’s a good person,’ the duchess added

She said: ‘When I joined that family, that was the last time I saw my passport, my driving licence, my keys – all of that gets turned over’. Meghan said Harry had ‘saved my life’ by agreeing to move to Los Angeles. 

Meghan also sensationally claimed that a relative of Harry asked him ‘how dark’ their unborn child would be with the Duchess claiming Archie being mixed-race was a ‘problem’ for the royals after Oprah asked her if they were worried their son would be ‘too brown’. 

The former Suits star said she would not name the person because it would be ‘too damaging’ for them. But she confirmed that the duke was asked the question – ‘how dark his skin might be when he’s born’ – ‘by family’. She then said Archie may have been denied the title of prince because he is mixed-race, but has never been told. Harry was also asked to identify the culprit but said he didn’t feel ‘comfortable’ discussing it. 

In the most extraordinary royal interview since Diana spoke to the BBC’s Martin Bashir in 1995, Meghan said her sister-in-law Kate made her cry in a row over dresses for the flowergirls, including Princess Charlotte, before her Windsor wedding. She said: ‘She (Kate) was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised. And she brought me flowers’.

Harry also laid into his own family, claiming their ‘lack of support and understanding’, the couple’s mental health problems and fears ‘history repeating itself’ with Meghan like his mother Diana, who died in 1997.

Harry also said he felt ‘very let down’ by his father Prince Charles, accusing him of refusing to take his calls and and then ‘cut him off’ financially when they emigrated. 

He said: ‘My father and brother. They’re both trapped’ and added that his mother Diana would be ‘angry and sad’ that he felt he had to leave the royal family, but ‘she saw it coming’. Harry said: ‘All she’d ever want for us is to be happy’, adding that his wife had ‘saved me’, declaring: ‘I myself was trapped, as well. I didn’t see a way out’.   

The prince said he had to sign multi-million dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify because he was spending his inheritance from Princess Diana and claimed the palace suggested that Meghan should go back into acting to pay the bills. 

Asked about his relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said they were now speaking again, adding: ‘There’s a lot to work through there, you know? I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson. I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship’.  When asked about if he remains close to William he replied: ‘I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we’re on different paths’.    

Meghan claimed she had been completely ‘naive’ about what royal life was like, claiming she didn’t know about needing to curtsy for the Queen and being taught by Fergie minutes before meeting Her Majesty for the first time in 2017. The Duke and Duchess said they speak to her regularly on Zoom – but hinted at little contact with the other royals. 

The Sussexes also revealed they were already planning ‘Megxit’ just six months after they married in May 2018 and Meghan compared life in Kensington Palace to lockdown in the Covid world today because she was ‘banned’ from going to lunch with friends. But said their new life was a ‘happy ending’ for after a journey ‘greater than any fairytale you’ve ever read. 

The Duchess was greeted by Oprah as a friend when the show began and admired her growing baby bump, before the host said that while they knew each other none of the questions had been shared in advance.

The Duchess of Sussex sat alone as she claimed she entered the Royal Family ‘naively’ and didn’t do any research about her husband or the institution before entering it.  

Describing meeting the Queen for the first time at Windsor and that she was shocked when she was told by Harry would need to curtsy to Her Majesty, and was taught by her husband’s aunt Fergie.

Describing her initial experiences of becoming part of the royal family, Meghan said: ‘I will say I went into it naively, because I didn’t grow up knowing much about the royal family.

‘It wasn’t something that was part of conversation at home, it wasn’t something that we followed.’

Meghan said she did not research Harry or the family beforehand, and had little expectation of what becoming a working royal would involve.

She said: ‘I didn’t fully understand what the job was, what does it mean to be a working royal, what do you do?

‘I didn’t romanticise any element of it, but I think as Americans especially – what you know about the royals is what you read in fairy tales.

‘It’s easy to have an image of it that’s so far from reality and that’s what was really tricky over those past few years, when the perception and reality are different things and you’re being judged on the perception but you are living the reality of it, there’s a complete misalignment and there’s no way to explain that to people.’   

A tearful duchess also told interviewer Oprah Winfrey that the stress of her role became so bad that she felt suicidal as a result of the pressure she was under. I didn’t want to be alive any more -this was a very real and frightening constant thought,’ she said.

She said she didn’t want to tell Harry at first because of the loss he had suffered as a result of his mother’s death, but she did and he ‘cradled me’.

Meghan said she begged a senior member of the royal to assist her get help for mental health issue but she was left to suffer alone.

Meghan then denied making Kate cry before her wedding in 2018 – and said the opposite had happened. Oprah asked the Duchess: ‘Was there a situation where she (Kate) might have cried? Or she could have cried?’

But the Duchess of Sussex replied: ‘No, no. The reverse happened. And I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding. And she was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised.

‘And she brought me flowers and a note, apologising. And she did what I would do if I knew that I hurt someone, right, to just take accountability for it.’ Meghan added that it was ‘shocking’ that the ‘reverse of that would be out in the world’.

She continued: ‘A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining – yes, the issue was correct – about flower girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings.

‘And I thought, in the context of everything else that was going on in those days leading to the wedding, that it didn’t make sense to not be just doing whatever– what everyone else was doing, which was trying to be supportive, knowing what was going on with my dad and whatnot.’

Meghan also said: ‘It wasn’t a confrontation, and I actually think it’s… I don’t think it’s fair to her to get into the details of that, because she apologised.

‘What was hard to get over was being blamed for something that not only I didn’t do but that happened to me. And the people who were part of our wedding were going to our comms team and saying: ‘I know this didn’t happen. I don’t have to tell them what actually happened’.’  

But the Duchess of Sussex also insisted that she has now forgiven Kate Middleton and said she bought her flowers to apologise about the incident. 

It then got even more uncomfortable for the royals when Meghan Markle accused the Royal Family of having ‘concerns’ about ‘how dark’ Archie’s skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white. 

Meghan Markle has told Oprah Winfrey that she was suicidal when she was part of the Royal Family living in the UK and told her husband: 'I don't want to be alive anymore'

Meghan Markle has told Oprah Winfrey that she was suicidal when she was part of the Royal Family living in the UK and told her husband: ‘I don’t want to be alive anymore’

Prince William will display a united front with his brother when they unveil a statue in honour of their mother Princess Diana in July

The statue was commissioned to mark the twentieth anniversary of Princess Diana's death and recognise her positive impact around the world

Harry said he loved his brother William but they were now on different paths and said their mother would be  ‘angry and sad’ that he felt he had to leave the royal family, but ‘saw it coming’ herself

Oprah fails to ask Meghan Markle anything about her family as she probes rift with the Royals in bombshell two-hour interview – but teases more to come tomorrow 

Meghan has been open about her contentious relationship with her father, Thomas Markle (pictured together) in the past - but was not asked to address it in the Oprah interview

Meghan has been open about her contentious relationship with her father, Thomas Markle (pictured together) in the past – but was not asked to address it in the Oprah interview

Oprah Winfrey grilled Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their rift with the Royals in Sunday’s bombshell interview – but made no mention of drama within the duchess’s family. 

The long-awaited interview produced a bevy of revelations about Meghan and Harry’s struggles with his family – including how she felt ‘silenced’, became suicidal during her pregnancy with their baby Archie and how an unnamed relative questioned how dark the boy’s skin would be.  

Oprah kept true to her promise to ask the tough questions, repeatedly pressing the couple to clarify their claims and offer specifics.  

But the talk show legend left one rather large stone un-turned as she failed to ask Meghan about her relationship with her own family, which has long been contentious.  

Meghan did bring up her estranged father Thomas Markle at one point and appeared to suggest that they still aren’t speaking. 

‘I grieve a lot,’ she said as she reflected on the turmoil of the past few years. 

‘I mean, I’ve lost my father. I lost a baby. I nearly lost my name. I mean, there’s the loss of identity. 

‘But I’m still standing, and my hope for people in the takeaway from this is to know that there’s another side.’ 

Oprah declined to press Meghan on the bit about Thomas, who has railed against his daughter in the press on multiple occasions. 

At the end of the two-hour program Oprah noted that it was impossible to fit everything in and said that more content would air Monday on CBS This Morning. 

It’s possible that discussions of Meghan’s family could be included in the footage yet to air. 

 

The Duchess of Sussex also described her ‘pain’ that officials had denied Archie the title of prince and accused Buckingham Palace of failing to protect him by denying him 24/7 security.

Meghan refused to say which royal had the conversation with Harry about Archie’s skin colour, claiming it would be ‘damaging’ to the person in her husband’s family who raised it.

She told Miss Winfrey that it was ‘a pretty safe’ assumption to suggest that the royal family member was ‘concerned’ that Archie being ‘too brown’ was ‘a problem’.

When asked if it was ‘important’ for Meghan that Archie be called a prince, she said she doesn’t have any attachment to the ‘grandeur’ of official titles.

But she said it was about ‘the idea of our son not being safe, and also the idea of the first member of colour in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be.’ Prince Harry described the conversation as ‘awkward’, saying it left him ‘shocked’. But he declined to reveal anything more about what was said, saying: ‘That conversation I’m never going to share.’  

