"What makes it powerful is when you have somebody else who is willing to be as open as vulnerable, as truthful as they were," Oprah said about her March 7 interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

By Karen Mizoguchi
April 24, 2021 09:00 AM
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meghan markle, oprah
Meghan Markle (L); Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is speaking out following her interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

During their March 7 interview, which aired on CBS in the U.S., Meghan and Harry accused the royal family of racism, including "concerns" over their son Archie's skin color and not getting Meghan help when she felt suicidal. (Prince William previously refuted the racism claims during an outing after the interview aired, saying, "We are very much not a racist family.")

And this week, Oprah, 67, reflected on the interview with the couple during the launch of The Nancy O'Dell Channel on talkshoplive® where Oprah was promoting her book What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing.

"I had no idea that it would have the reverberating impact that it has had and continues to have," Oprah said. "I did a lot of preparation for that. It was really important to me that what we put out there in the world was put out into the world at the time that everybody could see it and that things didn't leak and things weren't misconstrued before the actual interview happened. I remember when we finished doing the interview, and that interview was 3 hours and 20 minutes I think, I stood up and said to the crew, 'We all know what was said here and how important it is to have a trust to the people who just shared that so I'm hoping you all will not go out into the world and share what has happened here.' And nobody did. So as we were releasing clips to CBS, we were releasing them in such a way that whatever was being put out there could not be exploited. So a lot of time and effort and energy went into it on my part."

Prince harry and Megan and Oprah
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Oprah Winfrey
| Credit: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions

Oprah also spoke about how she did not meet with Meghan and Harry in person but the trio did exchange messages prior. "I didn't see Meghan and Harry before but I did text them and say intention is very part important to me, tell me what your intention is so that we can be aligned in our goal," she recalled. "Our shared intention was the truth. They wanted to be able to tell their story and tell it in such a way that allowed them to be as truthful as possible."

When asked if she was "surprised" by how "forthcoming" Meghan and Harry were in their responses, Oprah said, "I was surprised," adding, "What? You're going there? You're going all the way there."

Oprah continued, "The reason why it was such a powerful interview … What makes it powerful is when you have somebody else who is willing to be as open as vulnerable, as truthful as they were. The reason the interview was what it was because they answered the way they did."

In her sit-down interview with Oprah, Meghan, who is pregnant with her second child, a baby girl, due this summer, said the palace decreed that her son Archie — who turns 2 on May 6 — would not have any title, a move she said was "different from protocol."

"They didn't want him to be a prince . . . which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn't going to receive security," she told Oprah. What's more, she said, "we have in tandem the conversation of, 'He won't be given security. He's not going to be given a title.' And also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born."

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5/3/2021 cover Prince Harry and Prince WIlliam
Prince Harry and Prince WIlliam

During their joint sit-down, Harry also told Oprah that the conversation happened early in his romance with Meghan. "That was right at the beginning: What will the kids look like?' " he said.

Harry recently returned from the U.K., where he attended the funeral of his grandfather Prince Philip. The occasion marked the first time Harry had seen his family in person since the Oprah interview as well as the first time he had been with his family in more than a year since he moved to California with Meghan and Archie.

Harry and William reunited at the funeral, though they walked separately in the procession last Saturday, with their cousin Peter Phillips walking between them as they followed Philip's coffin to St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.

After the service, the brothers were seen chatting naturally as they exited the venue. "I think it's a good start and it was lovely to see but this whole argument runs so deep, I don't think there is any quick fix," a family friend told PEOPLE in this week's cover story.