"I just picked up the phone and I called the Queen just to check in," Meghan Markle told Oprah Winfrey

By Eric Todisco
March 08, 2021 09:25 AM

Meghan Markle said she reached out to Queen Elizabeth directly after learning that Prince Philip was hospitalized last month.

During Sunday's Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special — which took place the same day Philip, 99, was hospitalized after "feeling unwell"— Meghan, alongside husband Prince Harry, revealed to Oprah Winfrey that she did not hesitate to contact their family back in the U.K. to check in after learning about Philip's health issues.

"This morning, I woke up earlier than H, and saw a note from someone on our team in the U.K. saying that the Duke of Edinburgh had gone to the hospital," Meghan, 39, told Oprah. "But I just picked up the phone and I called the Queen just to check in."

For more on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day.

"That's what we do," she explained, "being able to default to not having to every moment go, 'Is that appropriate?' "

Oprah With Meghan And Harry First Look
Meghan Markle
| Credit: cbs
Out-Sourcing Royal Windsor Cup Polo match, Windsor, UK - 24 Jun 2018
Credit: REX/Shutterstock

Harry, 36, reiterated his wife's statements, adding, "For so many in my family, what they do is there's a level of control in that because they're fearful of what the papers are going to say about them."

"Whereas with us it was just like, just be yourself," the Duke of Sussex said. "Just be genuine. Just be authentic. If you get it wrong, get it wrong, if you get it right you get it right."

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In mid-February, Philip checked into the private King Edward VII hospital — where the royals usually go when they require treatments and recovery from illness — when it first became known that he was "feeling unwell." At the time, palace sources stressed that it was not an emergency admission and that he walked into the hospital unaided. 

After spending two weeks at the hospital, the Duke of Edinburgh was moved to St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, where he underwent an operation on what was called a "pre-existing heart condition."

He was then transferred back to King Edward VII hospital for further recovery.

Prince Phillip

Philip is thought to have had only one visitor from his family when his son Prince Charles went to the hospital on the first Saturday after his admission. A few days later, grandson Prince William told a photographer at an event that his grandfather is "okay."

"They're keeping an eye on him," William, 38, added at the time.