After Meghan spoke to Oprah alone, she was joined by Harry where they celebrated on screen as they announced to millions watching they were having a baby daughter.

Harry then said the couple left because of the media in Britain and because of a ‘lack of support and lack of understanding’ from his family, and revealed that his father refused to speak to him after they left for Vancouver. And in a sign that his relationship with his brother William is strained, claiming he ‘didn’t have anyone to turn to’ and was ‘ashamed’ to admit his wife struggling.

He said: ‘I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we’re on different paths’. Harry added: ‘My family literally cut me off financially. Members of my family were suggesting that she [Meghan] carries on acting, because there was not enough money to pay for her. There was some real obvious signs before we even got married that this was going to be really hard’.     

He also claimed that he was asked by his father, Prince Charles, to put his request in writing ‘before he stopped taking my calls’. 

Asked by Oprah Winfrey during their televised interview about why they left, Harry blamed a ‘lack of support and lack of understanding’.

The chat show queen said she wanted ‘clarity’ and asked Harry: ‘Was the move about getting away from the UK press…because the press is, you know, is everywhere, or was the move because you weren’t getting enough support from the firm?’

He replied: ‘It was both.’

Winfrey asked ‘did you blindside the Queen?’ with the announcement they were leaving the family, and Harry replied: ‘No, I would never blindside my grandmother, I have too much respect for her.’

Asked where that story came from, Harry said: ‘I hazard a guess that it probably could have come from within the institution.’

As Oprah wrapped up the interview the couple insisted that they had had a ‘happy ending’ by moving to LA, with Harry saying he had ‘no regrets’. But his wife added: ‘My regret is believing them [the Royal Family] when they said I’d be protected.’

Meghan then called their journey ‘greater than any fairytale you’ve ever read’ and said Harry had saved her life. Harry replied: ‘Without question, she [Meghan] saved me.’  

The Duchess of Sussex, who brokered the interview, has already accused ‘The Firm’ of ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Harry and said they refused to be ‘silenced’ any more.

The Sussexes have been branded ‘selfish’ and ‘disrespectful’ to go ahead with the shown when Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather Prince Philip is in hospital recovering from heart surgery. 

The interview, expected to be viewed by tens of millions of people in the US and millions more around the globe, is considered the most important piece of royal TV since Harry’s mother spoke to the BBC’s Martin Bashir in 1995 after she separated from Prince Charles. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have today insisted that their Oprah interview would be the ‘last word’ on their rift with the Royal Family. The couple, who will have their second child later this year, said they felt they ‘needed to have their say’ but now want to ‘move on’.   

‘It’s a GIRL!’ Harry and Meghan reveal sex of their second child as they confirm their family but say ‘two is it’   

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry today revealed their second child is a girl and is due to be born this summer, during their bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who now live in Montecito, California, said they are preparing to welcome a sister for their 22-month-old son Archie later this year.

Harry, 36, joined his 39-year-old wife for the second half of the bombshell interview on CBS with Oprah, and excitedly told the chat show host: ‘It’s a girl.’

He said his first thought was ‘amazing’ when he learned they were having a girl, adding: ‘Just grateful. To have any child, any one or any two, would have been amazing.

‘But to have a boy and then a girl, I mean what more can you ask for? Now we’ve got our family, we got the four of us and our two dogs.’

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry revealed their second child is a girl during their interview

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry revealed their second child is a girl during their interview

Asked if they were ‘done’ with two children, Harry said ‘done’ and Meghan said: ‘Two is it.’ She also confirmed the baby is due in the ‘summertime’.

The girl will not be entitled, at this stage, to be an HRH nor a princess due to rules set out more than 100 years ago by George V – but this is the same as what would have happened pre-Megxit.

The baby is entitled to be a Lady, but Harry and Meghan will again opt to style their second-born a plain Miss, with the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.

The couple announced on Valentine’s Day last month that they are expecting a second child, saying they were ‘overjoyed’ at their pregnancy.

If born in the US, the baby will be entitled to US citizenship as an automatic right.

To celebrate the news last month, the couple released a black and white photograph which showed them beaming with delight.

Meghan lay with her head in her husband’s lap, her hand resting on her visible baby bump. 

Barefoot Harry cradled her head in his hand as the couple relaxed together under a tree on a sprawling sunlit lawn.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released this picture last month to announce they are expecting their second child

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released this picture last month to announce they are expecting their second child

The picture was shot by photographer Misan Harriman, a friend of the duke and duchess.

It was believed to have been taken in Montecito, California, where the pair now live after deciding to leave Britain and step down from their roles in the Royal Family.

A spokesman for the couple said at the time: ‘We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child.’

The announcement comes after Meghan, 39, suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage last year.

Harry, 36, is expected to return to the UK this summer to see his family for the first time since ‘Megxit’.

Meghan was already said to be unlikely to join him for ‘personal and practical’ reasons, according to sources.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan hold Archie in Cape Town while visiting in September 2019

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan hold Archie in Cape Town while visiting in September 2019

Mr Harriman said last month that being asked to take the photograph felt especially poignant after the duchess’s miscarriage.

He said: ‘To be asked to help share this absolute joy after such an unimaginable loss and heartache is a marker of true friendship. 

‘Meg reminded me that had I not introduced her to a mutual friend then she wouldn’t have met Harry. I’m grateful for whatever small part I played.’

It came almost exactly 37 years after Princess Diana was confirmed to be pregnant with her second child – Prince Harry. Buckingham Palace made that announcement on February 13, 1984.

Harry and Meghan chose to put out a statement themselves on Valentine’s Day, in keeping with their decision to move away from their traditional roles within the Royal Family.

In what appeared to be a hastily prepared response, Buckingham Palace said at the time that Her Majesty, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and ‘the entire family’ were ‘delighted’.

Kate made ME cry: Meghan Markle says Duchess of Cambridge made HER cry in bust up over flower girls before she married Prince Harry and later bought her flowers to say sorry

Meghan Markle today claimed in her interview with Oprah Winfrey that the Duchess of Cambridge made her cry before she married Prince Harry.

But the Duchess of Sussex also insisted that she has now forgiven Kate Middleton and said she bought her flowers to apologise about the incident.

Meghan, 39, was asked about a row with Prince William’s wife that made headlines around the world after a falling out over dresses for the flowergirls. 

Meghan then denied making Kate, also 39, cry before her wedding, which took place at Windsor Castle in May 2018, and said the opposite had happened. 

The Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Charlotte and other bridesmaids arriving at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan in May 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge with Princess Charlotte and other bridesmaids arriving at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan in May 2018 

Oprah asked Meghan: ‘Was there a situation where she (Kate) might have cried? Or she could have cried?’

But the Duchess of Sussex replied: ‘No, no. The reverse happened. And I don’t say that to be disparaging to anyone, because it was a really hard week of the wedding. And she was upset about something, but she owned it, and she apologised.

‘And she brought me flowers and a note, apologising. And she did what I would do if I knew that I hurt someone, right, to just take accountability for it.’ 

Meghan added that it was ‘shocking’ that the ‘reverse of that would be out in the world’.

William, Kate, Harry and Meghan at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020

William, Kate, Harry and Meghan at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020

She continued: ‘A few days before the wedding, she was upset about something pertaining – yes, the issue was correct – about flower girl dresses, and it made me cry, and it really hurt my feelings. 

‘And I thought, in the context of everything else that was going on in those days leading to the wedding, that it didn’t make sense to not be just doing whatever everyone else was doing, which was trying to be supportive, knowing what was going on with my dad and whatnot.’

Meghan also said: ‘It wasn’t a confrontation, and I actually think it’s… I don’t think it’s fair to her to get into the details of that, because she apologised.

‘What was hard to get over was being blamed for something that not only I didn’t do but that happened to me. 

The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex in the Royal Box on Centre Court at Wimbledon in July 2019

The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex in the Royal Box on Centre Court at Wimbledon in July 2019

The Duchess of Cambridge (left) and the Duchess of Sussex (right) stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London during Trooping The Colour on June 9, 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge (left) and the Duchess of Sussex (right) stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London during Trooping The Colour on June 9, 2018

‘And the people who were part of our wedding were going to our comms team and saying: ‘I know this didn’t happen. I don’t have to tell them what actually happened’.’

Meghan also said reports she had reduced the Duchess of Cambridge to tears were a ‘turning point’.

The Duchess said ‘everyone in the institution knew that wasn’t true’ and she hoped Kate ‘would have wanted that to be corrected’, adding ‘she is a good person’.

Meghan was also asked whether a trip to watch tennis at Wimbledon with the Duchess of Cambridge was ‘what it looked like … helping you adjust’.

But the Duchess replied: ‘My understanding of the past four years is it’s nothing like what it looks like.’ 

Royal experts blast ‘self-indulgent and selfish’ Harry and Meghan as they say Queen will be ‘absolutely devastated’ by their ‘astonishing’ Oprah interview 

Royal experts today blasted the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as ‘self-indulgent and selfish’ and said the Queen would be ‘absolutely devastated’ by their interview.

Commentators have been giving their views following the bombshell two-hour chat Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave to Oprah Winfrey, shown on CBS.

