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Meghan and Harry on being snubbed by Queen Elizabeth, how race plays a role in royal family in new Oprah clips

Prince Harry on U.K. tabloids, bigotry
Harry and Meghan open up about U.K. tabloids and racism 02:07

Oprah Winfrey is sharing more of her groundbreaking interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, after the two-hour program aired on CBS Sunday night.

In the previously unaired clips, the couple discuss why they believe race played a difference in how Meghan was treated by Buckingham Palace and British tabloids. They also open up about a visit to see Queen Elizabeth that was suddenly called off after the couple's decision to step back from royal duties in early 2020.

The Sunday special saw the Duchess of Sussex break with previous media narratives, telling Winfrey that Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, had made her cry days before her wedding. Previous reporting had stated that Meghan made Kate cry over arrangements for the ceremony. 

The Duchess of Sussex also revealed their second child, due this summer, would be a girl. They also claimed there were concerns expressed within Buckingham Palace before their first son, Archie, was born, about how dark his skin color might be. Winfrey, who joined "CBS This Morning" the day after the interview aired, said Prince Harry wanted to make it clear that the remarks were not made by Queen Elizabeth or Prince Phillip.

"CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King said Winfrey called the "best interview" of her career. 

Oprah Winfrey on her bombshell Harry and Meghan interview 05:38

"Did you leave the country because of racism?" Winfrey asked the couple in the first previously unaired clip.

Prince Harry said "it was a large part of it," recalling one event in particular.

"I remember the Sentebale fundraiser," he said. "And one of the people at that dinner said to me, 'Please don't do this with the media. They will destroy your life.' This person is friends with a lot of editors and like that."

Harry continued, "I said, 'Sorry, elaborate what do you mean by that?' So I knew. He said, 'Please understand the U.K. is very bigoted.' And I stopped and said, 'The U.K. is not bigoted. The U.K. press is bigoted, specifically the tabloids. Is that what you mean?' 

"He goes, 'No, the U.K. is bigoted.' And I said, 'I completely disagree.' But unfortunately, if the source of information is inherently corrupt or racist or biased, then that filters out to the rest of society."

Prince Harry reveals he was snubbed by Queen Elizabeth before planned visit 02:19

 In the second clip, the Duke of Sussex spoke to Winfrey about how a trip to see Queen Elizabeth II was suddenly called off following a letter to Buckingham Palace in early 2020 in which they told the royal family they would be stepping back from their formal duties.

"That announcement that we put out on the 8th of January in 2020, that was — the content of that was put in a letter to the institution, to my father, which was then shared at the end of December while we were in Canada," Prince Harry said. "And to then get back on the 6th after my grandmother had said 'The moment you land, come up.'"

Meghan said she and Harry had asked if they could go see the monarch.

According to Harry, the queen said, "Yeah, come up to Sandringham. Love to have a chat. Come for tea. Why don't you stay for dinner? It's going to be a long drive and you're going to be exhausted."

"She wanted us to stay the night," Meghan added.

The prince said they would have "loved that," until he received a message from his private secretary "the moment we landed in the U.K."

"Private secretary is sort of a CEO role within the institution," Meghan said.

Harry said his then private secretary Fiona was "cutting and pasting a message from the Queen's private secretary, basically."

"Please pass along to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that he cannot come to Norfolk. The queen is busy. She's busy all week," he said the letter read. 

He went on, "She'd just invited me. The queen's busy. She's busy all week. Do not come up here."

Harry said he called his grandmother from Frogmore Cottage that night, where the couple had lived before Archie was born. He asked her if be could come anyway, but he heard she was busy.

"And she said, 'Yes, I have something in my diary that I didn't know that I had.' And I said, 'Well, what about the rest of the week?' She goes, 'Well that's busy now as well."

He said he did not want to push, "because I kind of knew what was going on."

"Doesn't the queen get to do what the queen wants to do?" Winfrey asked. 

Harry said no.

"When you're head of the firm, there is people around you that give you advice," he said. "And what has also made me really sad is some of that advice has been really bad."

Harry and Meghan on how race factored into their U.K. press coverage 08:32

In the two-hour special interview, Meghan and Harry discussed feeling alienated from the rest of the royal family, with Harry classifying his relationship with older brother William, Duke of Cambridge, as needing "space."

The third clip Winfrey shows on "CBS This Morning" features the couple describing the environment in which Harry was raised, and how the royal family compared Meghan's tabloid coverage with that of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge 

"You've had these conversations with your family members. They know why you left," Winfrey said. "So has anybody said, 'I'm sorry you had to make that move,' or, 'I'm sorry you felt that you had to do that because you felt we were not supporting you'?"

Harry said nobody had.

"The feeling is that this was our decision, therefore the consequences are on us. And despite three years of asking for help and seeing, or visualizing how this might end — it was, I don't know, just — look, its been really hard. Because I'm trying. I'm part of the system with them. I always have been."

The prince said he was aware his older brother, second in line for the throne, could not leave the system like he had. 

Asked if Prince William did want to leave the system, Harry said "I don't know. I can't speak for him."

"But with that relationship and that control and the fear by the U.K. tabloids, it's a really — it's a toxic environment. But I will always be there for him. I will always be there for my family. And as I said, I've tried to help them to see what has happened," Prince Harry said.

Winfrey asked him if his family — his father Charles, for example — agreed the environment was toxic.

"No, I think he's had to make peace with it," Harry said.

Meghan said she could not make peace with it herself because the situation was different.

"I think what they — and this is why I would say, and I can't speak for them either — if they're not able to see that this was different, then what happened to Kate when she was, you know," Meghan said.

Winfrey asked if race was the difference.

"And social media," Meghan answered. "That didn't exist. And so it was like the wild, wild west. It was spread like wildfire. Plus my being American, it translated in a different way across the pond. So you had a noise level that was very different. But they can't see that it's different."

"So you felt bullied on an international level?" Winfrey asked.

Meghan said, "I think the volume of what was coming in and the interest was greater because of social media, because of the fact that I was not just British, and that unfortunately, if members of his family say, 'Well, this is what's happened to all of us' — if they can compare what the experience that I went through was similar to what has been shared with us."

She used a nickname given to her sister-in-law before she married William as an example. 

"Kate was called 'Waity Katie,' waiting to marry William, while I imagine that was really hard, and I do. I can't picture what that felt like. This is not the same," Meghan said.

She continued, "And if a member of his family will comfortably say we've all had to deal with things that are rude, rude and racist are not the same."

The Duchess of Sussex claimed the press team that would defend the royal family "when they know something's not true" failed to come to their defense. 

Winfrey asked Prince Harry if he hoped his family would ever acknowledge that the differences in treatment were over race. 

"It would make a huge difference," he said. "Like I said, there's a lot of people that have seen it for what it was… like it's talked about across the world."

The people who do not want to see it, Harry claimed, "choose not to see it."

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