Only 12 hours after Prince Harry andMeghan Markle‘s bombshell two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey aired in the U.S.—which contained the shocking revelations that Meghan “didn’t want to be alive anymore” while pregnant with Archie, and that concerns had been raised about “how dark his skin might be” when he was born—CBS has released an additional clip of previously unseen footage.
Expanding on his earlier denial that he and Meghan in no way “blindsided” the queen with their decision to step back as senior royals, Harry said that the royal family had been made aware of his and Meghan’s intentions via a letter he wrote to his father Prince Charles, and which was circulated among the family at the end of December.
In January 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan announced plans to step back as senior members of the Royal family. In this exclusive clip, they tell @Oprah they were then invited to spend time with his grandmother, the Queen, but the plans abruptly changed citing she’s "busy all week." pic.twitter.com/dLhq0SAgfN
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 8, 2021
Meghan and Harry were living with Archie on Vancouver Island at the time, and due to return to the UK for a series of engagements on January 6.
The Duke of Sussex said that initially the monarch had extended an invitation to him and Meghan to come to stay with her at Sandringham after their plane landed, that the queen was eager for the opportunity for a cup of tea and a chat, and that they were welcome to stay for dinner, as after the long drive following their journey from Canada they were sure to be “exhausted.”
But, Harry said, his grandmother abruptly changed those plans.
“The moment we landed in the UK,” he said, there was a message from the queen’s private secretary that said “Please pass on to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that he can not come to Norfolk.
“The queen is busy. She’s busy all week.”
Harry said he then called the queen from his and Meghan’s U.K. home of Frogmore Cottage that night, and the monarch told him that she was unexpectedly busy all that weekend and wouldn’t be able to see him the following week either.
“I didn’t want to push, because I kind of knew what was going on.”
“Doesn’t the queen get to do what the queen wants to do?” Oprah asked incredulously.
Harry hesitated for a long moment before replying, “When you’re head of ‘The Firm’, there’s people around you who give you advice.
“And what’s also made me really sad is that a lot of that advice has been really bad.”
On January 8 came the Sussexes’ announcement that they wished to be financially independent while continuing to serve the queen—an announcement that many commentators claimed had come as a complete shock to the royal family.