Prince Harry says the process of separating from royal life has been very difficult for him and his wife, Meghan, and shared his biggest concern was fears of "history repeating itself."
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry invoked the memory of his late mother, Princess Diana, who had to find her way alone after she and Prince Charles divorced.
“I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, 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,” Harry said, adding, “because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us.”
“But at least we have each other,” Harry said, in a clip from the interview special, which is scheduled to air March 7 on CBS and the following day in Britain. Diana was shown in a photo holding toddler Harry as he made the comments. His mother died in 1997 of injuries suffered in a car crash in Paris as she was being pursued by paparazzi.
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Harry and Meghan sat opposite Winfrey and side-by-side, holding hands during the interview that was conducted in a lush garden setting. The couple lives in Montecito, California, where they are neighbors of Winfrey. Meghan, who recently announced she is pregnant with the couple’s second child, wore an empire-style black dress with an embroidery of a lotus flower, a symbol of revival. Harry wore a light gray suit and white dress shirt, minus a tie.
Meghan also donned Diana's diamond tennis bracelet. A spokesperson for the duchess told TODAY the couple "wanted to wear the bracelet to have (Harry's) mother there with them during the interview."
As Meghan Markle, the actor starred in the TV legal drama “Suits.” She married Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson at Windsor Castle in May 2018, and their son, Archie, was born a year later.
The brief promotional clip was one of two of that aired Sunday during CBS’ news magazine “60 Minutes.” Winfrey’s questions and comment were predominant in the other clip, including her statement that, “You said some pretty shocking things here,” without an indication of what she was referring to. Meghan was not heard from in the clips.
Harry and Meghan stepped away from full-time royal life in March 2020, unhappy at media scrutiny and the strictures of their roles. They cited what they described as the intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media toward the duchess, who is African American.
It was agreed the situation would be reviewed after a year. On Friday, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the couple will not be returning to royal duties and Harry will give up his honorary military titles — a decision that makes formal, and final, the couple’s split from the royal family.
The pair, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, verified “they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family. “
A spokesperson for the couple hit back at suggestions that Meghan and Harry were not devoted to duty.
“As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role,” the spokesperson said in a statement.