Oprah sparks backlash for suggesting Queen’s death could give Harry and Meghan ‘opportunity for peacemaking’

Talk-show host sat down with Duke and Duchess of Sussex for tell-all interview about royal family last year

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:54 BST
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Related: Harry and Meghan join Prince and Princess of Wales to lay floral tributes for Queen

Oprah Winfrey has sparked a debate over her role in the tensions between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and members of the royal family after suggesting that Queen Elizabeth II’s passing provides “an opportunity for peacemaking”.

Winfrey, who spoke with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during a wide-ranging interview about their time as working members of the royal family in March 2021, suggested that the mourning period for the monarch may allow reconciliation, during an interview with Extra.

“Well, this is what I think,” the talk-show host said on Monday. “I think in all families – you know, my father passed recently, this summer, and when all families come together for a common ceremony, the ritual of, you know, burying your dead, there’s an opportunity for peacemaking. And hopefully, there will be that.”

Winfrey’s comments come after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex reunited with the Prince and Princess of Wales to view floral tributes left in memory of the Queen at Windsor Castle. The moment marked their first public meeting since they were last seen together at the National Service of Thanksgiving during the Queen’s jubilee in June.

While some royal fans shared Winfrey’s hope, others suggested that she was partly to blame for the splintered relationships between the duke and duchess and members of Harry’s family.

“Oprah forgets she started this. Maybe an apology from you Oprah would help with the peace making?” one person tweeted in response to the talk-show host’s comments, while another said: “​​Ironic, given how she was instrumental in things getting to where they currently are!”

Others suggested that Winfrey was responsible for “stoking the tension” between the couple and the royal family by interviewing the duke and duchess, while someone else claimed that Winfrey “has some nerve to talk about peacemaking after she helped ruin the reputation Meghan Markle had with the royal family”.

“Maybe Oprah should sit this one out instead of talking to Extra,” another person said, while one critic wrote: “There would be more chance of peacemaking if the likes of Oprah stopped making money out of the discord.”

During the tell-all interview last year, Meghan shared that she had struggled with suicidal thoughts during her time in the royal family, and claimed that there were conversations within the palace about “how dark” her son Archie’s “skin might be when he is born”.

The duchess also addressed reports of a “feud” between her and Kate Middleton, while Prince Harry told Winfrey that a distance had formed between him and his brother after he and Meghan decided to leave the royal family.

Following the death of the Queen at age 96, the couple has remained in the UK to attend the funeral events honouring the late monarch.

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