Meghan Markle Tells Oprah Winfrey It's "Liberating" to Speak Out After Royal Exit

In the latest sneak peek of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's tell-all interview, the Duchess of Sussex explained to Oprah Winfrey why the couple is speaking out.

By Elyse Dupre Mar 05, 2021 3:09 PMTags

Fans are getting another sneak peek at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey

In the latest teaser, released March 5, Oprah revealed she actually reached out to Meghan for an interview three years ago, before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding, and that her request was declined. 

"So, I just want to say that I called you either February or March 2018 before the wedding asking, 'Would you please give me an interview?'" Oprah recalled, "And you said, 'I'm sorry it's not the right time.' And finally, we get to sit down and have this conversation." 

Meghan said she remembered that moment well. She claimed she "wasn't even allowed to have that conversation" with Oprah personally and that other people had to be on the call.

Looking back, Oprah noted Meghan turned her down "nicely" and said, "'Perhaps there will be another time, when there's the right time.'" When asked what was right about this time, Meghan pointed to "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. That wasn't my choice to make," she explained. "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.' To say it for yourself….To be able to just make a choice on your own and just be able to speak for yourself."

Meghan Markle's Friends and Colleagues React to Bullying Claims

Previously released clips also showed Harry speaking out. The couple has referred to the British tabloids' treatment of Meghan as "bullying" before, and in the Oprah interview, Harry expressed his fear of "history repeating itself," referring to Princess Diana's death.

"I am just really relieved and happy to be sitting here, talking to you, with my wife by my side. Because I can't imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago," he said. "Because it has been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we have each other." 

The interview comes weeks after it was confirmed Harry and Meghan, who are expecting their second childwon't be returning as working members of the royal family. It also comes days after The Times reported Jason Knauf, who previously served as the couple's communications secretary, filed a complaint against Meghan in October 2018 and that it was forwarded to the head of HR. According to the newspaper, the email, which E! News has not seen or verified, claimed the "Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year" and was "seeking to undermine" the confidence of another employee.

A spokesperson for the Sussexes has denied the allegations, calling them "a calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation," as well as an "attack on her character." Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace has launched an investigation into the accusations, noting it is "very concerned about the allegations in The Times."

"The Royal Household has had a Dignity at Work policy in place for a number of years," part of its statement read, "and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace."

At one point in the interview, Oprah asked Meghan how she feels about the Palace hearing her speak out.

"I don't know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent when there is an active role that the Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us," she replied. "And if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean, there's a lot that's been lost already."

Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special will air Sunday, March. 7 from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS.