A look back at some of the most shocking royal interviews in recent history

From Princess Diana's 'Panorama' appearance to Prince Charles admitting infidelity, bombshell British royal family interviews are nothing new

Teaser: Harry and Meghan on Oprah

Teaser: Harry and Meghan on Oprah
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Oprah Winfrey has already promised that no subject is off limits in her much-anticipated interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and clips released before Sunday's main event suggest that the Sussexes will not be holding any punches.

In a direct challenge to Buckingham Palace, which has announced that it is opening an investigation into claims that Markle had bullied former royal staff, the former actress says: “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.”

Ahead of Sunday's sit-down, we look back at some of the most shocking and revealing royal interviews – and how they were received by the public.

Prince Charles & Princess Diana, 1981: ‘Whatever in love means’

When Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their engagement in 1981, it marked the first time they had spoken to the press as a duo.

The interview is best remembered for being stilted and awkward, most notably when the couple are asked if they are in love. A bashful Diana, then aged 19, responded with an enthusiastic "of course". Charles, meanwhile, famously opted for an uninspiring "whatever in love means".

In retrospective, his response was telling, but at the time people were so swept up by the duo's fairytale wedding that they opted to ignore the warning signs.

Prince Charles, 1994: 'I have tried to do the right thing by everybody'

While many remember Princess Diana's bare-all Panorama interview with Martin Bashir, it was actually Prince Charles who first went on camera to admit he'd had an affair. In an interview with his biographer, Jonathan Dimbleby, in 1994, Prince Charles confronted rumours that he had been unfaithful, publicly admitting to his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, which he says only started once his marriage to Diana "became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried".

It was an unprecedented move that, many say, permanently changed public perception of the royal family.

After the documentary aired to negative press, Prince Charles wrote a letter to Marjorie Dawson, Princess Alexandra’s former maid and personal dresser, reflecting on the experience. "I suspect it was what is called 'living dangerously', but it seems difficult to avoid nowadays,” he surmised.

Princess Diana, 1995: ‘There were three of us in this marriage’

It is difficult, now, in an age of social media-induced oversharing, to appreciate quite how shocking it was for Princess Diana to speak so openly in her now-famous 1995 Panorama interview with journalist Martin Bashir.

An incredible 23 million people tuned in to watch “the people’s princess” give her account of her marriage to Prince Charles, which she immortalised in the now famous quote: “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”

Her vulnerability and frankness as she also opened up about her struggle with bulimia, self-harm, her extramarital affair and her view that Charles was unfit to be king, earned her plenty of public sympathy.

Meghan Markle: ‘I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip’

While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's coming interview with Oprah promises to be their most high-profile yet, the Sussexes have a precedent of sharing their feelings on camera.

In an interview with Tom Bradby for a documentary that aired to coincide with their royal tour of South Africa in 2019, Markle was asked about her emotional wellbeing in the face of mounting negative press coverage.

“Look, any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging… And especially as a woman, it’s really – it’s a lot,” she responded.

She herself acknowledged that this was not in keeping with the traditional British approach of maintaining a stiff upper lip, while thanking Bradby for bothering to ask if she was okay.

“I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a 'stiff upper lip' – I really tried, but I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging,” she said. “I never thought this would be easy; but I thought it would be fair,” she added.

The interview did little to endear her to an already hostile British press.

Prince Andrew, 2019: "The people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn, either by him or because of him, were actually very useful.”

Arguably the most damaging royal interview in recent times was given by Prince Andrew to Emily Maitlis, in a Newsnight special.

The Duke of York had been planning to “set the record straight” regarding his friendship with the disgraced Jeffrey Epstein, but ultimately resulted in his decision to stand down as a senior working royal. He gave a confusing account of his actions and shocked many by refusing to denounce Epstein. He was universally panned for his efforts.