Royal commentators in the U.K. are hoping Meghan Markle and Prince Harry cancel Oprah’s interview before it airs on CBS. And in case that’s no longer a possibility, many are urging the Sussexes to at least consider postponing the interview amid Prince Philip’s hospitalization.
Meghan and Harry’s upcoming interview with Oprah is set to air March 7 on CBS. The network announced their “tell-all” special one day after the Duke, 36, and Duchess, 39, announced they are expecting their second child. But this happy news soon turned bittersweet when Prince Philip, 99, was hospitalized for feeling “unwell” just days later on February 17. The Duke of Edinburgh has remained hospitalized since. According to Buckingham Palace, he was moved on Monday, March 1 to a specialist heart hospital to continue treatment for an undisclosed infection.
As concerns mount over Prince Philip’s health, royal experts have started to implore the Duke and Duchess to reconsider their tell-all with Oprah. One expert, Penny Junor—who is the author of Prince Harry, Brother, Soldier, Son—believes that airing the interview while Prince Philip remains hospitalized may reflect poorly on the Sussexes. “Anything could hijack this interview. Philip is ill. He is 99 and could die at any time,” Junor told The Daily Beast in a report published on Tuesday, March 2. “They were not to know he would get ill, but it could be seen to be the wrong time. But I doubt it is in their gift to postpone the interview. The control is in the hands of CBS and Oprah.”
Another royal commentator believes that while the decision to delay isn’t only up to Meghan and Harry, Oprah “would undoubtedly comply if asked.” The source, Richard Fitzwilliams, told the MailOnline: “Oprah is their friend and neighbor and would undoubtedly comply if asked and the gesture would I am sure be appreciated by the royal family. If an interview has been extended, as this recently has, it can also be postponed, as this undoubtedly should be.”
Royal biographer Robert Jobson isn’t so sure. “For U.S. broadcast network CBS, this interview is a coup, all about securing big viewing figures and big advert sales around the airing of their exclusive interview,” he told the Mail. “So even if they wanted to, Harry and Meghan probably couldn’t dictate terms to Oprah Winfrey and the network now. Too much has been invested.”
Even so, royal consultant and author Robert Lacey tells The Daily Beast that a change of plans could result in a “marvelous turnaround” for Prince Harry’s public perception if he managed to secure a postponement. “I think it would be a marvelous turnaround for Harry’s image if he took the brave step of canceling the whole thing this weekend—or, if that’s not practical, postponing it at least,” Lacey said. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special airs March 7 on CBS.
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