Gayle King has claimed that Prince Harry and ‘particularly’ his wife Meghan Markle have been unfairly ‘vilified’ as her CBS This Morning co-hosts decried the ‘oppressive’ royal family while discussing a new teaser clip from the couple’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey.
King, 66, and her colleagues spoke out in defense of Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, after airing a short interview clip in which the Duchess of Sussex is seen claiming that royal aides blocked her from having a ‘personal’ conversation with Oprah in the months leading up to her 2018 wedding.
Meghan’s story prompted King’s co-anchor Anthony Mason to describe the royal family as ‘oppressive’, while his colleague Tony Dokoupil voiced surprise at learning that the Duchess had ‘people in the room’ with her while discussing a potential interview.
According to King, who is close friends with Oprah, 67, the TV mogul wanted to give Meghan and Harry ‘the opportunity in their own words to speak their own truth’, with the CBS This Morning host claiming that this will give the public the chance to ‘make up their own minds’ about the ‘vilified’ couple and the decision to quit royal life.
Defense: CBS anchor Gayle King has claimed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been ‘vilified’ while airing a new clip from their interview with her close friend Oprah Winfrey
Bold claim: Her co-host Anthony Mason (left) labeled the royals as ‘oppressive’ after Meghan claimed aides blocked her from ‘personally’ speaking to Oprah about an interview in 2018
Explosive: Harry and Meghan’s two-hour-long interview with Oprah Winfrey is set to air on CBS on Sunday at 8PM ET
Speaking out: The latest teaser from the sit-down shows Oprah recalling her attempt to get an interview with Meghan, 39, months before her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018
‘I heard people say what was the intention of doing the interview,’ King said. ‘…A big question is how did they leave [the royal family], what happened, did something happen, what is it all about?
‘[The intention of the interview is] to give them the opportunity in their own words to speak their own truth about what went into their decision. I think by the time the interview is over, people will have a very clear understanding about what went into their thought process. I believe that that will be the case.
Statement: Mason, 64, said he sympathized with Meghan and Harry, saying he ‘can’t imagine living under that oppressive sort of royal family restriction’
‘And then people can make up their own minds. Because vilified is the word for what has happened to Harry and Meghan, Meghan in particular.’
In the latest sneak peek from the interview – which is due to air on Sunday, March 7 at 8PM ET – Oprah revealed that she called Meghan in February or March 2018 – two or three months before her wedding at Windsor Castle in May that year – to ask for an interview, but said the Duchess declined because it was not ‘the right time’.
Meghan said she remembered that chat 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 room listening in on the call.
King’s co-anchor Mason then labeled the royal family ‘oppressive’, and he admitted that he sympathized with Meghan and Harry.
‘I can’t imagine living under that oppressive sort of royal family restriction. I can’t imagine,’ he said – while Dokoupil shared his shock at hearing Meghan’s story about palace aides being in the room while the Duchess spoke with Oprah on the phone.
Looking back: Meghan claimed that she ‘wasn’t even allowed to have [a] conversation with [Oprah] personally’ because palace aides had to be in the room with her at the time of the call
Warning: The latest teaser offers a glimpse at the kind of negative picture Meghan will paint of her short-lived experience as a member of the royal family
‘The window into the handling, the people in the room…’ he said, while King simply described the royal family as ‘extremely intense, very intense’.
Once again, King referenced the fact that Oprah has described the interview as the ‘best she’s ever done’, explaining that this has much to do with how open the couple was to answering personal questions.
‘And when I heard Oprah say, you know, the best interview she’s ever done, I asked, what do you mean by that?’ King explained.
‘She said, “It wasn’t just me, it’s to have people at that level who were going through it, so to speak, to — to agree you can ask anything you want to ask.”
‘They answered every question [or] 99.999 [per cent of them]. Any questions they didn’t answer, they explained why [they] didn’t answer so you get a sense of that.
‘There wasn’t any jujitsu trying to bob and weave and decide. I think it’s going to be interesting to see their side.’
Not so fast: While King and her co-anchors voiced sympathy for Meghan, viewers at home were far less impressed, with one noting that she ‘knew what she was marrying into’
Her description of the interview process is in stark contrast to Meghan’s story about trying to discuss a potential sit-down with Oprah back in 2018.
The new clip is the latest in a series of teasers that have been released ahead of the interview’s broadcast, and offers a glimpse into the very negative picture that Meghan will likely paint of her short-lived experience as a member of the royal family.
It focuses on her recollection of the conversation she had with Oprah in the months before her wedding to Harry, and also shows her revealing her reasons for choosing to finally speak out.
Asked why she was now opening up, Meghan gave a long pause and seemed to hesitate, before saying: ‘Well, so many things. That we’re on the other side of a lot of – a lot of life experience that’s happened, and also that we have the ability to make our own choices in a way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then.’
She added: ‘That wasn’t my choice to make. So as an adult who lived a really independent life to then go into this construct that is different than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes, I’m ready to talk.’
Oprah said Meghan was now ready to ‘say it for yourself’, which the Duchess agreed with, adding that she now did ‘not to have to consult with anybody at this point’. Meghan added: ‘Yeah, to make a choice your own and be able to speak for yourself.’
The network is set to broadcast the full two-hour chat on Sunday night, despite Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip recovering from heart surgery. The Duke was today moved back to London’s King Edward VII Hospital after a heart operation at St Bartholomew’s.