Friends of Meghan Markle Say she Would Never Postpone Tell-all Oprah Interview and Claim Palace is Using Prince Philip’s Health as an ‘Excuse to Keep her Muzzled’

A Hollywood insider with ties to the Sussexes tells DailyMail.com, ‘Even if Meghan had the choice to postpone the Oprah special she said she wouldn’t’

Friends of  Meghan Markle say she would never ask to postpone Sunday’s release of her tell-all interview with Oprah and claim the royal family is using Prince Philip‘s health as an excuse to keep her ‘muzzled,’ sources tell DailyMail.com.

Mounting pressure has been put on Meghan, Harry and CBS to push back the much-anticipated interview special out of respect for Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip, who is recovering from heart surgery.

But a friend of the Sussexes tells DailyMail.com exclusively, ‘Even if Meghan had the choice to postpone the Oprah special she said she wouldn’t because it has absolutely nothing to do with Prince Philip and that this is just an excuse by the palace to keep her muzzled.’

Prince Harry has no say on the matter. What’s done is done. Meghan said now the whole world can see what she had to endure for months on end. No support whatsoever and now even across the pond, still no loyalty or support. ‘

In a teaser released Wednesday, Meghan accused the Royal Family of ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Harry.

The clip was released the same day Buckingham Palace launched a probe into allegations that Meghan bullied her staff. The unprecedented inquiry came after Meghan was accused of inflicting ’emotional cruelty’ on aides who said she is playing the victim.

Royal staff said they are members of the ‘Sussex Survivors’ Club’ after working for the couple, with some claiming they have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety because of their treatment by Harry and Meghan.

But our source said, ‘[Meghan] said these outrageous allegations confirm why she and Harry had to part ways and make it their mission to be a voice for the underdog.

‘Meghan said not once did anyone from the Palace come to her defense when she was being shredded by the tabloids, but now all of a sudden it’s okay for those same people to talk to the media.

‘She said it’s a double standard and not in a million years would Kate ever be treated this way. Meghan said she was singled out from day one.

‘Meghan said she is beyond relieved and grateful that she can enjoy her pregnancy surrounded by love and support, unlike what she experienced behind the walls of the Palace.’

On Friday another promo clip was released of the interview. In it, Meghan claimed royal aides blocked her from having a personal conversation with Oprah in the months leading up to her wedding to Prince Harry.

Oprah revealed she called Meghan in February or March 2018 – two or three months before her wedding at Windsor Castle in May that year – to ask for an interview, but she declined because it was not ‘the right time’.

On Wednesday, the Palace confirmed that its HR team will ‘look into’ the allegations, saying it ‘does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace’
The bullying claims emerged in a 2018 email sent by Harry and Meghan’s press chief Jason Knauf, who now works for Prince William. This sparked an extraordinary chain of events where the Sussexes accused Buckingham Palace of smearing them. The Queen then launched an inquiry into the bullying claims

Meghan said she remembered that chat with Oprah ‘very well’ and ‘wasn’t even allowed to have this conversation with you personally’ because there had to be other people in the room sitting in.

Asked why she was now speaking out, Meghan gave a long pause, before saying: ‘Well, so many things. That we’re on the other side of a lot of – a lot of life experience that’s happened, and also that we have the ability to make our own choices in a way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then.’

She added: ‘That wasn’t my choice to make. So as an adult who lived a really independent life to then go into this construct that is different than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes, I’m ready to talk.’

Oprah said Meghan was now ready to ‘say it for yourself’, which the Duchess agreed with, adding that she now did ‘not to have to consult with anybody at this point’. Meghan added: ‘Yeah, to make a choice your own and be able to speak for yourself.’

Oprah raised eyebrows when she attended the wedding in May 2018 among many observers who had no idea the billionaire US chat show legend even knew the couple.

She is thought to have only met the Duchess once face-to-face before being invited to the star-studded nuptials and given a plum seat next to senior royals.

Their sit-down at Kensington Palace months before the ceremony was reportedly initiated by Gayle King, a mutual friend and presenter on CBS This Morning, who is said to have set up the initial phone call between the pair.

Oprah has also promoted the Duchess’s range of vegan coffee to her 19million Instagram followers, visited her mother Doria for ‘kumquats and yoga in the garden’ and even teamed up with Harry to secure an Apple TV deal.

T

he first of two clips released on Monday saw Oprah ask Meghan: ‘Were you silent or were you silenced?’. Oprah added: ‘I just want to make it clear to everybody that there is no subject that is off limits’. Two further sections of that clip saw Oprah say the phrases ‘almost unsurvivable’ and ‘sounds like there was a breaking point’.

That same clip also featured Harry saying: ‘My biggest concern was history repeating itself’ – and two further snippets of Oprah saying: ‘You’ve said some pretty shocking things here’, and ‘Wait, hold, hold up, wait a minute.’

