“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,” Meghan said in a clip already released, hinting that she is ready to escalate a war of words between herself and the family she married into.
Those theories are certain to be probed in the interview, giving viewers a first on-the-record account after years of palace intrigue.
“It’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes” to the interview, Meghan said in a preview, discussing the constraints on her talking to the media while a working royal. “I mean… I’m ready to talk.”
A once-in-a-generation challenge for the Palace
By the time the sun rises in the UK on Monday, the public will have a new perspective from the former senior royals on the machinations of the palace.
This week has already seen a frenzy of stories citing unnamed sources and royal commentators but the Palace has adhered to its usual protocol of silence in the face of the speculative reporting surrounding the broadcast.
“It’s no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining The Duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and The Duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years,” their statement added on Wednesday.
On Sunday morning the front pages of several British papers focused on the looming broadcast, with some reporting that the Queen would not be watching. The Mail on Sunday featured on its front page a royal source talking down public interest in the program — yet dedicated 11 pages to previewing the interview.
Hours before the interview airs the Queen and other royals were seen in their own, more traditional televised broadcast; the monarch gave a speech during a pre-recorded Commonwealth Day special on Sunday afternoon, where she discussed the coronavirus pandemic and praised the development of vaccines.
But the royals likely know from history the impact the televised spectacle could have. The palace encounters a bombshell TV tell-all roughly once a generation; a 1970 interview with the abdicated King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson posed problems for the Palace, 25 years before Princess Diana’s “Panorama” confessional was watched by tens of millions in Britain.
But their moves to date make clear that palace insiders are not their only targets. The pair are likely to save their harshest words for the British tabloid media, which has relentlessly pursued them for years.
The couple have fought multiple legal cases against publications and photo agencies that had printed details of their private lives.
“It has been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we had each other,” Harry told Winfrey in another promo clip, drawing parallels between their experience and that of his mother, Princess Diana, who was similarly exiled from the royals in the 1990s.
The door was closed on a potential return for the pair as working royals earlier this year.
Nonetheless, the conversation means they can begin the task of reclaiming the narrative over their royal split, free at last to take media engagements of their choosing and sculpt their new lives as celebrity activists.