Sussexes interview 'would not have aired if Prince Philip had died', friend says

17 March 2021, 22:09 | Updated: 18 March 2021, 06:16

Harry and Meghan's interview "would not have run" if Prince Philip had died, a friend of Meghan has said
Harry and Meghan's interview "would not have run" if Prince Philip had died, a friend of Meghan has said. Picture: Getty
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey would not have aired if the Duke of Edinburgh had died, a friend of Meghan has said.

US breakfast show host Gayle King said Harry and Meghan's chat with Winfrey was filmed and scheduled before Prince Philip was admitted to hospital in February.

Speaking on her SiriusXM show last Thursday, King responded to a listener who called in to say the timing of the broadcast was "terrible" as the duke was receiving treatment when it was shown.

"Just so you know, they had done that interview before Prince Phillip went into the hospital," King said on her radio show.

"And if something, God forbid, had happened to him, the interview would not have run at this particular time.

"But the interview was done and was scheduled before he went into the hospital. But a lot of people have raised that point."

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The 99-year-old duke left the private King Edward VII's hospital in central London on Tuesday after receiving treatment for a month.

Philip was initially receiving care for an infection but then underwent heart surgery for what Buckingham Palace called a pre-existing condition.

Speaking on her radio show, King said Meghan and Harry had "been through so much" over the past three years and "really have tried to work it out privately".

She added: "They really have tried to get help, and nothing was working.

"So I think they wanted people to have some understanding about why they made the decision that they made and what they've been going through, and I do think that they accomplished that. I do."

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The explosive interview saw the Sussexes talk about the pressures of their former lives before they stepped down as working royals and moved to the US.

They also accused an unnamed member of the Royal Family of raising concerns about how dark their son Archie's skin tone would be before he was born, but it was later confirmed by Oprah that this was neither the Queen nor Philip.

On Tuesday, King claimed on TV that the Royals had taken their first steps towards a reconciliation with the couple, but initial talks were "not productive".

She suggested that despite the conversations not bearing fruit, the Sussexes were "glad" dialogue had started and the couple wanted "healing" within the royal family.

King, who was among Meghan's closest friends invited to her 2019 baby shower in New York, said on CBS This Morning: "I'm not trying to break news, but I did actually call them to see how they were feeling and it's true Harry has talked to his brother and he has talked to his father too.

"The word I was given was that those conversations were not productive but they are glad that they have at least started a conversation."

Buckingham Palace previously said the issues raised in Harry and Meghan's interview, especially over race, were "concerning" and would be addressed by the Queen and her family privately.