The interview saw Meghan make of a series of astonishing claims, including that conversations were held about how dark the skin colour of their son might be.

The Duchess also confessed she had suicidal thoughts at the height of her crisis in the monarchy and asked the palace to seek professional help for her.

During their televised chat, which will also air on ITV tonight, Meghan also claimed that the Duchess of Cambridge made her cry ahead of her wedding.

Among those giving their views were Angela Levin, author of Harry: Conversations with the Prince, Robert Jobson, who wrote Diana: Closely Guarded Secret.

Russell Myers, Daily Mirror royal editor and a commentator on ITV’s Lorraine editor, also gave his views on a Facebook live event hosted by True Royalty TV.

This is the verdict of the three royal experts:

ROBERT JOBSON

This was a performance from beginning to the end. Self-indulgent and selfish. They have disrespected to our country.

They have both made some very serious allegations and know they Monarchy can’t fight back. The entire interview did not respect the Queen. They have attacking the institution of the monarchy. It is not showbiz. This is a gross insult to the British people.

They have thrown a big hand grenade into the Royal Family and the monarchy.

They have accused the Royal Family of being racist, but they have not said who. That is cowardice. You cannot make that slur. They are saying the British Press are racist. Where is the evidence?

It is just appalling that they have been allowed to say those things without singling out who it was. They should never have raised this.

So much of what she said is astonishing and I am not sure I believe it.

They have said duty does not mean anything and that they were not able to leave and if they had the option to leave, they would.

The Queen has been devoted to service. It is just outrageous.

He is saying they are trapped and basically saying Prince Charles does not want to be King. That is just wrong. You cannot say that. They have become slightly deluded.

The only winner here is Oprah Winfrey.

RUSSELL MYERS

That was the most extraordinary piece of television I have ever watched. The number of bombshells were extraordinary.

They will come a cropper, but there are elements of what they said that need to be taken seriously. Meghan was a young, vulnerable woman and what she said she went through is distressing and there are questions that need to be answered.

On the backdrop of a global pandemic their lack of awareness is breath-taking.

They have just bought a £10million home. There is no correlations to their experience of most normal people who were watching. They will be absolutely staggered.

When the Queen wakes up reads what has been said she will be absolutely devastated.

They have slammed almost every single member of the Royal Family.

They have said duty does not mean anything and that they were not able to leave and if they had the option to leave, they would.

The Queen has been devoted to service. It is just outrageous.

ANGELA LEVIN

I was just so absorbed by all the attacks. It was quite astonishing.

Meghan made it sound as if she was in prison. That was her narrative. She said there was no one there for her, but Harry was by her side. One of the Queen’s most trusted assistants was given to her. It is hard to say there was no one.

People care about the Queen and the Royal Family and to her someone come in and smash the lot of them, and they are so forceful in their comments, that it made me feel very easy.

She says they were furious about losing their security, but they were out of the country.

It is distressing to hear her say she was suicidal and traumatic that she asked for help. Prince Harry sought help after his mother died. I can hardly believe that Harry did not help. That is a catastrophic thing to say.

I am sure in a few years’ time Harry will very much regret doing this interview. They have no emotional intelligence.

The Palace will say the minimum. It is too much to take on. 

 

Other commentators gave their views elsewhere. 

KJ MATTHEWS

Entertainment journalist based in Los Angeles, speaking on BBC Breakfast.  

I’m still processing all that I heard. I expected to hear some revelations, but i never imagined I would hear that many revelations.

KJ Matthews

KJ Matthews 

I mean there were so many bombshells, I don’t know which one to focus on. Surprising, shocking, it really didn’t go over well here in terms of the monarchy and the image that we had of them.

It really made us look somewhat differently at the monarchy, but when it comes to Prince Harry and Meghan, we feel much more sympathetic to them now. I think we have a better understanding of just why they felt they had to cut ties with the British Royal Family.

And I think some people here really feel sorry for her, especially the issue about her feeling suicidal. The fact that she brought up the possibility that they were talking about the skin colour of her unborn son.

I think that in a million years we would have never thought she was experiencing that, and so it will be hard, I think, for us to change now from what we’ve heard and see the monarchy in a positive light.

I think that from the moment that she was engaged to Prince Harry, we all thought very flattering things about the British monarchy, we were happy to see her introduced and welcomed into the family.

But now with all these allegations and these bombshells, it’s just hard to see them in the same way. I do believe their image has been tarnished and from what I’m even seeing on social media, especially here in America, I haven’t seen one sympathetic viewpoint siding with the Royal Family.

‘I’m hearing now Oprah will appear live on the CBS Morning Show to reveal and show clips of the interview that we have not seen, so there’s even more. There could be more bombshells that we see. It’s just the gift that keeps on giving, and it’s quite shocking. So I will be surprised to see what else she can drop on us.’ 

Chris Ship

Chris Ship

CHRIS SHIP

ITV’s royal correspondent spoke on Good Morning Britain about Meghan Markle’s claim that someone in the Royal Family had ‘concerns’ about ‘how dark’ Archie’s skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white. 

Mr Ship said:  

I should be clear here. Now I have been told it is not Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, or the Queen. 

We are left with two family members. 

You are left with either his father Prince Charles, or his brother Prince William, or their wives. 

They have protected the Queen throughout this. 

They have Zoom calls with the Queen, but equally, they are being very critical of the organisation of which she is the head of. Therefore you ARE criticising the Queen. 

PENNY JUNOR 

I do not know why they’ve done this. This is Harry’s family, his flesh and blood, and this seems to have lobbed a hand grenade into the family home. I worry that there will be no coming back from that.

It is a very serious attack on an age-old institution that has served this country extremely well for centuries – and why? Why damage it?’

I think we have just to wait and see what the ultimate fallout of this interview is. It may that it’s today’s sensational news but that by next week, next month, it has faded. I think overall the monarchy is strong enough to withstand it.

On the Palace’s response: 

I think we have just to wait and see what the ultimate fallout of this interview is. It may that it’s today’s sensational news but that by next week, next month, it has faded. I think overall the monarchy is strong enough to withstand it.

If they say anything my guess is they would express sorrow rather than anger. Traditionally they have kept their mouths closed and kept a dignified silence. I’m sure they are having discussions about how they do respond, but a dignified silence is maybe the best route. 

INGRID SEWARD

It’s a real downer on everyone in the royal family apart from the Queen. It’s probably the most damning condemnation of the royal family and how they operate that I’ve ever heard. It struck me that he (Harry) wasn’t completely comfortable with what he was saying.

I think the monarchy is definitely strong enough to withstand it. They have withstood so many scandals and so many difficulties over the years. This will – I know it doesn’t seem like it now – but this will pass over.

The majority of British people do not like to see the institution of the monarchy attacked in this way.   

Penny Junor

Ingrid Seward

Today royal experts Penny Junor and Ingrid Seward argued that monarchy was strong enough to survive the bombshell interview 

Prince Harry’s rift with Charles: Duke of Sussex feels ‘really let down’ by his father after he STOPPED taking his calls he tells Oprah as he laments he and brother William are ‘on separate paths’ and Diana would have been ‘upset’

Prince Harry said he feels ‘really let down’ by his father Charles and told Oprah the bitter rift in his family would have ‘upset’ his late mother Princess Diana

In a series of astonishing claims, Harry revealed the Prince of Wales cut off contact with him in the wake of his decision to step away from the royal family

He told how, during his time in Canada, his father refused to answer his calls as tensions within the family rose and their relationship soured. 

In the extraordinary interview watched by tens of millions of people around the world, Harry told Oprah he would always love Charles but said, ‘there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened.’

The two-hour interview was the biggest royal tell-all since Harry’s mother princess Diana detailed her crumbling marriage to Prince Charles in 1995.

Harry, 36, revealed the deep divisions within his family, saying he felt ‘really let down’ by how his father had handled the situation.

But he also said Charles and Harry’s older brother William were ‘trapped’ by the conventions of the monarchy.

‘They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that,’ he said.

Harry also alluded to an alleged rift with his older brother, but signalled his aim to repair their relationship.

‘The relationship is space at the moment,’ he said, ‘and time heals all things, hopefully.’

He added: ‘I love William to bits, he’s my brother, we’ve been through hell together, we have a shared experience, but we were on different paths.’

Prince Harry with his brother Prince William, father Prince Charles and Sir David Attenborough in 2019

Prince Harry with his brother Prince William, father Prince Charles and Sir David Attenborough in 2019

In 2019, the rift in the royal family was laid bare when Harry said in an ITV documentary that he and William were on ‘different paths’ and had good and bad days in their relationship. 

The Duke of Sussex also described himself, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge as being ‘trapped’ within the system.  

Harry claimed he was ‘trapped’ before he met Meghan but, asked if he would have left or ever stepped back were it not for his now-wife, Harry replied, ‘No.’

In the candid sit-down, Harry added: ‘I wouldn’t have been able to, because I myself was trapped, as well. I didn’t see a way out. You know, I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped. 

‘But the moment that I met meg, and then our worlds sort of collided in the most amazing of ways. [I was] Trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are.

‘My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that.’ 

