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How Oprah and Prince Harry partnered up for an Apple TV docuseries

Oprah on new book, show with Prince Harry
Oprah Winfrey on partnering with Prince Harry for mental health docuseries, new book on purpose 08:18

In an interview on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday, Oprah Winfrey opened up about her forthcoming Apple TV docuseries on mental health and how she came to partner with Prince Harry on the project.

Winfrey said it all started with a simple question during a conversation with the royal. She asked him "What do you think are the most important issues facing the world right now?" He told her there are two: climate change and mental wellness.

"As you know, he's spoken about his own issues and what he went through after his mother died and how being able to talk about it has benefitted him," Winfrey said. "It's a passion of his and at the end of the conversation, I said, 'Oh, I'm going to be doing this thing with Apple. I said it's a big concern of mine, too … And I was telling him about this Apple platform and he said at the end of the conversation, 'If there's anything I can do to help.' And I go 'as a matter of fact..."

A partnership was born. According to an announcement on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's official Instagram account, the multi-part docuseries will focus on "mental illness and mental wellness, inspiring viewers to have an honest conversation about the challenges each of us faces, and how to equip ourselves with the tools to not simply survive, but to thrive."

Harry and Winfrey, who've been developing the project for the past few months, will partner as co-creators and executive producers on the show, which is expected to launch in 2020.

"We've had several meetings, we've had secret meetings in London. I've flown there with the crew, sitting in sessions, talking about the directions we're going to take … Our hope is that it will have an impact on reducing the stigma and allowing people to know that they're not alone and allowing people to speak up about it and being able to identify it for themselves and their friends," Winfrey said.

Asked what she thinks about the intense speculation and media coverage Harry's wife, Meghan Markle, has endured Winfrey said she's "being treated unfairly."

Oprah Winfrey's emotional first look at "Watching Oprah" Smithsonian exhibit 07:41

"I feel that if people really knew her, they would know that she is not only everything that we perceive of her as being graceful and dynamic in holding that position, but she just has a wonderful, warm, giving, loving heart." Winfrey said. "I see all the crazy press around her and I think it's really unfair."

Winfrey's also hoping to help people find their way with her new book, "The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose," which reveals the many lessons she has learned during long career and how to fight fear head-on.

"The most important question anyone can ever ask themselves is 'What do I really want.' And I used to do this at the end of the show when I was talking to the audience which was just my favorite part of every show. And I'd have people stand up and tell me what do you really want. The truth is most people could not answer that question," Winfrey said.

Why is that? She believes it's because people haven't given that question the thought it deserves.

"Everything flows from that question of 'What do I want?'"

Her book also seeks to make a point about the purpose of failure and why you should say "thank you" even in the midst of it.

"You say thank you because you know there is a clearing, a path that will be made on the other side of that that allows you to use that failure as information and I always say this to everybody, particularly students. Knowing what you don't want to do is equally as important as knowing what you do want to do because when you try something and it doesn't work, it's not a failure. It's information. I'm in the wrong place, the wrong job."

Winfrey credits being demoted early on in her career with helping her become who she is today.

"If that had not happened to me, I would not have become what I became."

Her best friend and "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King reminded her that demotion was the thing that really cemented their friendship.

"But if you hadn't been demoted to really talk it through we might not have been the friends we are today." 

Proceeds from "The Path Made Clear" will go to the Boys and Girls Club in Kosciusko, Mississippi.

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