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Harry and Meghan steal the show before it's even aired

   March 6, 2021 10:23 PM
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by Max Foster, CNN

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London (CNN)Who isn't talking about Oprah Winfrey's much anticipated sit-down interview with Meghan and Harry?

The drip feed of teaser clips strategically dropped over the course of this week promise a revealing, if not explosive, insight into royal life and it works for everyone involved, apart from the Palace. In the clip released on Wednesday night, Winfrey asks Meghan: "How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?" Meghan then says: "I don't know how they could expect that after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.

"And, if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean ... there is a lot that has been lost already." Note how Winfrey asks a question about the Palace but Meghan references The Firm, a term that refers to the family too. This sit-down is already being compared to the incendiary BBC interview of Diana, Princess of Wales with Martin Bashir in the 1990s. Harry only added to that when he invoked the experience of his mother in another clip in which he talked about his and Meghan's painful split from the royal family. "I'm just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side," Harry said in the clip released Monday. "Because I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like for her, going through this process by herself all those years ago. "It has been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we had each other," he said.

Buckingham Palace hasn't commented on the interview. Its policy is not to respond to "speculative reporting." We can assume they are waiting to see the full two-hour primetime special like the rest of us. The unnamed sources who approached The Times of London couldn't wait though. They felt the version of the Duchess that had publicly emerged was only partially true. What they said was explosive too. The article cited unnamed royal aides saying a complaint had been made against Meghan in 2018 which claimed she drove out two personal assistants from her Kensington Palace household and undermined the confidence of a third staff member. CNN has been unable to corroborate the claims. The sources also said they approached The Times because they were concerned about how matters of bullying had been dealt with. The report said the sources believed the public "should have insight into their side of the story" ahead of the couple's interview with Winfrey.

That forced the Palace's hand and it issued a statement saying its HR team would probe the allegations -- speaking to members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left -- to see if lessons could 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," the statement said. The Palace wasn't responding directly to the Oprah interview but it rocket-fueled the publicity around it and now even more people will sit down on Sunday night to find out what Meghan and Harry "really think." The show is all part of the couple's rebrand since they moved to the United States and now they have an even bigger audience. On the same date, the remaining senior royals will appear in a much more formal setting to mark Commonwealth Day on a British TV channel. The timing was a coincidence of TV scheduling, we are told, but the two events will inevitably draw comparisons, especially when Meghan and Harry's last public appearance with the family was last year's Commonwealth Day. Much was made at the time in the British media of the frosty body language between the Sussexes and Cambridges.

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