In the most extraordinary royal interview since his mother spoke to the BBC’s Martin Bashir in 1995, Harry also laid into his own family claiming Prince Charles had stopped stopped taking his calls and ‘cut him off’ financially when they emigrated. 

The prince said he had to sign multi-million dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify because he was spending his inheritance from Princess Diana and the palace wanted Meghan to go back into acting to pay the bills. 

Harry added: ‘My family literally cut me off financially. 

‘Members of my family were suggesting that she [Meghan] carries on acting, because there was not enough money to pay for her. There was some real obvious signs before we even got married that this was going to be really hard’.

He added that his mother Diana would be ‘angry and sad’ that he felt he had to leave the royal family, but ‘she saw it coming’. 

Harry said: ‘All she’d ever want for us is to be happy’, adding that his wife had ‘saved me’, declaring: ‘I myself was trapped, as well. I didn’t see a way out’.

Asked about his relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said they were now speaking again, adding: ‘There’s a lot to work through there, you know? 

‘I feel really let down, because he’s been through something similar. 

‘He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson. I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened. 

‘And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship’.

In the most extraordinary royal interview since his mother spoke to the BBC's Martin Bashir in 1995, Harry also laid into his own family claiming Prince Charles had stopped stopped taking his calls and 'cut him off' financially when they emigrated. Pictured, the family in 2019

In the most extraordinary royal interview since his mother spoke to the BBC’s Martin Bashir in 1995, Harry also laid into his own family claiming Prince Charles had stopped stopped taking his calls and ‘cut him off’ financially when they emigrated. Pictured, the family in 2019

Harry confessed he felt 'let down' by his father but said he had 'huge compassion' for Prince Charles and his brother William because they were 'trapped within the system' of the monarchy. Pictured, the family together in March 2020 - around the time Harry was cut off financially

Harry confessed he felt ‘let down’ by his father but said he had ‘huge compassion’ for Prince Charles and his brother William because they were ‘trapped within the system’ of the monarchy. Pictured, the family together in March 2020 – around the time Harry was cut off financially 

Asked by Winfrey why they stepped back from the royal family to forge their own family life, Harry blamed a ‘lack of support and lack of understanding’. 

Winfrey asked ‘did you blindside the Queen?’ with the announcement they were leaving the family. Harry replied: ‘No, I would never blindside my grandmother, I have too much respect for her.’

Asked where that story came from, Harry said he could ‘hazard a guess’ that it may have come ‘from within the institution’.

Harry said while in Canada he had ‘three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father, before he stopped taking my calls’.

He also revealed Charles had asked for him to put his plan ‘in writing’. 

Harry said he had to act for the wellbeing of himself, Meghan and Archie, adding: ‘He asked me to put it in writing, and I put all the specifics in there, even the fact that we were planning on putting the announcement out on the 7th of January.’

Oprah asked: ‘So, you just said that your dad stopped taking your calls. Why did he stop taking your calls?’ 

Harry replied: ‘Because… by that point, I took matters into my own hands. It was like, I need to do this for my family. This is not a surprise to anybody.

‘It’s really sad that it’s gotten to this point, but I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, my wife’s, and for Archie’s, as well, because I could see where this was headed.’ 

He added: ‘I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like, (and) Archie’s his grandson.

‘But at the same time – I will always love him – but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.

‘But they only know what they know, or what they’re told.’

‘I was trapped until I met Meg’: Harry says he was desperate to quit royal life before Megxit and he has ‘compassion’ for Charles and William who CANNOT escape, but reveals his father stopped taking his calls during Megxit

The Duke of Sussex has described himself, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge as being ‘trapped’ within the system of the monarchy.

In his bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry sensationally revealed his family ‘literally cut me off financially’ and said he was only able to step away from royal life thanks to money left to him by his late mother Princess Diana

He claimed he was ‘trapped’ before he met Meghan as he revealed his father Charles ‘stopped taking my calls’ during the build-up to the announcement that he and Meghan were leaving the royal family. 

Asked if he would have left or ever stepped back were it not for Meghan, Harry replied, ‘No.’

In the candid sit-down, Harry added: ‘I wouldn’t have been able to, because I myself was trapped, as well. I didn’t see a way out. You know, I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped. 

‘But the moment that I met meg, and then our worlds sort of collided in the most amazing of ways. [I was] Trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are.

‘My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that.’ 

Discussing his fractured relationship with Prince Charles, Harry also revealed he and his father Charles were not on speaking terms after his father stopped taking his calls. 

He added: ‘There’s a lot to work through there. I feel really let down.’ 

Discussing his fractured relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said his father stopped taking his calls, adding, 'There's a lot to work through there. I feel really let down.'

Discussing his fractured relationship with Prince Charles, Harry said his father stopped taking his calls, adding, ‘There’s a lot to work through there. I feel really let down.’

Asked by Winfrey why they stepped back from the royal family to forge their own family life, Harry blamed a ‘lack of support and lack of understanding’. 

Winfrey asked ‘did you blindside the Queen?’ with the announcement they were leaving the family. Harry replied: ‘No, I would never blindside my grandmother, I have too much respect for her.’

Asked where that story came from, Harry said he could ‘hazard a guess’ that it may have come ‘from within the institution’.

Harry said while in Canada he had ‘three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father, before he stopped taking my calls’.

He also revealed Charles had asked for him to put his plan ‘in writing’. 

Harry said he had to act for the wellbeing of himself, Meghan and Archie, adding: ‘He asked me to put it in writing, and I put all the specifics in there, even the fact that we were planning on putting the announcement out on the 7th of January.’

Oprah asked: ‘So, you just said that your dad stopped taking your calls. Why did he stop taking your calls?’ 

Harry replied: ‘Because… by that point, I took matters into my own hands. It was like, I need to do this for my family. This is not a surprise to anybody.

‘It’s really sad that it’s gotten to this point, but I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, my wife’s, and for Archie’s, as well, because I could see where this was headed.’ 

He added: ‘I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like, (and) Archie’s his grandson.

‘But at the same time – I will always love him – but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.

‘But they only know what they know, or what they’re told.’

Meghan Markle reveals FERGIE taught her how to curtsy before she met the Queen and claims she was so naive she never even Googled Harry 

Meghan Markle had no idea she had to curtsy to the Queen and was taught by Sarah Ferguson outside Royal Lodge moments before meeting Her Majesty for the first time.

Fergie - as Meghan referred to the Duchess of York - is renowned for her trademark deep curtsies to Her Majesty (pictured with Princess Beatrice at Ascot)

Fergie – as Meghan referred to the Duchess of York – is renowned for her trademark deep curtsies to Her Majesty (pictured with Princess Beatrice at Ascot)

The Duchess claimed she ‘never looked up her husband online’ when they first started dating and knew little about the British Royal Family growing up.

She told how she first met Prince Harry’s grandmother in a very informal manner at Royal Lodge, the Yorks’ home in Windsor, but was stunned when her husband revealed during the car journey there that she was expected to curtsy.

Meghan said that was the moment ‘the penny dropped’ that her perception about the Firm was ‘very different’ to the reality, and she had to learn how to perform the royal custom ‘very quickly’.

‘Right in front of the house we practised and ran in. Fergie ran out and said, ‘Do you know how to curtsy?’ she recalled.

‘Apparently I did a very deep curtsy, I don’t remember it, and then we sat there and we chatted. I grew up in LA, I see celebrities all the time. it’s not the same. This is a completely different ball game.’

She added: ‘Thank God I didn’t know about the family, thank god I didn’t research, I would have been so in my head about it.’

Fergie – as Meghan referred to the Duchess of York – is renowned for her trademark deep curtsies to Her Majesty. 

Meghan makes sensational claim that Royals banned Archie from being a Prince because of concerns over how ‘DARK’ he would be and told her he would get no police protection but Harry refuses to reveal who made racist remark 

Meghan Markle accused the Royal Family of having ‘concerns’ about ‘how dark’ Archie’s skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white.

The Duchess also described her ‘pain’ that officials had denied him the title of prince and accused Buckingham Palace of failing to protect their son Archie by denying him 24/7 security.

Meghan Markle today used her bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview to accuse the Royal Family of having 'concerns' about 'how dark' Archie's skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white. Pictured: Archie with his parents in South Africa in 2019

Meghan Markle today used her bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview to accuse the Royal Family of having ‘concerns’ about ‘how dark’ Archie’s skin would be before he was born because she is mixed-race and Harry is white. Pictured: Archie with his parents in South Africa in 2019

Meghan refused to say which royal had the conversation with Harry about Archie’s skin colour, claiming it would be ‘damaging’ to the person in her husband’s family who raised it.

She said it was ‘a pretty safe’ assumption to suggest that the royal family member was ‘concerned’ that Archie being ‘too brown’ was ‘a problem’.

When Oprah asked if she was denied the title because of he is mixed-race, Oprah asked if the palace had concerns Archie would be ‘too brown’, Meghan said: ‘In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, we have in tandem, the conversation of ‘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 he’s born’.

Oprah then interrupted and said: ‘Hold on. Hold up. Stop right now. There’s a conversation… about how dark your baby is going to be?’

Meghan replied: ‘Potentially, and what that would mean or look like’.

