Prince Harry has told Oprah Winfrey that he decided to step back from the British royal family because he was fearful of “history repeating itself,” apparently referring to the tragic story of his mother, Diana, who died at 36 in a car crash in Paris while being pursued by paparazzi.
Harry, who is now 36 himself, made the remarks in his interview with CBS which will be screened on March 7. Two advance clips from the special were released on Monday morning.
In one of the new Oprah clips, Harry was seated next to Meghan, 39, with whom he is expecting a second child. As he held her hand, he reflected on the ordeal his mother went through when she left the royal family.
“I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side,” he said. “Because I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her [Diana], going through this process by herself all those years ago.
“It’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we had each other.”
In a second clip, Winfrey said to Meghan that no subject was off-limits and at one point tells the couple, “You have said some pretty shocking things here.” Oprah also asks Meghan if she was “silent or silenced.”
Winfrey appeared to reference a comment made by Meghan when she said that the trolling she received was “almost unsurvivable.”
The conversation was flagged as the first TV interview to be given by the couple since they made California their home last year, but Harry rather spoiled Winfrey’s exclusive when he taped an open-air bus-top interview with another old friend, James Corden, which was broadcast last week.
In that interview, Harry said he was more concerned about the intrusions of the media into his family’s life than the Netflix show The Crown, which he said was “obviously fiction.” His friend Corden did not ask whether Harry’s sympathetic attitude to the show was influenced by the reported $100 million fee the couple received from Netflix to produce content.
Harry told Corden that the British press created a “difficult environment” that was destroying his mental health but insisted he “didn’t walk away” from the royal family. “It was stepping back rather than stepping down.”
He said, “I did what any husband, what any father would do. It’s like, ‘I need to get my family out of here.’ But we never walked away.” He added, “I will never walk away. I will always be contributing.”
The spate of interviews come after Buckingham Palace announced the couple would not be returning to their former roles as working members of the royal family.