“[Producers] were especially aware of any scenes or comments that can’t be proven, especially given the very serious accusations of [Meghan] allegedly bullying Kensington Palace staff that were recently made,” says a source.
“They won’t want Meghan to be caught out in an untruth or coming off too cruel toward the royal family, or it will reflect badly on the network and Oprah.
“They were already under pressure to delay it because of Prince Philip, but they were already in too deep – so the precautions were needed to be taken in the editing suite.”
One glaring omission from the interview was acknowledgement of Harry’s marked change in attitude towards his own family.
“What you don’t see on TV, behind all their bold statements about how life in the UK was toxic for the Sussexes, is how cold Harry is to his own family now,” explains another source, who believes an unedited version of the interview could potentially “have the power” to change the course of royal history forever.
“It would be even more of a far-reaching impact on the royals than Diana’s Panorama tell-all,” says the source, referencing Diana’s 1995 interview in which she famously claimed there are “three people” in her marriage.
It is understood the Queen, who is struggling with her husband, Prince Philip, being in hospital with an infection, is heartbroken by the duo’s decision to do the interview.
“Harry’s built up all this friction with his brother and father, but it’s the Queen who suffers the most – especially when he’s icy toward her, but will then turn around and chortle about Zoom meetings with his grandparents on James Corden’s show to win popularity among Americans,” explains the source.
“No-one in the palace can believe that ... at the very basis of this interview chaos, is that a grandson would do this to his 94-year-old grandma.”
Adding further fuel to the fire, it has now been revealed that Meghan, 39, had been secretly planning the interview for two years after Kensington Palace reportedly denied her original plans to talk with Oprah’s best friend and confidante, Gayle King.
Meanwhile, Phil Dampier, author of Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan in Their Own Words, tells New Idea: “It’s all very sad and only time will tell if they can repair the damage.”
Dampier goes on to explain that the interview has rocked the royal institution, and believes the Queen will have carefully watched and scrutinised every comment made by the duke and duchess.
“I’m sure she will be very annoyed and upset,” he notes.
The Queen is reportedly already devastated that her one-time favourite grandson has strayed so far from the royal family fold, particularly as she entrusted Harry, 36, and Meghan to “do the right thing” by the firm when they chose to leave early last year.
Instead, it appears the Sussexes have turned their backs on the royals and are hell-bent on airing out all their dirty laundry, while entirely unconcerned about the reputational damage or humiliation it’s causing to the Queen and the crown.
“Sadly they don’t seem to care anymore and are more concerned with plugging Netflix at every opportunity to justify their mega-bucks deal,” explains Dampier.
Now, the aftermath of the Oprah interview could be the final straw for the Queen’s reign, with royal experts speculating that a monumental decision could be in the works.
“The sad fall out of their final betrayal is that Her Majesty is considering the one thing she promised she would never do – stepping down as Queen,” an insider shares.
“[S]he worries it sends a terrible message to her Commonwealth constituents, if she can’t even handle her stubborn grandson and his egomaniac wife.
“Between Prince Harry’s actions and having her husband desperately ill in hospital, it’s all too much,” the source concludes.
However, even if Queen Elizabeth decides not to hand the reigns over to Prince Charles, there is an undeniable growing chorus that the Queen must finally strip Prince Harry and Meghan of their official titles.
“Opinion polls in the UK show most people think Harry and Meghan have disrespected the Queen and let her down, and many think they should lose their titles and come out of the line of succession,” says Dampier, adding that the Queen may be seriously considering this option.
“The last thing the Queen wants to do is to make the family rift any worse, and so she is reluctant to strip them of their titles.”
But if the unseen footage was to be released and it further insulted Her Majesty or the institution, “it could tip her over the edge and make it inevitable”.
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