Oprah Winfrey has denied claims she advised the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their bombshell decision to step back as senior royals.
The TV star, who is a friend of Meghan Markle and her mother Doria Ragland, was reported yesterday to have been the ‘first person’ to discuss ‘breaking free’ from the Royal Family with the couple.
An insider added that Oprah, 65, had encouraged the pair to ‘do their own thing’ and ‘build their own brand’ in North America.
‘Oprah was the first person to talk to Harry and Meghan about breaking free and doing their own thing, building on their own brand’, the source told Page Six.
‘She made them realize it was really possible’.
But despite claims Oprah had advised the couple on their ‘declaration of independence’, the producer has since denied she was involved in the decision.
She told People: ‘Meghan and Harry do not need my help figuring out what’s best for them’.
Oprah, who attended Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018, added: ‘I care about them both and support whatever decisions they make for their family’.
It was also claimed by Page Six on Thursday that Meghan’s close friend Gayle King could secure the couple’s first interview on the CBS show This Morning.
‘It’s hush-hush, but there’s no one else they would turn to’, a source added.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Wednesday released a statement which detailed their plans to split their time between the UK and North America and ‘carve out a progressive new role within this institution’.
Harry and Meghan added they want to become ‘financially independent’ and will stop receiving money from the Sovereign Grant, which covers around five percent of the couple’s costs.
In a statement, they said: ‘We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.
‘We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.
‘This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity’.
Buckingham Palace released its own statement shortly after the Instagram post on Wednesday, claiming the ‘complicated issues will take time to work through’.
It read: ‘Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through’.
Prince Charles and Prince William were reportedly left ‘incandescent with rage’ when they learned about the Sussexes’ announcement 10 minutes before it was published on Instagram.
Royal sources claimed yesterday that Prince Harry had ignored crystal-clear orders from the Queen on the subject, after she instructed him not to make an announcement about his future plans at this time.
SOURCE: Mail Online – Faith Ridler