Oprah interview with Meghan and Prince Harry: Start time and what to knowMarch 2, 2021
Royals do not grant interviews to Oprah. It’s simply Not Done. Then again, Prince Harry, the second son of Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, herself a true iconoclast, was never going to be a by-the-book prince. Now Harry and his wife, American-born Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are sitting down with celebrity royalty — aka, Oprah Winfrey — for a televised interview, Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special.
When is it and how to watch
The Oprah, Meghan and Harry special will air on Sunday, March 7 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET. You can watch it on regular CBS, or via such services as Hulu Live TV or YouTube TV ($65 at YouTube TV). (Even Oprah’s own magazine notes, cannily, that both of those services have free trials if you want to sign up, watch and cancel.)
The 90-minute interview will begin with Oprah and Meghan chatting, as the veteran talk show host gets the pregnant Duchess to open up about marriage, motherhood and the unique pressures of royal life. Later on, Prince Harry will join, and both are expected to discuss their move to the US and their future plans. You just know baby Archie will make some kind of appearance, because if Oprah knows anything, it’s how to make good TV, and royal babies are good TV indeed.
Here is a preview:
How did we get here?
Normal protocol for someone as high up in the royal family as Harry would be to live in the UK forever, as a working member of the royal family — attending hospital openings, museum exhibits, board meetings, playing bingo with pensioners and generally just supporting Queen Elizabeth II in a quiet yet respectful way. But that was never going to be the preferred path for rebellious Harry and his American-born actress wife. Realistically, with his father Charles, brother William, and William and Kate’s three kids all in line to the throne before him, Harry was never going to rule. So he and his wife, perhaps inspired by the late Diana’s love for America, decided to go their own way, Fleetwood Mac style.
You may have heard that Meghan and Harry (their royal titles are just too tangled to keep using here) moved first to Canada, then to California in 2020. In February 2021, after a year trial, Buckingham Palace announced the couple would not return as working members of the royal family, through they would remain “much loved.”
And Meghan and Harry have been busy. In 2020, they signed a deal to develop programming for Netflix, and they’ve also signed a deal with Spotify to produce and host their own podcasts. They’re residing in America now, and Americans gonna America. So the Oprah interview, while not something a regular royal would do, fits right in with what a Hollywood celebrity would take on.
Why not Oprah? Although Winfrey stopped making her iconic talk show in 2011, she’s still one of the most powerful, well-known women in American media, and maybe the world. Harry’s used to powerful women, of course — just look at his mom and grandma. And Oprah has been a part of the royal couple’s life for a while now. She attended their 2018 royal wedding, and lives not far from their Montecito, California, home. In fact, it was Oprah who gave baby Archie the cute book, Duck! Rabbit!, that he was seen reading with Meghan in a video released to mark his first birthday in May 2020.
Will there be bombshells?
As apprehensive as the royal courtiers over in the palace probably are, don’t expect anything that will shake the merry house of Mountbatten-Windsor. But they can be forgiven for freaking out. Back in 1995, Harry’s mom, Diana, sat down for a televised interview with British journalist Martin Bashir. She dished pretty good — discussing her bulimia, the lack of support she felt she received from the royals, and Prince Charles’ infidelity with Camilla Parker-Bowles, now his wife.
The Sussexes don’t have quite so many tantalizing tidbits to talk about. Meghan is expecting the couple’s second baby in 2021, so maybe she’ll share a little info about that. Name preferences almost certainly won’t be revealed, and it seems unlikely Meghan will spill whether she’s having a girl or boy. But not even the baby’s due date has been shared yet, and it’s possible Oprah will coax out some kind of hint about how much longer the couple has to wait for the new little one.
Maybe the couple will share some more information about their upcoming business ventures in the Netflix and Spotify worlds. That, of course, would be standard stuff for a celeb interview, but it’s still odd to hear royals — even removed royals — discussing making money from entertainment.
But more than any bombshell, royal watchers will be tuning in for the little homey details — glimpses of the Sussexes’ California mansion, brief babbling and giggles from Archie, appearances by the couple’s dogs — the kind of things People magazine covers about movie stars. And whatever comes of it, this is new territory for the queen’s grandson. The royal family has always lived in front of the cameras, but usually in a very guarded way. Oprah’s nothing if not unguarded.