Footage cut from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Oprah interview contains more shock revelations

Duchess of Sussex opens up about her father speaking to the British tabloids before her wedding

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey lasted two hours and included bombshell revelations, but many more were left on the cutting room floor.

Winfrey revealed in a chat with CBS on Monday that there were more than 200 minutes of footage in total, sharing some of the previously unseen conversations.

On 'blindsiding' the Queen

In one section that was cut from the final interview, Prince Harry reveals he tried to visit his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, in January 2020, upon his return from Canada, to discuss him and Meghan stepping down as senior members of the royal family.

He said that the couple sent the contents of a statement they released on January 8, 2020, to the palace in December, and had initially been invited to Sandringham to discuss it with the queen, who even suggested they stayed for dinner.

"The moment we landed in the UK, I got a message from my private secretary at the time ... cutting and pasting a message from the Queen's private secretary, basically saying 'please pass on to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that he cannot come to Norfolk. The Queen is busy, she's busy all week ... do not come up here’," he says.

Quote
When you are head of the firm, there are people around you that give you advice. And what has also made me really sad is that some of that advice has been really bad.

“So I rang her from Frogmore [Cottage, his then home] that night and said ‘I was thinking about coming anyway but I hear you are now busy’ ... I didn’t want to push because I kind of knew what was going on.”

“But doesn’t the queen get to do what the queen wants to do?” Winfrey asks.

After a long pause, Harry replies: “No, when you are head of the firm, there are people around you that give you advice. And what has also made me really sad is that some of that advice has been really bad.”

Winfrey said on Monday she felt it was important to share the story, as the couple were widely accused of “blindsiding the queen” with their shock announcement.

On the royal family's support

In more unused footage, Winfrey asks if anyone from the royal family had reached out to the couple to say they were sorry that they felt they had to make the move. Harry replies: “Sadly not.”

“The feeling is that this was our decision and therefore the consequences are on us,” he says.

He also says he is aware that circumstances were different for him and his older brother, Prince William, who is second in line to the British throne. “I’m very aware of this,” he says. “That my brother can’t leave that system. But I have.”

Winfrey also asks whether Prince Charles believes the British press created a toxic environment around the royal family.

“He has made his peace with it,” Harry replies.

“Why couldn’t you make your peace with it? I’ll ask you both that,” says Winfrey.

“Because this was different,” Markle replies.

When asked if she meant because of race, she says: “And social media. That didn’t exist [before]. It was like the wild, wild West, it spread like wildfire. Plus, my being American. It translated in a different way across the pond.”

On Meghan's family's 'betrayal'

In more cut footage, Meghan discusses her relationship with her father and the tell-all book her half-sister, Samantha Markle, wrote about her.

She said she felt her father, Thomas Markle, had not been honest with her about talking to the tabloids before her wedding in 2018 after she asked him if he had been working with journalists. The Duchess said reporters had moved into the house next door and across the street from him after tracking him down.

"He said, 'no, absolutely not'," she told Winfrey.

She also made it clear that she is not close with her half-sister, saying: “This is a very different situation than my dad, right?

"When you talk about betrayal, betrayal comes from someone that you have a relationship with. I don’t feel comfortable talking about people that I really don’t know.

“I grew up as an only child. The last time I saw her must have been at least 18, 19 years ago. And before that, 10 years before that.”

She says that Samantha “changed her last name back to Markle … only when I started dating Harry. So I think that says enough”.

The interview, broadcast on CBS on Sunday evening, was viewed by more than 17 million households in the US.

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