The Royals Fear There's "More to Come" From Harry and Meghan, Says Source
The Palace is bracing for the possibility that they haven't seen the last of the now-infamous interview.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah Winfrey revealed an avalanche of devastating claims about "The Firm," including racist statements allegedly made by an unnamed member of the Royal Family, the emotional cruelty the couple suffered behind Palace walls, and Meghan's stunning revelation that she was driven to suicidal thoughts because of untrue, hurtful coverage in the tabloids and the isolation of royal life. Throughout the two-hour interview, it was one jaw-dropper after another, leaving the Palace reeling and sending Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Prince William into two days of crisis talks in hopes of containing the fallout. Seasoned royal watchers told Best Life the Palace is now bracing for the possibility that they may not have seen or heard the last of the interview that rocked the very foundation of the monarchy.
Calling it "the biggest crisis the Palace has had to face" in years, a royal source told Best Life that "three weeks on, they are still dealing with the fallout and are truly worried that there's more to come from the interview that we've not seen yet."
Read on to find out why the royals are fearful about what Harry and Meghan may do next, which could include another equally explosive television appearance. And for more on the Duchess of Sussex and the royals, check out The Royals Made This One "Fateful Mistake" With Meghan, Says Insider.
There is plenty of unseen footage from Harry and Meghan's interview.
It appears the royals may indeed have something to worry about. Winfrey has revealed that footage from the interview was initially three hours and 20 minutes; 85 minutes had been edited out when it aired around the world. The broadcast had 17 million viewers in the States and brought in over 12 million more when it aired on ITV in the U.K. the following night.
The morning after the interview, Winfrey appeared on CBS This Morning where she told viewers it had taken her three years to land the interview. Winfrey, who lives a short distance from the Sussexes's Montecito home in California, has become a mentor and friend to the couple and has clearly earned their confidence.
She also said on the morning show that off-camera, Harry wanted to make clear that the racist comments about the color of yet-to-be-born Baby Sussex's skin were not made by the Queen or Prince Philip. Winfrey also unveiled new footage from the interview that was not included in the original broadcast. And for more on what Meghan may be bracing for, check out The New Book Meghan "Will Be Dreading," Says Palace Insider.
Multiple television networks are interested in the rights to air the unseen footage.
The Mirror reported that ITV is interested in airing the unseen footage from the three-hour shoot. According to the outlet, an industry source said, "There is a lot of interest in showing the interview in full. The original program was the biggest show of the year so far in the U.K. and was bought by firms around the world. Oprah's production company know they're sitting on a goldmine, so it's possible a deal could be done."
ITV paid £1 million ($1.4 million) for the rights to broadcast the original interview, which was syndicated to 70 countries and brought in millions of dollars of revenue, but sources say the licensing fee only covered the already aired footage seen in the States.
There is no shortage of media outlets who could bid for the unseen hour and 25 minutes from the interview. Netflix, which already has a reported £75 million ($104 million) multi-year deal with Meghan and Harry could be a contender, as well as Apple TV, which is producing Oprah and Harry's multi-part series on mental health. And for more royals news sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Another broadcast could jeopardize any truce Palace courtiers are looking to negotiate between William and Harry.
The news comes at a difficult time for the Palace when courtiers are trying to broker some sort of truce between William and Harry, while the brothers still appear to be very much at odds.
A Palace insider told Best Life, "Everything comes down to William and Harry being able to put their past grievances aside before statue of their mother is unveiled in July." The source continued: "If there is more to come from the interview, it could ruin any chance of a reconciliation between [the brothers] and be even more damaging to the Royal Family."
And for more on what's delaying those talks, check out The "Major Issue" Delaying the Royals' Discussions With Harry, Insiders Say.
Harry and Meghan aren't the only ones talking.
Equally concerning to the royals are the comments made by Gayle King, Winfrey's best friend and co-host of CBS This Morning. A week after the interview, King said on-air that she had spoken to Meghan and Harry to see how they were faring after the broadcast and reported that Meghan was unhappy that no one in the Royal Family had reached out to her.
She also said Harry had told her his call with his father and brother was "not productive." In another broadcast, King struck a somewhat ominous tone when she said Meghan had "plenty of receipts" to back up her claims.
According to one insider, King's comments "did not sit well with the family and were perceived as a shot across the bow." The source added, "There's no reason to believe Harry and Meghan would have any problem with more of the interview coming to light if there's no reconciliation between them and the Palace."
And for more on who's in another royal's corner, check out This Royal Stood by Kate After Harry & Meghan's Tell-All, Says Insider.
A royal biographer predicts the aftershocks from the interview will impact the monarchy for generations.
Andrew Morton, author of Diana: Her True Story, sees clear parallels between Princess Diana's 1995 tell-all with Martin Bashir for the BBC and the Sussexes' sit-down with Winfrey. Diana called Palace officials "the enemy," while the duke and duchess claimed "The Institution" was largely to blame for their struggles as well. Morton has said the fallout from the interview will "shudder down through the generations in the same way that Diana's did."
"This battle is far from over and another broadcast with new footage will only prolong this," said a Best Life source. "Meghan and Harry have the upper hand now because they have the ability to cause a great deal more damage if they don't get what they want. The family needs to proceed with caution. Evidently, Meghan and Harry have a lot more to say."
And for more on how the interview has changed the hierarchy within the House of Windsor, check out This Is the Most Popular Royal After Harry & Meghan's Tell-All, Poll Shows.
Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.