The second clip released on Monday saw Harry say: ‘For me, I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her (my mother Princess Diana) going through this process by herself all those years ago, because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us. But at least we have each other.’

The program will be broadcast in more than 70 countries – including Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, about 40 nations in sub-Saharan Africa and even Iceland – in deals experts say will be worth ‘a king’s ransom’.

More countries will be announced in the coming days under arrangements that could earn tens of millions of pounds for CBS. The Sussexes are not being paid for the chat and will not receive a slice of the syndication profits.

CBS is said to be charging advertisers more than $150,000 for a 30-second slot. PR insider Mark Borkowski said: ‘With 70 countries, a conservative estimate is that this is going to make tens of millions. I can’t see anything less than that.

‘You’re looking at a king’s ransom and it’s going to be a massive payday for CBS. The last event on a scale like this was probably Meghan’s own wedding. If it had been outside of Covid and the ravages of that on the ad industry it might have been a bigger deal, but it’s still going to be a huge piece of content to have.’

A source close to the couple said of the timing: ‘There are a lot of people who are going to talk about this until the program airs, but the programming and all the rest of it is ultimately up to CBS. We’re not involved in that side of things. As it stands, I don’t think there is any intention from the program maker to change its air date.’

Tory MP Bob Blackman said: ‘To be doing a tell-all interview screened in the UK when Philip is in hospital… they are badly advised, to put it mildly. None of these royal interviews have gone well and I can’t see this going any better.’

Ahead of its release, CBS presenter Gayle King, who is good friends with Oprah, tweeted: ‘Two days and counting till Oprah’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry… This morning we have an EXCLUSIVE preview’

In another trailer, Meghan calls her husband’s family ‘The Firm’ and blames them for her decision to speak out.

Oprah asks her: ‘How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?’

An emotional Meghan replies: ‘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’.

The Duchess adds: ‘And, if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.’

It’s not clear which ‘falsehoods’ Meghan is talking about because the interview was recorded before she was accused of ‘driving out’ two PAs and shattering the confidence of another member of Kensington Palace staff – with one former aide branding Prince Harry and his wife ‘outrageous bullies.’

Hours after she made the claims, Buckingham Palace revealed the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, underwent a ‘successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition’ and will remain in hospital for ‘treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days’.

Buckingham Palace will braced for a weekend of potentially damaging revelations and will no doubt be nervously watching developments in the US to see what further claims are made in the interview.

Meanwhile other Royal Family members carried on with their engagements – including Prince William and Kate who had a videocall with the parents of a boy helped by a mental health text helpline that they are supporting.

While CBS was broadcasting, the @RoyalFamily Twitter account quoted a post about how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had spoken to a family whose lives were changed by a message to a mental health support service.

The Queen has also continued working while her husband has been in hospital – including encouraging people to get the Covid-19 vaccine, holding phone calls with Armed Forces chiefs and virtually unveiling a new statue of herself in Australia.

The pair were both labeled ‘outrageous bullies’, according to sensational claims.

‘Broken’ royal aides told of feeling humiliated, ‘sick’, ‘terrified’, left ‘shaking’ with fear, and being reduced to tears by the duchess.

In an extraordinary statement, Buckingham Palace announced a formal probe into the allegations surrounding the Queen’s grandson and his wife. Members of staff will be invited to contribute in confidence.

The Palace said: ‘We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

‘Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Royal Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.

‘The household has had a dignity at work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace.’

It does not appear that the duke and duchess will be consulted at this stage. However, Harry and Meghan have strenuously denied any bullying.

In response to the reports, they accused the Queen’s staff of orchestrating a ‘calculated smear campaign’. But Palace sources slapped down the smear claim as utterly ‘disingenuous’.

The allegations and resulting probe – as well as accusations by the duchess that Buckingham Palace, and therefore the Queen, are deliberately moving against her – sees a new low in relations between the two parties.

When the couple acrimoniously quit last year as working royals, the elderly monarch made clear her regret and made a point of saying they were still much loved members of her family.

The Palace said: ‘We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

‘Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Royal Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.

‘The household has had a dignity at work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace.’

It does not appear that the duke and duchess will be consulted at this stage. However, Harry and Meghan have strenuously denied any bullying.

In response to the reports, they accused the Queen’s staff of orchestrating a ‘calculated smear campaign’. But Palace sources slapped down the smear claim as utterly ‘disingenuous’.

The allegations and resulting probe – as well as accusations by the duchess that Buckingham Palace, and therefore the Queen, are deliberately moving against her – sees a new low in relations between the two parties.

When the couple acrimoniously quit last year as working royals, the elderly monarch made clear her regret and made a point of saying they were still much loved members of her family.

Aides said the hope was that they could still return for family events such as Trooping the Colour, the official celebration of the Queen’s birthday when royals gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, and other important occasions.

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Kayla Brantley