Just short of a year since Harry and Meghan departed the Royal family embarking on a new life in the US, it was confirmed the couple would sit down for their first interview discussing the move with Oprah Winfrey this month.
The former Duke and Duchess of Sussex have kept no secret that their main reason for exiting the country was down to the hounding British press, a point referred to in teaser clips for the upcoming interview released by CBS. “It has been unbelievably tough for the two of us,” Harry claims with pregnant wife Meghan by his side.
Viewers will be given an unprecedented insight into how the couple have managed life together in the face of toxic criticism and what it’s been like starting afresh. The pair join a succession of Royals giving explosive interviews about their past and aren’t the first to rattle feathers for doing so as this list reveals:
1994 PRINCE CHARLES ADMITS ADULTERY
The first public address on the Prince and Princess of Wales’ marital problems from Charles side was given in this ITN documentary, as the downfall of his relationship with Diana was discussed. The couple had been separated for a couple of years at this point with rumours of Charles’ close connection with Camilla Parker-Bowles being the reason for the marriage collapse.
Meandering between questions of infidelity with comments about ‘great’ friendships, Charles’ finally admitted his adulterous behaviour causing headlines to explode. Once an agreeable heir to the throne, the Prince’s reputation was tarnished for years afterwards with any suitability of monarch rule forgotten.
1995 PRINCESS DIANA TELLS ALL TO MARTIN BASHIR
23 million people watched Panorama’s interview with Princess Diana as she gave intimate details on her life being married to Prince Charles, and the turbulent times she experienced being part of the Royal family in result. Although interviewer Martin Bashir has been condemned since for his invasive questioning, the late princess was arguably open in receiving these as she discussed her struggles with bulimia tied to years suffering depression.
Diana’s rebellious nature in being so raw and candid compared to other monarchs presented her as far more relatable to the public, with her popularity outgrowing that of the Royal family. She even revealed a humorous side to her personality after years of stifling as she joked over Charles’ affair with Camilla, “there were three of us in this marriage so it was a bit crowded.”
2011 FERGIE WALKS OUT (AND BACK IN) INTERVIEW
Aside from being married to the now shamed Prince Andrew, Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson has had many scandals follow her since being stricken from the Royal family back in 1996. The Duchess of York had debt problems after divorcing the prince which is perhaps how she got involved in a sting in 2010, whereby she agreed to sell stories on Andrew for a fee of £50000. She did attempt to win £40 million in compensation for the cash-for-access sting – claiming she’s been tricked – and said the ordeal destroyed her reputation and lost her £25 million in earnings… but she later abandoned her claim.
Fergie’s case was against the owners of the now-defunct The News of the World in 2010 after an investigation by their undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood, widely known as the ‘Fake Sheikh’. Fergie offered to introduce Mazher to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, for £500,000.
The whole operation was filmed unfortunately for Fergie and when a year later she was confronted about the debacle on 60 Minutes Australia, it got the Duchess super hot and bothered. She snapped at interviewer Michael Usher and walked out refusing to discuss the issue anymore. She eventually returned, however the atmosphere between the pair had become so toxic the interview remained an uncomfortable watch.
2019 PRINCE ANDREW DENIES TRAFFICKING TIES
After news broke of Prince Andrew’s longstanding friendship with sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and allegations followed, all vehemently denied, that he had sex with Virginia Giuffre (then called Virginia Robert) when she was 17 and a minor under US law, the Royal sat down in November 2019 to speak about the scandal. Many criticised his delayed response to the serious claims made against him however, after the interview aired, it appeared clear why there’d been such efforts to keep him quiet on the matter.
BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis squirmed in her seat interviewing the Prince as he appeared to shirk off admittance of any wrongdoing throughout, seemed unempathetic towards his alleged victim and those victims of Epstein as he lightly glossed over crimes mentioned at every turn. Any opportunity the prince might have had to at least appear remorseful for his friendship with Epstein was rejected in favour of looking smug and unwavering, deeply tarnishing the reputation of the Royal family possibly for years to come.