US talk show icon Oprah Winfrey is set to star in an enlightening interview for CBS with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duchess of Sussex- but how well did Oprah know Meghan before the big talk?
It is set to be the television interview of 2021 and a true landmark moment in the recent history of the House of Windsor.
As US talk show icon Oprah Winfrey sits down to interview both Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex in their first major television discussion of their decision to step down as senior members of the Royal Family, many will be wondering just exactly what history Oprah has with the pair of them.
Well, many followers of the Sussexes will be aware that Oprah attended the couple’s royal wedding back in 2018.
The happy couple had invited the titan of US television and film to their big day at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
Speaking to ET Online in June 2018, Oprah had reflected on how monumental the union was.
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She said: “It was more than a wedding, I thought.
“”It was a cultural moment. And you could not be there or watching on television… and not feel that there was a shift that just happened in the middle of it.”
Oprah added that the wedding was “bigger” than what it just meant for the couple and would have a positive impact on all of us.
The presenter had first gotten in contact with Meghan through network CBS prior to the wedding, according to The Times.
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The paper reports that they had only met on that one occasion as part of overtures from the network, but after this, Oprah was keen to offer “friendship and guidance to the duchess as she grew into her role”.
The Mirror has reached out to a representative of Oprah Winfrey for comment on this report.
In the run-up to the wedding itself, Oprah also spent time with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.
She revealed that she and Doria spent an afternoon snacking on kumquat desserts and doing yoga together.
Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland arrive at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust’s Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry on May 18, 2018
Oprah spent time with Meghan’s close mother Doria Ragland before the wedding (Image: Getty Images)
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The chatshow star later told Entertainment Tonight : “She said, ‘I love kumquats,’ and I said, ‘I have a kumquat tree! You want some kumquats?’
She added: “For all of the people who said I am getting her gifts and I’m trying to bribe her for an interview—they were kumquats.
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“If kumquats can get you an interview, I’m all for it!”
In April 2019 it was revealed that Prince Harry and Oprah were teaming up to produce an Apple documentary series seeking to de-stigmatise conversations surrounding mental health.
The pair share a passion for this particular topic so it seemed a natural fit for them.
Speaking to CBS This Morning about her work with Harry, Oprah said: “Harry is co-creating this with me and he is executive producing this. We’ve had several meetings. We’ve had secret meetings in London, I’ve flown there with the crew sitting in sessions and talking about the direction we’re going to take.”
Oprah will be taking on mental health stigma with Prince Harry in an upcoming – but delayed – Apple TV series.
In a post on Instagram, Prince Harry said: “I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Oprah on this vital series.”
Also in April 2019, Oprah came out in defence of Meghan who she argued was being portrayed badly by the media.
Oprah told CBS This Morning: “I feel that if people really knew her they would know that she is not only everything we perceive of her, in being graceful and dynamic in holding that position, but she just has a wonderful, warm, giving, loving heart.”
She added: “I think it’s very unfair. I think she’s being portrayed unfairly.”
The talk show host also defended Meghan’s decision to not immediately pose for photographs with hers and Harry’s newborn son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter’s Empowerment in Entertainment Gala, Oprah said: “Oh my God. I’m so proud of her decisions.
“To be able to stand up and say this is what I really want for my baby and my family and now I’m going to do it a different way when it’s been done that way for a thousand years? I’m just so proud of her.
“Who is ready to walk out and stand before the world and put that face on, you know, a day after you’ve had a baby?”
Oprah subsequently denied rumours that she had advised the Sussexes on their stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family
In January 2020, Harry and Meghan shocked the world when they announced their decision to step back from their duties as senior members of the Royal Family.
Oprah publicly supported their decision, saying “I support them 1,000 percent” in an interview with TMZ.
She added that Harry “”did what he needed to do for his family.”
It was subsequently rumoured that Oprah had offered them advice on how to handle their big departure.
However, Oprah herself denied such claims.
She told People : “Meghan and Harry do not need my help figuring out what’s best for them.
“I care about them both and support whatever decisions they make for their family.”
In May 2020, it was confirmed by Oprah Magazine that the presenter had gifted little Archie a book entitled Duck! Rabbit! by author Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
Oprah previously said she gifted books to Archie ahead of his birth to have “enough books to last a lifetime!”
In December last year, it was revealed that Meghan had invested in Clevr Blends, an ethically-sourced oat milk latte company run out of Southern California by entrepreneur Hannah Mendoza.
Meghan said in a statement: “This investment is in support of a passionate female entrepreneur who prioritizes building community alongside her business.
“I’m proud to invest in Hannah’s commitment to sourcing ethical ingredients and creating a product that I personally love and has a holistic approach to wellness. I believe in her and I believe in her company.”
Oprah shared a look at a gift she received from Meghan that month on Instagram of the coffee blend.
Sharing a video, Oprah posted:: “On the first day of Christmas my neighbor ‘M’ sent to me…
“A basket of deliciousness! (Yes that M) My new drink of choice for the morning and night.
“Wish I had @clevrblends sooner cause I would’ve added it to my Favorite Things list. #HappyHolidays.”
Oprah interviews Harry and Meghan on A CBS Primetime Special premiering on CBS on March 7 and on ITV on March 8
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The big news then came in February 2021, however, that Meghan would be sitting down for the big talk with Oprah as part of a lengthy interview for the CBS network, with Harry appearing for a section of the discussion.
The interview promises to lift a lid on the couple’s departure from the Royal Family, their views on the institution and the media, along with their plans for the future.
*Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Prime-time Special will air in the States on CBS at 7pm on Sunday (1am GMT Monday), followed by an airing at 9pm on Monday on ITV.
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