From a social point of view, it is the TV event of the year: The interview of Duchess Meghan (39) and Prince Harry (36) with startalker Oprah Winfrey (67), which the US broadcaster CBS tonight at 2 a.m. (Swiss time, VIEW reports live) broadcasts. RTL will be the first German-speaking station to follow tomorrow at 3 p.m. The speculation as to whether the couple is really talking clearly about the true conditions at the royal court has kept the British nation in suspense since the announcement. Also because, as part of a clever advertising strategy, CBS regularly served snacks with content in trailer form.
The two-hour program is advertised as a “tell-all” conversation: Meghan and Harry want to “say everything” for the first time and express themselves “more openly and honestly than ever” about their feelings. That not only the court is nervous in the face of possible revelations of the renegade couple, shows the story of the London “Times” about the bullying allegations to the address of Meghan. During her time in front of the Megxit, she harassed personal employees and drove them to quit. As a key witness, the “Times” brought up then communications secretary Jason Knauf (36), who had passed on his complaint about the allegedly untenable situation to Harry’s brother Prince William (38). Harry himself asked Knauf to let the allegations rest.
The year of horror 1992 far exceeded
The reply from Meghan’s lawyers was violent, the talk was of a defamation campaign controlled by the court. Whatever the case, the fact that a former series actress is setting the pace for the royal family and the whole country is remarkable and a particularly spectacular part of what is arguably the greatest crisis that has ever befallen the British court. In November 1992, Queen Elizabeth II (94) spoke of her “Annus horribilis” in view of the separation of Prince Charles (72) and Lady Diana (1961–1997), the fire at Windsor Castle and the nude pictures of Sarah Ferguson (61) of the worst year since her accession to the throne in 1952.
But the current situation is even more precarious. Meghan and Harry are just a construction site. Most of the problems are structural and profound, starting with the Queen’s personal situation. Her husband Prince Philip (99) just had to go to hospital care, the obituaries for him have already been prepared in many places. And the Queen’s life is finite and a final point in sight. What follows is uncertain: Your eldest son Charles, pounded by a long wait, has withdrawn into a kind of early retirement with his second wife Camilla (73) and is the quirky organic gardener. Whether it could help the monarchy to regain popularity is doubtful.
Loyalty and hypocrisy
Charles’ sons William and Harry were severely traumatized by the accidental death of their mother. They have not only represented different views of what the future monarchy will look like since Harry’s defection from the court. Their brotherly quarrel is also reflected in the difficult relationship between their wives. While Duchess Kate (39) shows unconditional loyalty, Meghan has been dancing out of line since her relationship with Harry became known in 2016. Because she and her husband decided in favor of the “Megxit” because of the immense pressure from the public, critics accuse her of this as sheer hypocrisy. You no longer have any duties, but thanks to multi-million dollar deals with Netflix or Spotify, you are living better than ever on the name of the farm. “If Harry were a groom, no rooster would crow for Miss Markle,” as one BBC commentator put it.
Basically, one thing is certain: this family has been shaken to the core. And on the edges there are real mines, especially Charles’ younger brother Prince Andrew (61). His involvement in the affair of the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (1953-2019) could develop into a toxic case if his former partner Ghislaine Maxwell (59) unpacks. The damage to the image is already enormous. A TV interview intended as a liberation turned into a fiasco at the end of 2019, Andrew resigned from his royal duties.
Brexit costs the Queen billions
The goodwill of the people towards the monarchy is generally dwindling. It’s not just internal escapades to blame. The lack of political support also plays a decisive role. For decades, the royals could blindly rely on the respective prime minister. The current representative Boris Johnson (56) is not only fickle in this respect. Then there is the position regarding Brexit. The Queen was never allowed to speak officially. The fact that the royals are now losing billions of euros in EU agricultural aid for their many estates hurts enormously economically. As if all of this weren’t tricky enough, the pandemic is currently robbing the queen and her family of their strongest trump card: At public appearances and celebrations, they were each able to advertise their own cause. So it is still questionable whether the Queen’s big birthday party and the “Trooping the Color” parade will take place in June.
Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will be broadcast on American television from Sunday to Monday at 2 a.m. Swiss time. VIEW reports live.