The interview Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did with Oprah Winfrey continues to come under scrutiny by the British press as their popularity in the UK plunges and both sides lawyer up.
The Daily Mail published a fact-check of sorts on Friday which, in part, took aim at Winfrey for failing to challenge many of the claims made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Meanwhile, in a separate story, the Daily Mail reported that Markle was considering a presidential bid in 2024, according to a British Labour Party official who spoke to the paper on condition of anonymity. The official said that Markle is “networking” with “senior Democrats” already.
“The Blairite, internationalist and Democratic Party networks are buzzing with talk about Meghan’s political ambitions and potential backers,” the source told the paper.
But beyond that, the fallout has been wide and enduring.
Shortly after the interview aired, noted on-air journalist Piers Morgan, formerly of “Good Morning Britain,” walked off the set after getting his fill of a discussion about various claims Markle and her princely husband made to Oprah.
“I don’t believe a word that she says,” Morgan said before getting up to leave on-air, only to quit the program later in the day. In a follow-up interview, Morgan was unrepentant, tweeting, “On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview,” he tweeted. “I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions.”
The Daily Mail’s fact-check also cast many shadows of a doubt: “By any stretch of the imagination, the Harry and Meghan claims demanded to be properly and thoroughly investigated,” the story noted.
For one, there was Markle’s version of what happened between her and Kate Middleton, her sister-in-law, ahead of Markle’s wedding to Harry. The former Hollywood star said that it was Middleton who made her cry; the Times of London reported the opposite, though, noting that Markle even slammed a door on Middleton after the latter attempted to make things right.
In addition, Markle and Prince Harry said their son Archie was improperly denied a royal title. However, the Guardian reports that the child is not yet eligible for one under historic precedent and policy. That said, he will be when Prince Charles ascends to the throne.
Then there is Markle’s dilemma, should she really be considering a run for the presidency. Under the Constitution, the government cannot grant titles of nobility so she would no doubt have to disavow her “Duchess of Sussex” title if she were to run. Congress could grant an exception, however, Fox News noted.
Harry himself has concerns, too, reports noted. He has said the media’s constant attention and scrutiny may lead to a bad outcome, a reference to how his mother, Princess Diana, died in 1997 while paparazzi pursued her.
He also told Winfrey that his father, Prince Charles, refused to take his phone calls after his so-called “Megxit” from the family. And he said he attempted to help Prince William, his brother, see how toxic royal life was, but that he didn’t succeed. Page Six reported that Harry and William have since reopened “communication channels” following the interview.
Finally, Markle has been accused of reducing staffers to tears and creating a hostile work environment following an investigation initiated by Queen Elizabeth, according to the New York Post. She is now demanding evidence — emails, documents, texts — substantiating the claims as she is reportedly putting together a legal team to push back against a “calculated smear campaign based on misleading and harmful misinformation,” The Mail added.
To that end, the attention — the fallout — from the Winfrey interview, in which the couple also leveled claims of racism at the royal family and that Markle’s suicidal pleas for help were ignored, has taken a toll.
Harry’s popularity, according to a YouGov survey, fell 15 points after the interview, with 48 percent of respondents saying they have a “negative attitude” towards him. Just 30 percent had a favorable view of Markle.
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