This Royal Has the Most to Lose From Harry & Meghan's Interview, Insiders Say
The tell-all "could do serious damage" to this royal's reputation.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan took no prisoners in their explosive tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, leaving the Palace in crisis mode trying to control the damage. According to The Daily Mail, Queen Elizabeth had an emergency meeting with Prince Charles and Prince William the morning after the tell-all interview aired in the States. (It aired on ITV in Britain the following night.) The couple aired a long and detailed list of grievances which, Harry said, all factored into the duke and duchess's decision to step away from their royal roles and leave Britain. Few members of "The Firm" were unscathed by the couple's claims of racism, insensitivity, and cruelty directed towards Meghan, who revealed she was so distraught that she considered suicide while she was pregnant with the couple's first child, Archie Mountbatten Windsor.
Harry and Meghan's highly anticipated sit-down contained much more serious allegations than what had been expected and is considered by some Palace insiders to be the most damaging scandal to hit the monarchy since the death of Princess Diana in 1997. But it could prove to be particularly detrimental to one royal in particular. Read on to find out who, according to insiders, and for more fallout from the interview, check out The 2 Reasons Harry and William May Never Reconcile Now, Insiders Say.
Harry's revelation that Prince Charles stopped taking his calls and cut him off makes the Prince of Wales look "cold and unfeeling."
Harry's stunning revelation that Prince Charles had refused to take his calls (the two have since resumed speaking) when the negotiations for the Sussexes' official agreement broke down, coupled with the news that the Prince of Wales had also stopped supporting his son financially, could prove disastrous to the heir to the throne.
"Charles is once again being depicted as cold and unfeeling only this time, instead of driving his wife to despair, his actions resulted in his son leaving the country with a wife who considered suicide as a way out of the untenable situation," said one insider, who called the tell-all "Diana's BCC interview all over again."
The thought of Charles cutting Harry (and by extension, Meghan) off would have seemed preposterous less than three years ago when he stepped in for Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, at the Sussexes' wedding in May 2018. One of the most memorable moments of the wedding came when Charles held out his arm to walk his soon-to-be daughter-in-law halfway down the aisle at St. George's Chapel and gallantly looked after Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, before and after the ceremony. But that was then, and this is now. And for more from the interview, check out Prince Harry Says the Royal Family Is "Scared" of the British Tabloids.
Harry said he felt "really let down" by his father, who had "been through something similar."
In one of the most surprising exchanges of the interview, Harry opened up to Oprah about his relationship with his father. "There's a lot to work through there. I feel really let down [by Charles] because he's been through something similar," he said. "He knows what pain feels like, and Archie's his grandson."
Harry added, "At the same time I will always love him, but there's a lot of hurt that's happened." Harry vowed to "continue to make it one of [his] priorities to try and heal that relationship, but they only know what they know." And for more on who Harry is on good terms with, check out Harry Remains Close to This One Royal Despite All the Drama.
Harry and Meghan didn't clear Charles' name in regards to the alleged discussion about Archie's skin color.
But even more damaging than what he did say was what Harry didn't say in the interview with Oprah. The shocking revelation that a member of the Royal Family had made comments to Harry about the skin color of his unborn son nearly brought the interview to a standstill. "In the months when I was pregnant… [there were] concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born," Meghan told Oprah, referring to her son. "There's several conversations about it."
The duchess explained the jaw-dropping remark was said during an exchange between Harry and a member of the Royal Family, adding that she learned about it from her husband. When Oprah pressed for the name of that particular family member, Meghan declined to elaborate, saying, "I think that would be very damaging to them."
Later in the interview, Oprah also asked Harry about the incident and he immediately answered: "That conversation I'm never going to share. But at the time, it was awkward, I was a bit shocked." The day after the interview aired, Oprah appeared on CBS This Morning and revealed that Harry had also told her neither Queen Elizabeth nor Prince Philip had made the offensive remark and he wanted people to know that. The allegation sparked a frenzied guessing game in the media as to who actually said it, leaving people to wonder if that person had been Prince William or Prince Charles. And for more royals news sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
As next in line to the throne, the "disastrous" interview isn't helping Charles win any points with the British public.
As the Royal Family—and Britain—face seismic changes within the monarchy in the not too distant future, it's critical Charles be seen as a scandal-free, steadying force as heir to the throne. Harry and Meghan's decision to "go nuclear" on the family have made that all but impossible at the moment, throwing the senior royals into a world of chaos, an insider said.
"The Prince of Wales does not have the reservoir of goodwill with the British public that Her Majesty has always had," the source explained. "He will be King and he needs the British public's support. Harry and Meghan have pulled the Palace curtains back to reveal an inconceivable level of dysfunction in the family that could do serious damage to his favorability rating." According YouGov's recent royal rankings, Charles is the seventh most popular royal with a 47 percent approval rating; William holds the top spot with a 75 percent approval rating.
"Any suggestion that racist comments were made or tolerated by Charles would be disastrous," the insider explained. "The Royal Family are facing a great deal of personal issues at the moment. Charles needs to take control, help his sons work through their differences, and steady the ship. There needs to be something done to bring the family together. The future of the monarchy depends on it and the Prince of Wales knows that." And for more on the state of things, check out Can the Monarchy Survive Without Queen Elizabeth?