Meghan on Buckingham: Now I can speak for myself 1:20
Millions of viewers around the world are anxious this Sunday as they await the broadcast of Oprah Winfrey's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
The primetime event, which will air Sunday night in the United States, has been tirelessly promoted by CBS and threatens to lift the lid on a litany of frustrations and complaints from the couple against the institution they left last year. .
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Harry and Meghan expose the hypocrisy of the palace
"I do not know how they can expect that after all this time we remain silent if there is an active role that The Firm plays to perpetuate falsehoods about us," Meghan said in a video already published, hinting that she is ready to intensify a verbal battle between her and the family he married.
The insatiable British tabloid press has long speculated that Meghan felt restrained by the Palace before and after marrying Harry in 2018, that the couple fell out with some of their family members, and that her decision to walk away from their roles caused a huge shock. gap with the rest of the clan.
Those theories are sure to be tested in the interview, giving viewers a first official account after years of palace intrigue.
"It's really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege, in some way, to be able to say yes" to the interview, Meghan said in a preview, discussing the limitations of speaking to the media while working as royalty.
"I mean… I'm ready to talk."
The interview is expected to draw millions of viewers on Sunday.
Another generational challenge for the Palace
By the time the sun rises in the UK on Monday, audiences will have a new perspective from former royals on the palace's machinations.
This week has already seen a frenzy of stories citing anonymous sources and royal commentators, but the Palace has adhered to its usual protocol of silence in the face of speculative reports surrounding the broadcast.
However, he announced Wednesday that he would investigate allegations that Meghan intimidated staff members, claims made anonymously in a British newspaper that the Sussex spokesman dismissed as "a calculated smear campaign."
"It is no coincidence that the distorted allegations from several years ago aimed at undermining the Duchess are being reported to the British media shortly before she and the Duke speak openly and honestly about their experience of the past years," added their statement. on Wednesday.
On Sunday morning, the front pages of several British newspapers focused on the upcoming broadcast, with some reporting that the queen would not be watching.
The Mail on Sunday featured a real source criticizing public interest in the show on its cover, but devoted 11 pages to a preview of the interview.
Meghan on Buckingham: Now I can speak for myself 1:20
Hours before the interview airs, the queen and other royals were seen on their own more traditional televised broadcast;
The monarch delivered a speech during a prerecorded Commonwealth Day special on Sunday afternoon, where she spoke about the coronavirus pandemic and praised vaccine development.
But the most anticipated television special falls at an already tense moment for royalty, with Prince Philip, the queen's 99-year-old husband, spending a third week in the hospital, having undergone a heart procedure on Thursday.
But royalty probably knows from history the impact the televised show could have.
The palace encounters a bomb that says it all about once per generation;
a 1970 interview with abdicated King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson raised problems for the palace, 25 years before tens of millions of people saw Princess Diana's 'Panorama' confessional in the UK.
What makes the Sussex conversation so unique is their continued proximity to the monarchy (Harry remains sixth in line to the throne) and their unwavering popularity, which they have already begun trading for lucrative talks and deals with the media.
But his moves to date make it clear that insiders at the palace are not his only targets.
The pair are likely to save their harshest words for the British tabloid media, which have dogged them relentlessly for years.
"We all know what the British press can be like ... and it was destroying my sanity," Harry told James Corden on a television appearance last month.
"I thought, 'This is toxic,' so I did what any husband and father would do: I need to get my family out of here."
The couple in one of their last royal engagements last year.
The couple have fought multiple legal cases against publications and photo agencies that revealed details of their private lives.
Earlier this year, Meghan won a privacy claim against the publishers of the Mail on Sunday after they published a letter she sent to her father, and launched a harsh reprimand to "dehumanize" the media after the verdict, saying that "the damage they have done and continue to do is profound."
"It was incredibly difficult for the two of us, but at least we had each other," Harry told Winfrey in another promo segment, drawing parallels between his experience and that of his mother, Princess Diana, who was also exiled from royalty in the 1990s.
The door was closed on a possible return of the couple as royals earlier this year.
But even that announcement was shrouded in tension;
Harry and Meghan's statement that "service is universal" was widely seen as a rebuke of the rigidity of the Palace events, after the queen confirmed that "by stepping away from Royal Family work, it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.
Nonetheless, the interview means that they can begin the task of reclaiming the narrative about their actual divide, free to make media commitments of their choice and carve out their new lives as celebrity activists.
Dukes of Sussex, Meghan Markle, Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry