If you thought a royal wedding would put the world at a standstill, just wait for the royal war that’s to come on Monday.
This Monday, March 8, will see the royal family come head to head in a television standoff.
While the world gears up for whatever bomb(s) Meghan Markle is set to drop during her tell-all Oprah interview on Monday night, the Queen will make her own move hours earlier with her own television broadcast.
After Buckingham Palace learnt of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah, the Queen was straight to the drawing board with her own plan of attack.
Monday happens to be Commonwealth Day, an annual event that usually gets marked with a service at Westminster Abbey.
Last year’s outing happened to be Harry and Meghan’s final event as working members of the royal family, the outing proving equally memorable for the Arctic level of frostiness on display between the duo and William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
This year, the pandemic has put paid to the idea of squashing 2000-odd people into one large room for a spot of singing and handshaking, so the palace announced that instead, this year the Queen would be delivering a TV address to mark the occasion, with the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Countess of Wessex also taking part.
While we’re unsure of what the Queen will deliver, it’s going to be a monumental occasion for royal followers.
As for the 90-minute tell-all interview the Sussexes will have with Oprah, there is no doubt that extreme revelations will be made. Especially if all three teasers are anything to go by.
Markle, who has been hit with historical bullying allegations from the Palace this week, refers to the royal family as “the Firm” in the latest clip released.
“How do you feel about the palace hearing you speak your truth today?” Oprah asks.
“I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent when there is an active role that the Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” says Meghan.
“And if that comes with risk of losing things … there’s a lot that’s been lost already.”
Two earlier clips released to publicise Monday’s interview both showed Meghan remaining silent while Oprah and Harry spoke – this is the first glimpse of Meghan sharing her story in her own words.
One clip showed Oprah asking Meghan: “Were you silent, or were you silenced?”
Another clip showed Harry appearing to take a jab at father Prince Charles and the rest of the royal family for not supporting his mother, Princess Diana.
“You know, for me, I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her [Princess Diana] going through this process by herself all those years ago,” he said. “Because it has been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we had each other.”
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Harry and Meghan’s two-hour tell-all interview with Winfrey will air on 7.30pm Monday on Ten here in Australia.
ROYAL WAR EXPLODES
Adding fuel to the fire, Meghan has been hit with bullying claims from palace aides, which are being ‘investigated’ by the palace’s HR team.
The Times revealed the Duchess of Sussex had been the subject of an official bullying complaint in October of 2018, which accused her of mistreating her staff.
Responding to The Times’ story, the Sussexes’ lawyers told the newspaper it was “being used by Buckingham Palace to peddle a wholly false narrative”.
“Let’s just call this what it is: A calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation,” a spokesman for the couple said in a statement.
“We are disappointed to see this defamatory portrayal of the Duchess of Sussex given credibility by a media outlet.
“It’s no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining the Duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and the Duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience of recent years.
“The Duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma.
“She is determined to continue her work building compassion around the world and will keep striving to set an example for doing what is right and doing what is good.”
In turn, Buckingham Palace has announced its HR team will investigate the allegations.
“We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” the palace said in a statement after The Times article was published.
“Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.
“The royal household has had a dignity at work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace.”