‘And you’re not going to tell me who had the conversation?’, Oprah asked.

Meghan replied: ‘I think that would be very damaging to them. That was relayed to me from Harry. Those were conversations that family had with him’.

Oprah asked if ? Are you saying that?

Meghan replied: ‘I wasn’t able to follow up with why, but if that’s the assumption you’re making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one, which was really hard to understand, right?’  

Harry and Meghan claim they secretly got married three days BEFORE their royal wedding – exchanging vows in a private backyard ceremony with Archbishop of Canterbury and NO guests (but was it just their rehearsal?)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle claimed they were secretly married three days before they tied the knot in front of the world.

In their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night, Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, revealed they held a private ‘union’ in their backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury and no other guests.

Meghan said ‘no one knew’ about the secret ceremony, in which the pair shared personal vows for ‘just the two of us’.

The couple say the private union took place three days before their much publicized royal wedding on May 19, which Meghan described as a ‘spectacle for the world’. 

However rules on Church of England weddings are strict. They require at least two witnesses.

And, according to the church’s own rulebook, the public must have ‘unrestricted access’ to the building during any marriage ceremony to allow for ‘valid objections against the marriage’.

It is not clear if the Archbishop of Canterbury – the head of the Church of England – can override the rules.

Speaking about the secret union, Meghan said: ‘You know, three days before our wedding, we got married. No one knows that.’

Secret: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have revealed that they were married in secret three days before their royal wedding on May 19, 2018

Secret: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have revealed that they were married in secret three days before their royal wedding on May 19, 2018

Under cover: During their explosive interview with Oprah on Sunday night, the couple said they called the Archbishop of Canterbury and asked him to wed them in secret in their yard

Under cover: During their explosive interview with Oprah on Sunday night, the couple said they called the Archbishop of Canterbury and asked him to wed them in secret in their yard 

Could Harry and Meghan have wed in private? Here’s what the rules say:

Though the act of marriage is a moment of love and devotion, there are still ground rules within Church of England weddings that must be followed.

In an official rule book for clergymen, it states that it is their responsibility to ensure that the legal requirements of marriages are solemnized in accordance with the rites and ceremonies of the church.

There are bans on marrying anyone under 16, as well as in cases of polygamy and close family relations.

But Church of England marriages also require at least two witnesses.

The public must also have unrestricted access to the building during any marriage ceremony to allow for valid objections against the marriage.

There are other particular rules, such as a permanent type of black ink should be used when registering marriages, preparing quarterly certified copies and issuing certificates.

It is not clear if the Archbishop of Canterbury, who Meghan and Harry said had privately wed the pair, has the power to override the rules. 

Meghan went on to reveal that she and Harry phoned the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby – who performed the ceremony at their official wedding – and asked him to marry them in private days before the event that was watched by millions around the world. 

‘We called the Archbishop and we just said, ‘Look, this thing, this spectacle is for the world but we want our union between us,’ she said. 

The couple revealed that they exchanged personal vows during their private backyard ceremony, which they now have framed in the bedroom of their $14.5million Montecito mansion.  

‘So, like, the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury,’ she continued. 

Harry then jokingly interjected by singing: ‘Just the three of us, just the three of us.’  

The couple had no guests or spectators at their private wedding – and it is unclear whether anyone in the royal family knew that the secret ceremony had taken place.

At the time, Harry and Meghan were living in a private home in the grounds of Kensington Palace, Nottingham Cottage, which is where they got engaged. 

Speaking about the royal wedding, Meghan said that she felt as though the star-studded event – which was attended by dozens of high-profile figures, including Oprah, 67, herself – ‘wasn’t our day’.   

However, the Duchess insisted that she was not particularly nervous before the big event, revealing that she slept through the night before her wedding day, and then marked the occasion by listening to Chapel of Love by The Dixie Cups before heading to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. 

During the wedding, the couple exchanged traditional vows, which were viewed by millions of people around the world – as well as 600 guests, including several of Meghan’s former Suits co-stars, and celebrities like James Corden and George and Amal Clooney. 

Asking about the wedding, Oprah said: ‘I remember sitting in the chapel, thanks for inviting me by the way. I recall this sense of magic I’d never experienced anything like it. It seemed like you were floating down the aisle.’ 

Meghan responded: ‘I thought about this a lot because it was like having an out of body experience I was very present for.

‘And that’s the only way I can describe it because the night before I slept through the night entirely, which in and of itself is a bit of a miracle. 

‘And then I woke up and started listening to that song Going To The Chapel, and just tried to make it fun and light and remind ourselves that this was our day – but I think we were both really aware, even in advance, that this wasn’t our day. 

‘This was the day that was planned for the world’.

‘Back to basics’ at their $14.5million mansion: Harry and Meghan show Archie enjoying the beach and reveal his Chick Inn hens they rescued from a factory farm as Meghan says they want to ‘live authentically’

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gushed about their new life in Los Angeles as they shared candid footage of son Archie playing on a beach and showed off the hens they rescued from a factory farm during their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Meghan told the talk show host how their move to California was ‘greater than any fairytale you’ve ever read’ after she was left feeling suicidal while living as senior Royals in the UK.  

The couple’s son, who turns two in May, made a cameo appearance at the end of the tell-all interview as they told the chat show host he loves the LA lifestyle and is always ‘chatting’, with his latest words being ‘hydrate’ and ‘drive safe’. 

Meghan claimed she and Harry want to ‘live authentically’ and get back ‘down to basics’ as they offered a rare glimpse into life in their $14.5 million mansion by showing Oprah around Archie’s chicken coop.

This came as the couple, who announced they are expecting a girl in the summer, accused the Royal Family of raising ‘concerns’ about ‘how dark’ Archie’s skin would be before he was born and said the boy was denied 24/7 security and the title of being a prince by Buckingham Palace.   

The couple showed off the hens they rescued from a factory farm as the duchess said the couple want to 'live authentically' and get back 'down to basics' at their $14.5 million mansion

The couple showed off the hens they rescued from a factory farm as the duchess said the couple want to ‘live authentically’ and get back ‘down to basics’ at their $14.5 million mansion

In the artful black and white footage, Archie is seen running along the beach in the direction of the camera followed closely behind by his mom.

The little boy then runs beneath the legs of his dad who is filming the cute encounter.

Meghan revealed their son has already developed an impressive vocabulary and is ‘on a roll’ learning new words, with his latest penchant being to tell people to ‘drive safe’ when they leave home and to stay hydrated. 

‘In the past couple weeks, it has been ‘Hydrate’, which is just hysterical,’ she said.

Harry added that his son tells everyone to ‘drive safe’ whenever they leave the house, to which Meghan proudly added: ‘Drive safe. He’s not even two yet!’ 

Harry described the last year as ‘crazy’ as he spoke of his favorite times being able to spend time with his son and go on bike rides with him – something he said he was ‘never able to do’ when he was young. 

‘This year has been crazy for everybody, but to have outdoor space where I can go for walks with Archie, and we can go for walks as a family and with the dogs, and we can go on hikes,’ he said.

‘We’ll go down to the beach, which is so close – all of these things are just – I guess, the highlight for me is sticking him on the back of the bicycle in his little baby seat and take him on these bike rides, which is something I was never able to do when I was young.

‘I can see him on the back, and he’s got his arms out. And he’s like ‘whoo,’ chatting, chatting, chatting, going, ‘palm tree, house,’ and all this sort of stuff.’

Meghan and Harry also took the talk show host around the grounds of their lavish home in Montecito and introduced her to their rescued birds which live in Archie’s chicken coop.      

A plaque on the side of the hut reads ‘Archie’s Chick In. Established 2021’. 

In the footage, the trio are uncharacteristically dressed down with Harry sport a pair of wellies and jeans and t-shirt as he fed one of the rescue birds.

Meanwhile, Oprah and Meghan, who were both dressed casually in jeans, appeared to be deep in conversation.   

A plaque on the side of the hut reads 'Archie's Chick In. Established 2021'

A plaque on the side of the hut reads ‘Archie’s Chick In. Established 2021’

Viewers reacted on social media to the moment with some saying they were ‘obsessed’ with the revelation.

‘I LOVE the fact that Meghan and Harry’s chicken hut is called ‘Archie’s Chick Inn’,’ one person tweeted.

‘Obsessed with the fact that Meghan and Harry own chickens that they rescued from a factory,’ added another.   

One person shared a picture of SpongeBob SquarePants smiling with the comment: ‘Meghan and Harry’s chickens have a tiny picnic table in their coop!’ 

Others cited Harry’s absence from the interview so far – but for his outing to the chicken coop.

‘So far, all Harry’s done in this interview is feed a chicken,’ they tweeted. 

‘I love that Oprah and Meghan are having this deep discussion in Meghan’s chicken coop and Harry is in the background clucking like a chicken. I love them,’ added another.  

Later in the show, the three are seen again standing in the coop as Meghan likens herself to the Disney character The Little Mermaid. 

‘I was sitting in Nottingham cottage and The Little Mermaid came on,’ Meghan said. 

‘And who as an adult really watches The Little Mermaid but it came on and I was like, ‘Well I’m here all the time I might as well watch this.’ 

