As the world continues to make sense of #Megxit, plenty of speculation regarding Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's decision to step back from their royal duties are beginning to surface—starting with Oprah Winfrey's involvement in their unprecedented move.
On Thursday, Page Six reported that Oprah, who is a close friend to the couple and attended their 2018 wedding, advised the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on how to "break free" from the royals, noting that the SuperSoul Sunday host encouraged the couple to move to North America and capitalize on their Sussex Royal brand.
But, in a statement to NBC on Friday, Oprah insisted that she was not behind it. "Meghan and Harry do not need my help in figuring out what's best for them," she said. "I care about them both and support whatever decisions they make for their family."
While Meghan and Harry's future is still to be determined, the couple shared that they're setting out to "carve out a progressive new role within this institution" while "continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen" and maintaining a positive relationship with the royal family. "We do not know how this will play out in the next months, the next few years," a royal expert told E! News.
As royal biographer Penny Junor predicted in her 2014 biography Prince Harry: Brother, Soldier, Son, the 35-year-old royal always seemed keen on charting his own course. She wrote, "He could decide to kiss goodbye to the whole thing…He would be relatively in his rights to do so, so long as he paid for his own protection and all the rest of it."
In the past, Harry has admitted to having thoughts of leaving the royal family. In a 2017 interview with Newsweek, he said, "I spent many years kicking my heels and I didn't want to grow up. I felt I wanted out but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself."
Marrying Meghan and becoming a father to son Archie Harrison, 8 months, also played a contributing factor to his and Meghan's bold decision. Once they tied the knot, word got out that the newlyweds were considering moving to Africa in attempts to kick-start their philanthropic efforts.
Then, they decided to leave Kensington Palace and move into Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. Shortly after, the Duke and Duchess formally parted ways with the Royal Foundation, which he created with brother Prince William.
With Meghan and Harry transitioning into their new roles, Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the royals have begun preparing for their official exit. One day after the Duke and Duchess' announcement, Her Majesty summoned the Royal Households for an emergency meeting and "'tasked' them with coming up with a 'workable' future role for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex within 'days not weeks,'" according to The Daily Mail's royal correspondent Rebecca English.
It's unclear if the royal family has a game plan set, but as Buckingham Palace said in their statement following the news, "We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)