‘And I went, ‘Oh my God she falls in love with the prince and because of that she loses her voice.’ ‘     

The footage of the chicken coop and family time on the beach came as Meghan told Oprah the couple are embracing a more ‘authentic’ life since they quit the Royal Family as senior working Royals last year. 

‘I think just being able to live authentically [has been the most important thing],’ she said Meghan.

‘This kind of stuff is so basic, but it’s really fulfilling and about getting back to basics.’

This ‘back to basics’ lifestyle comes after they set up home in their sprawling nine-bedroom and 16-bathroom mansion in upscale Santa Barbara back in June, where their neighbors include Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres.   

Prince Harry says he was forced to flee Canada and make a lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify to ‘pay for security’ after being CUT OFF by royals 

Harry and Meghan claimed that they ‘had no plan’ to ink multi-million-dollar deals with the ‘streamers’ when they first quit the royal family, but said that they were forced to find ways of making money when the royal family cut Prince Harry off, and took away his security.

Insisting that their deals with Netflix and Spotify – which are believed to be worth upwards of $100 million – were ‘never part of the plan’, Harry said: ‘We didn’t have a plan. That was suggested by somebody else by the point of where my family literally cut me off financially, and I had to afford security for us.’

The Duke of Sussex revealed that his family stopped all financial support in the ‘first quarter of 2020’, likely soon after Harry and Meghan announced they were stepping down as working royals, adding that had he not had the money that had been left to him by his mother Princess Diana, the couple would not have been able to afford to move to the US.

‘I’ve got what my mum left me, and without that, we would not have been able to do this,’ he said.

‘During COVID, the suggestion by a friend was, ‘What about streamers?” Harry continued, while Meghan added: ‘We genuinely hadn’t thought about it before.’

In the Netflix series, Charles is portrayed as growing jealous of Diana's rising popularity during the trip, something that Harry suggested was echoed when he and Meghan visited the country themselves in 2018, hinting that the Duchess faced envy from other members of his family

In the Netflix series, Charles is portrayed as growing jealous of Diana’s rising popularity during the trip, something that Harry suggested was echoed when he and Meghan visited the country themselves in 2018, hinting that the Duchess faced envy from other members of his family

‘We hadn’t thought about it,’ Harry continued. ‘So, there were all sorts of different options. And look, from my perspective, all I needed was enough money to be able to pay for security to keep my family safe.’ 

When asked about controversial series The Crown – which Harry defended during an interview with James Corden last month – the couple revealed that they ‘have watched some of’ the show, but gave little other hints about their feelings over it.

However they hinted that they have seen some of the most recent episodes, which focus primarily on Harry’s parents, including Diana’s battle with bulimia and her very turbulent relationship with Charles, with Oprah asking specifically about the show’s depiction of Prince Charles and Diana’s tour of Australia in 1983.

In the series, Charles is portrayed as growing jealous of Diana’s rising popularity during the trip, something that Harry suggested was echoed when he and Meghan visited the country themselves in 2018, hinting that the Duchess faced envy from other members of his family.

‘You know, my father, my brother, Kate and and all the rest of the family, they were really welcoming,’ he said of his wife’s introduction into the royal family. ‘But it really changed after the Australia tour, after our South Pacific tour.’

He continued: ‘It was the first time that the family got to see how incredible [Meghan] is at the job.’

Prince Harry admits he was ‘hurt’ by the Queen removing his royal patronages but insists he ‘completely respects’ her decision 

Prince Harry said he was ‘hurt’ by the Queen’s decision to remove his royal patronages and honorary titles, but insisted he ‘completely respects’ her decision.

Harry and Meghan attend the Royal Albert Hall in March 2020, which the Duke of Sussex attended as, Captain General Royal Marines and the ceremonial head of the Royal Marines

Harry and Meghan attend the Royal Albert Hall in March 2020, which the Duke of Sussex attended as, Captain General Royal Marines and the ceremonial head of the Royal Marines

The Duke of Sussex said he would ‘still love for us to be able to continue to support those associations, albeit without the title or the role’.

The interview was filmed before Buckingham Palace announced on February 19 that Harry and his wife Meghan Markle would lose all their remaining royal titles.

Oprah asked Harry about the decision which was ‘coming up at the end of this month’, and he said it would be that ‘they will be removing everything’.

Harry replied: ‘I am hurt. But at the same time, I completely respect my grandmother’s decision.

‘I would still love for us to be able to continue to support those associations, albeit without the title or the role.

Oprah also asked the couple: ‘Could you be as satisfied now, doing this through your own organisation, Archewell?’

And Meghan replied: ‘Well, we… this is what we’re doing, right? We’re still doing it. We’re still going to always do the work.

‘But I also think it’s important for you or everyone to know this decision that was made about patronages and all of that was before anyone knew that we were sitting down with you.’

Oprah added: ‘I heard a story that you’re getting punished now. Those were being taken away because you did sit down with me.’

But Meghan said: Those letters, those conversations, that was finalised before anyone even knew that we were going to sit down. So, that’s just not true.’

‘It’s better than any fairy tale’: Meghan hails her ‘happy ending’ with Harry and Archie in California after revealing that life as a senior royal left her suicidal

Meghan hailed her ‘happy ending’ with Prince Harry and Archie now the family are in California – calling their escape from the UK ‘better than any fairy tale’.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they are ‘thriving’ in the US after having ‘been through a lot’ during their time as senior royals.

Meghan hit nerves across the world in 2019 when she said ‘it is not enough to just survive something’ and instead ‘you’ve got to thrive and feel happy’ when speaking about her struggles with life in the Firm.

The duchess said she, Harry and Archie (pictured together in 2019) are 'on the other side' and circled back to her earlier comments, triumphantly declaring 'we've actually not just survived but are thriving'

The duchess said she, Harry and Archie (pictured together in 2019) are ‘on the other side’ and circled back to her earlier comments, triumphantly declaring ‘we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving’

And now, the duchess said she, Harry and Archie are ‘on the other side’ and circled back to her earlier comments, triumphantly declaring ‘we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving’.

But it their joy followed hardship, with Meghan revealing she was suicidal when she was pregnant and had warned Harry ‘I don’t want to be alive anymore’.

Harry also revealed that his father Prince Charles stopped taking his calls after they decided to quit while his wife said an unnamed member of Harry’s family was ‘worried’ about how ‘dark’ their son Archie’s skin would be when he was born.

But Meghan said: ‘Now, because we’re actually on the other side, we’ve actually not just survived but are thriving.

‘I mean, this is miracles. I think that all of those things that I was hoping for have happened, and this is in some ways just the beginning for us. You know, we’ve been through a lot. It’s felt like a lifetime. A lifetime.’

Oprah asked: ‘So, your story with the prince does have a happy ending?

Meghan replied: ‘It does.’   

‘Palace lied about me to protect other royals’: Meghan claims aides refused to stand up for her 

Meghan said Palace officials failed to protect her and ‘were willing to lie to protect other members of the Royal family.’ 

She opened up about life in ‘The Firm’ and the struggles she faced adjusting to life in the Royal family.

She revealed she was ‘silenced’ by Buckingham Palace officials, who told her to always answer ‘no comment’, adding, ‘because it was also through the lens of ‘And we’ll protect you.’

Meghan added: ‘It was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.’

The Duchess of Sussex also described her ‘pain’ that officials had denied her first born son the title of prince and accused Buckingham Palace of failing to protect Archie by denying him 24/7 security. 

She said: ‘I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.’

Oprah asked, ‘Were you silent? Or were you silenced?’

Meghan replied: ‘The latter.’

Oprah said: ‘So, how does that work? Were you told by the comms people or the– I don’t know– the institution, the– were– were you told to keep silent? Were you– were you told to say nothing?’

Meghan told her: ‘Everyone from– everyone in my world was given very clear directive from the moment the world knew Harry and I were dating to always say ‘No comment.’

‘That’s my friends, my mom and dad. And we did. I did anything they told me to do.

‘Of course I did, because it was also through the lens of ‘And we’ll protect you.’

‘So, even as things started to roll out in the media that I didn’t see but my friends would call me and say, ‘meg, this is really bad,’ because I didn’t see it, I’d go, ‘Don’t worry. I’m being protected.

‘I believed that. And– and I think that was– that was really hard to reconcile because it was only– it was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband.’

Me and the Queen: Meghan says Queen was ‘wonderful’ to her and gave her ‘beautiful’ pearl earrings and says she phoned to ‘check in’ when she heard Prince Phillip was ill 

Meghan praised the Queen saying she had been ‘wonderful’ to her and had once asked her to share a blanket which sits across her knees for warmth.

The Duchess also said the monarch had given her some ‘beautiful’ pearl earrings and a matching necklace.

Meghan went on her first trip with the Queen on the royal train to Cheshire in June 2018, a month after her wedding, which saw them open a bridge and visit a theatre.

She told Oprah: ‘The Queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me. I mean, we had one of our first joint engagements together. She asked me to join her.

‘We had breakfast together that morning, and she’d given me a beautiful gift, and I just really loved being in her company. And I remember we were in the car.’

Oprah asked her what the gift was, and Meghan replied: ‘She gave me some beautiful pearl earrings and a matching necklace.

‘We were in the car going between engagements, and she has a blanket that sits across her knees for warmth.

‘And it was chilly, and she was like, ‘Meghan, come on,’ and put it over my knees, as well.’ Oprah replied ‘nice’.

And Meghan continued: ‘Right? Just moments of… and it made me think of my grandmother where she’s always been warm and inviting and really welcoming.’

Now strip them of their titles: British viewers call on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to lose Duke and Duchess rank for being ‘disrespectful’ to the Queen during bombshell Oprah interview

British viewers called on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to be stripped of their royal titles following their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, with some accusing the couple of being disrespectful to the Queen.

In the biggest royal interview for decades, Meghan made racism claims about Harry’s family whom she claims were worried about how ‘dark’ their child’s skin would be.

The Duchess of Sussex also claimed Kate Middleton made her cry before she married Harry in a row over flowergirl dresses, while Harry said his father Charles stopped taking his calls after he began ‘taking matters into his own hands’. 

Harry also branded the institution a ‘trapping’ environment and claimed he felt he had ‘no where to turn to’ when Meghan admitted she was struggling and having suicidal thoughts while pregnant. 

Several viewers took to Twitter calling on the couple to be stripped of their Duke and Duchess rank – while Piers Morgan branded the interview an ‘absolutely disgraceful betrayal of the Queen’.

Piers tweeted: ‘This interview is an absolutely disgraceful betrayal of the Queen and the Royal Family. I expect all this vile destructive self-serving nonsense from Meghan Markle – but for Harry to let her take down his family and the Monarchy like this is shameful.’

Piers Morgan branded the interview an 'absolutely disgraceful betrayal of the Queen' in a series of tweets

Piers Morgan branded the interview an ‘absolutely disgraceful betrayal of the Queen’ in a series of tweets

Susanna Reid, Piers' co-host on Good Morning Britain, tweeted: 'Well this is pretty devastating - the way Meghan & Harry describe their experience, and the impact their interview will have on the Royal Family'

Susanna Reid, Piers’ co-host on Good Morning Britain, tweeted: ‘Well this is pretty devastating – the way Meghan & Harry describe their experience, and the impact their interview will have on the Royal Family’

Several viewers took to Twitter calling on the couple to be stripped of the Duke and Duchess titles, accusing them of being 'disrespectful' to the Queen

Several viewers took to Twitter calling on the couple to be stripped of the Duke and Duchess titles, accusing them of being ‘disrespectful’ to the Queen

He followed it up with: ‘Harry wants America and the rest of the world to hate his own family, hate the Monarchy and hate his country. I suggest everyone waits for the victims of his wife’s rampage to have their say on her outlandish claims before they do so,’ – citing the bullying claims made against the Duchess last week was prompted Buckingham Palace to reveal it is launching an investigation.  

In response to the tell-all Oprah interview, another outraged royal fan wrote: ‘Has Meghan just basically called the Royal Family racist? She’s proper trying to stir the pot in this interview isn’t she, that’s Harry’s family. Personally, I think Harry and Meghan’s titles need to be removed. They have gone too far with this.’

Another commented: ‘The Queen needs to strip Harry & Meghan of their titles, remove Harry from the succession, ban them from all State events and deny them any financial support. The family should cut them off. Harry doesn’t care about his family at all. Meghan only cares about attention and money.’

And one remarked: ‘I also feel that both Harry and Meghan should indeed be stripped of their Royal Titles and all benefits associated therewith. End.’ 

‘Meghan and Harry are an affront to this country, Her Majesty and should have titles stripped immediately,’ tweeted another. 

Susanna Reid, Piers’ co-host on Good Morning Britain, tweeted: ‘Well this is pretty devastating – the way Meghan & Harry describe their experience, and the impact their interview will have on the Royal Family.’

Queen stresses importance of ‘friendship and unity’ as she is joined by Kate, William and other senior royals for Commonwealth Day message hours before Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview airs

Hours before the broadcast the Queen spoke to the UK in a TV address to mark Commonwealth Day, where Her Majesty stressed the importance of staying in touch with family and friends during the ‘testing times’ caused by coronavirus. In her speech, the Queen said: ‘We can all live a life of service. Service is universal’.

In audio, played over new footage of the 94-year-old sovereign walking past the flags of the ‘family of nations’ at Windsor Castle, the head of state referred to ‘friendship and a spirit of unity’ – all qualities currently absent from her relationship with her grandson.

She said the Commonwealth – which she had keenly hoped Harry and Meghan would play a significant role in before they quit – had shown throughout the pandemic ‘courage, commitment and selfless dedication to duty’.

In a show of solidarity she was backed by her son Prince Charles and Prince William and Kate, who praised the bravery and selflessness of health workers during the pandemic.

Speaking hours before the couple’s ‘tell all’ with chat show legend Oprah Winfrey was aired in the US, Her Majesty and senior royals - including Charles, Camilla, William and Kate - put on a show of unity as they took part in a pre-recorded Commonwealth Day service.

Speaking hours before the couple’s ‘tell all’ with chat show legend Oprah Winfrey was aired in the US, Her Majesty and senior royals – including Charles, Camilla, William and Kate – put on a show of unity as they took part in a pre-recorded Commonwealth Day service. 

Aides at the centre of palace intrigue

Melissa Touabti (right) is pictured with Robbie Williams' wife Ayda for whom she previously worked

Melissa Touabti (right) is pictured with Robbie Williams’ wife Ayda for whom she previously worked

PA WHO QUIT AFTER WEDDING:

Melissa Touabti, the duchess’s former personal assistant, had previously worked for Robbie Williams and Madonna.

She played a key role in preparations for Meghan and Harry’s wedding in May 2018, but quit after just six months.

The Frenchwoman, 41, took a job with the billionaire Livingstone family – owners of the stately home Cliveden. 

THE AMERICAN SPIN DOCTOR:

Jason Knauf joined the royals in 2014, having acted as a ‘crisis management expert’ at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The 36- year-old American, who completed his master’s at the London School of Economics, served as communications secretary to the ‘Fab Four’ of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan before the Cambridges and Sussexes created separate offices in March 2019.

Mr Knauf now heads William and Kate’s charitable foundation. 

THE AMERICAN SPIN DOCTOR: Jason Knauf (left) walks behind the couple at the Invictus Games in Toronto

THE AMERICAN SPIN DOCTOR: Jason Knauf (left) walks behind the couple at the Invictus Games in Toronto 

Simon Case in Dundee in 2019

Simon Case in Dundee in 2019 

THE WHIZ-KID WHO RUNS WHITEHALL: 

Simon Case became the youngest head of the civil service for over a century when he took the post at the tender age of 41.

The Cambridge history graduate – a noted fan of tweed suits and Barbour jackets – had previously been the principal private secretary to successive Tory prime ministers, David Cameron and Theresa May. He also worked at spying centre GCHQ as a ‘director of strategy’.

His most recent role before becoming Cabinet Secretary last year was serving as private secretary to Prince William.

THE TOUGH TALKING AUSTRALIAN: 

Formerly the Queen’s assistant private secretary, Samantha Cohen had planned to quit Buckingham Palace in 2018. Instead, she agreed to stay on and help the duchess through her first months in the Royal Family.

The well-liked but tough-talking Australian became the Sussexes’ private secretary, but left in 2019 to work for the environmental charity Cool Earth. 

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II (accompanied by Samantha Cohen) attend a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widnes, England

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II (accompanied by Samantha Cohen) attend a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widnes, England 

THE PRINCES’ HR HEAD HONCHO: 

Experienced human resources director Samantha Carruthers worked for De Beers and investment bank Lazard before joining the royals.

Head of HR for Prince Charles and Prince William until 2019, she is now deputy chairman of the board of trustees for child bereavement charity Winston’s Wish. 

Samantha Carruthers worked for De Beers and investment bank Lazard before joining the royal

Samantha Carruthers worked for De Beers and investment bank Lazard before joining the royal 

Harry is said to want to concentrate on his relationship with Prince William, which has been under strain since the Sussexes quit the UK for Los Angeles.

The brothers will have to display a united front when they unveil a statue in honour of their mother Princess Diana in London later this year.

The Duke of Sussex and Duke of Cambridge will reunite once more as they unveil the commissioned statue of their mother at Kensington Palace on July 1 on what would have been her 60th birthday. Meghan is not expected to attend. 

Meghan and Harry’s interview has sparked the biggest crisis faced by the Royal Family since Princess Diana gave her infamous interview to Martin Bashir in 1995.  During the Panorama exclusive, the princess famously said: ‘There were three of us in this marriage’ when asked about Camilla Parker-Bowles.  

The build up to two-hour interview, which aired overnight, sparked a toxic transatlantic war of words between supporters of the Sussexes and defenders of the British monarchy. 

With the gloves now off, pitting Windsor v Windsor, palace sources last night said they were refusing to be goaded into a ‘tit for tat’ with the Sussexes.

‘We are just not going to get drawn into the circus that is being created around this media interview,’ said one. ‘It helps no-one.’

Senior royals sources have made clear to the Mail that it is the Sussexes who have declared war on the palace, not the other way round.

A palace insider said the feeling was that courtiers ‘couldn’t have done any more for the couple than they did.’ ‘Not everything was handled brilliantly,’ said one. ‘But they were supported and given everything they demanded. And certainly nothing was done that warrants this. 

In extracts of the Oprah Winfrey interview released over the last few days, Meghan has criticised the constraints she faced as a working royal, and said it was ‘liberating’ to be able to ‘say yes’ to a request for an interview with the US chat show host. 

Prior to the interview’s broadcast, the Duchess of Sussex claimed royal aides blocked her from having a personal conversation with Oprah Winfrey in the months leading up to her wedding to Prince Harry.

Oprah revealed she called Meghan in February or March 2018 – two or three months before the royal wedding at Windsor Castle in May that year – to ask for an interview, but she declined because it was not ‘the right time’.

The Duchess said she remembered this talk with the US chat show queen ‘very well’ and ‘wasn’t even allowed to have this conversation with you personally’ because there had to be other people in the same room. 

Last week the Sussexes were urged to postpone their tell-all interview with Oprah after Prince Philip had major surgery after more than a fortnight in hospital.

Harry’s grandfather had the operation at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London – Britain’s top heart hospital – after being transferred there from the private King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone where he was being treated for an infection.  

It came as a new clip released ahead of Harry and Meghan’s interview showed the Duchess of Sussex accusing The Firm of ‘perpetuating falsehoods about us.’ 

She said: ‘I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.’

The Duchess added: ‘And, if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.’  

Meghan’s views on ‘The Firm’ came as Buckingham Palace announced they will launch an investigation into allegations that Markle bullied royal aides. The Sussexes deny bullying and claimed they were smeared.

The Queen launched the unprecedented inquiry into allegations that Meghan and Harry bullied their staff – leaving royal employees ‘shaken’ by ‘unhappy memories’ being brought up about a ‘toxic period’.

Devastating claims that the Duchess of Sussex inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on underlings and ‘drove them out’ were ‘very’ concerning, Buckingham Palace said.

But as the bitter fallout surrounding the tell-all interview continues, the Duke of Sussex reportedly considers the unveiling of his mother’s statue ‘a priority’, a source told The Telegraph.  

A friend told the paper: ‘It was something they felt they wanted and needed to do but now they have done it, they feel a line has been drawn under that chapter of their lives and they want to move on.’ 

However there is still uncertainty about whether the Duke will also attend other upcoming events such as the Trooping the Colour on June 12 or the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday on June 10 due to arrival of his second child this summer.

The statue which is due to be unveiled was commissioned to mark the twentieth anniversary of Princess Diana’s death and recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world.

It will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on July 1 to mark The Princess’s 60th birthday. 

Prince William has barely spoken to his brother in recent months and their relationship is said to be ‘hanging by a thread’ – although Prince Charles is understood to have tried not to get involved.  

Meghan and Harry’s interview has sparked the biggest crisis faced by the Royal Family since Princess Diana gave her infamous interview to Martin Bashir in 1995. 

During the Panorama exclusive, the princess famously said: ‘There were three of us in this marriage’ when asked about Camilla Parker-Bowles. 

While mounting pressure has been put on Meghan and Harry to push back the much-anticipated interview, a friend of the Sussexes told DailyMail.com that calls were an ‘excuse by the palace to keep her muzzled’. 

The source said: ‘Even if Meghan had the choice to postpone the Oprah special she said she wouldn’t because it has absolutely nothing to do with Prince Philip and that this is just an excuse by the palace to keep her muzzled.’ 

Reports have claimed Meghan could expose insider details of her supposed rift with the Duchess of Cambridge, but an Oprah interview source has insisted Meghan has nothing but ‘kind words’ to say about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  

Last week the Queen launched an unprecedented inquiry into allegations that Meghan and Harry bullied their staff – leaving royal employees ‘shaken’ by ‘unhappy memories’ being brought up about a ‘toxic period’ before the couple emigrated. 

The Duchess of Sussex is accused of ‘driving out’ two PAs and shattering the confidence of another member of Kensington Palace staff – with one former aide branding Prince Harry and his wife ‘outrageous bullies’ in The Times on Wednesday.

Meghan compares herself to Disney’s The Little Mermaid because ‘she meets her prince and has to lose her voice’

The Duchess of Sussex has compared herself to The Little Mermaid.

Meghan, who revealed she is expecting a girl in the summer, told the talk show host she had an epiphany when she watched the Disney movie and saw parallels between the character Ariel and her own life since meeting her real-life prince. 

In the tale, mermaid Ariel meets a human prince and falls in love but, in order to be with him on land, she makes a deal with the sea witch Ursula to give up her life in the sea and her voice in exchange for three days as a human.

In the end, the sea witch is defeated, Ariel gets her voice back and is changed into a human permanently so she can live happily ever after with her prince.    

Viewers gripped by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry 's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey took to social media Sunday night to ask 'who is Ursula the evil sea witch' after the Duchess of Sussex compared herself to The Little Mermaid

Viewers gripped by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry ‘s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey took to social media Sunday night to ask ‘who is Ursula the evil sea witch’ after the Duchess of Sussex compared herself to The Little Mermaid

Ariel and Prince Eric

Prince Harry and Meghan

Meghan, who revealed she is expecting a girl in the summer, told the talk show host she had an epiphany when she watched the Disney movie and saw parallels between the character Ariel and her own life since meeting her prince

‘I was sitting in Nottingham cottage and The Little Mermaid came on,’ Meghan said in a clip of the trio in ‘Archie’s Chick Inn’ coop where the chickens they rescued from a battery farm reside. 

‘And who as an adult really watches The Little Mermaid but it came on and I was like, ‘Well I’m here all the time I might as well watch this.’ 

‘And I went, ‘Oh my God she falls in love with the prince and because of that she loses her voice.’ 

‘But in the end she gets her voice back,’ she added. 

Oprah said: ‘And this is what happened here. You feel like you got your voice back’, to which Meghan replied: ‘Yeah.’  

Meghan later told Oprah that her and Harry’s love story has been ‘greater than any fairytale you’ve ever read.’

People took to social media reacting to her comments with some asking if Meghan was calling the Queen the villain in the real-life saga while others mulled a future acting role for the former Suits star.  

‘I am the adult woman who watches The Little Mermaid, Meghan,’ one person wrote, in reference to Meghan laughing at adults watching Disney films.

‘But point made. Who is Ursula the evil sea witch in that analogy, though?’ 

'And I went, 'Oh my God she falls in love with the prince and because of that she loses her voice. But in the end she gets her voice back,' Meghan said of Ariel (above)

‘And I went, ‘Oh my God she falls in love with the prince and because of that she loses her voice. But in the end she gets her voice back,’ Meghan said of Ariel (above)

People took to social media reacting to her comments with some asking who the villain is in the real-life saga

People took to social media reacting to her comments with some asking who the villain is in the real-life saga

Others mulled a potential future acting role for the former Suits star

Others mulled a potential future acting role for the former Suits star

‘If Meghan was the lil mermaid, who is the Ursula who took her voice? There is a specific name and I want it!’ another added. 

‘Meghan lowkey just compared the Queen to Ursula,’ joined in another. 

Another person added: ‘Yeah, interesting analogy. Meghan may not have intended it, but now I can’t help but picture the Queen as Ursula.’  

One person wrote that they were ‘rooting’ for the Disney villain: ‘Lmaooo that was so f**kin embarrassing. You a grown ass woman, Meghan. Never mind that we were all rooting for Ursula, goofy ass.’ 

Others suggested Meghan could be a good fit for a future remake of the movie. 

‘Disney remake the little mermaid (2021) starring meghan markle challenge,’ one person tweeted. 

‘I like to think that Meghan talking about ‘The Little Mermaid’ was really her just hinting that she’d like to join the cast of the live action movie!!’ another tweeted.  

Several people hit back at the duchess's suggestion that adults do not watch The Little Mermaid

Several people hit back at the duchess’s suggestion that adults do not watch The Little Mermaid

Many viewers shared memes of their apparent reactions to the comparison.  

‘When Meghan realized she was the little Mermaid is definitely in my top 5 favorite television moments ever!!’ one person tweeted.  

‘Meghan Markle and this damn Little Mermaid metaphor. She too damn good at this. They absolutely picked the right f**king one,’ said another.  

‘Omg Meghan IS Ariel from the Little Mermaid #OprahMeghanHarry,’ one person wrote. 

Another added: ‘MEGHAN MARKLE IS THE LITTLE MERMAID. WOW.’ 

Several people hit back at the duchess’s suggestion that adults do not watch The Little Mermaid.  

‘Yes, adults do watch the little mermaid. I am adults,’ one person wrote.   

‘Meghan: ‘Who as an adult watches The Little Mermaid?’ Me, having watched it just one week ago…,’ added another.  

The interview aired first in the US on Sunday night despite protests it should be put on hold while Prince Philip – Harry’s grandfather – recovers in hospital from heart surgery. 

The same week, Buckingham Palace launched a probe into allegations Meghan bullied Kensington Palace staff, drove out two PAs and inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on aides.  



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