Prince William and Harry 'speak for first time since Oprah interview'

Prince William and Charles ‘speak to Harry for the first time since Oprah interview’ – but talks were ‘unproductive’: Meghan Markle’s friend Gayle King reveals on US morning TV show that couple told her about discussions

  • Prince Harry spoke to brother William and father Charles over the weekend, Gayle King reveals on CBS
  • But presenter, who attended Meghan’s baby shower in 2019, claims conversations were ‘not productive’ 
  • She says Sussexes want ‘royals to intervene’ over ‘false stories’ in British Press which have ‘a racial slant’
  • Ms King gives no examples of stories – and it comes after Mail complains to CBS for doctoring headlines 

Prince Harry spoke to his brother William and father Charles over the weekend for the first time following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle’s friend Gayle King revealed today.

The CBS presenter, who attended Meghan’s baby shower in 2019 and is also close friends with Oprah, revealed on the network’s This Morning programme that Harry had spoken to the Duke of Cambridge and Prince of Wales.

However she claimed the conversations were ‘not productive’ and that the Sussexes were keen for the ‘royals to intervene and tell the Press to stop with the unfair, inaccurate, false stories that definitely have a racial slant’.

The US broadcaster failed to give any examples of the stories she was referring to – and her comments come after MailOnline’s owner Associated Newspapers complained to CBS for doctoring headlines and taking them out of context during a section of the Oprah interview designed to illustrate racist coverage of Meghan by the UK Press.

Last Thursday, Prince William defended the Royal Family, saying it was ‘very much not a racist family’ while on a trip to a school in East London, adding that he had not spoken to Harry at that stage, four days after the interview.

Back in Britain, Buckingham Palace has instructed an external law firm to assist with its investigation into bullying allegations made against Harry and Meghan, with lawyers for the couple denying any wrongdoing. 

Ms King’s comments came on the same day that Harry’s grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh was reunited with the Queen at Windsor Castle after leaving King Edward VII’s Hospital in London following a 28 day-stay for treatment.

Once-inseparable William and Harry could have discussed the unveiling of a statue for their mother Princess Diana which is scheduled for Kensington Palace in July. The brothers are set to meet face-to-face at the event in London for the first time since appearing together at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey last March.

CBS has been at the centre of the Oprah interview, after This Morning showed a number of preview clips before the chat itself went out on the channel on March 7 and was then broadcast in Britain on ITV the following night.  

Today, Ms King said: ‘Well I’m not trying to break news, but I did actually call them to see how they were feeling, and it’s true, Harry has talked to his brother and he has talked to his father too. The word I was given was that those conversations were not productive. But they are glad that they have at least started a conversation. 

‘And I think what is still upsetting to them is the palace keep saying they want to work it out privately, but yet, they believe these false stories are coming out that are very disparaging against Meghan, still.

‘No one in the Royal family has talked to Meghan yet, at this particular time. And I think it’s frustrating for them to see that it’s a racial conversation about the Royal Family when all they wanted all along was for the royals to intervene and tell the Press to stop with the unfair, inaccurate, false stories that definitely have a racial slant. 

‘And until you can acknowledge that, I think it’s going to be hard to move forward. But they both want to move forward with this and they both want healing in this family. At the end of the day, that is Harry’s family.’

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in conversation with Oprah Winfrey in an interview first aired on CBS on March 7

Prince William, Charles, Harry, Camilla, Kate and Meghan follow the Queen at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020

She added: ‘The bullying thing was raised in 2018 and now there’s an ongoing investigation about bullying from Meghan Markle, when anyone who has worked with her will tell you exactly who she is. 

‘You know, she’s really a very sweet, caring person. And as I say, Meghan has documents to back up everything that she said on Oprah’s interview. Everything.’ 

Reacting to the revelation, Daily Mail diary editor Richard Eden tweeted: ‘This is extraordinary. Are we going to have a running commentary for years to come from Harry and Meghan’s friends on their relations with the Royal Family? If so, the royals will be wary of speaking to them.’

In response, royal biographer Angela Levin added: ‘That’s why it’s not a good idea to pass on any information to them including details about alleged bullying because it will be passed on to a friend and reach social media in the blink of an eye. Their sense of entitlement is extraordinary. They can’t bear to be out of the spotlight.’  

Gayle King, who is close friends with Oprah and Meghan, revealed on CBS This Morning that Harry had spoken to William

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit School 21 in Stratford, East London, on March 11 after schools reopen in England

It comes as Buckingham Palace instructed an external law firm to assist with its investigation into bullying allegations made against the Duchess.

How Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview has caused a royal crisis 

  • February 15 – It is confirmed Harry and Meghan will be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on CBS in March, in which they will discuss Megxit and other issues.
  • February 16 – Harry’s grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh is admitted to hospital in London
  • February 19 – Harry and Meghan are stripped of their prestigious patronages as the couple confirmed Megxit has become permanent.
  • February 26 – Harry says the ‘toxic’ atmosphere created by the British press forced him and his family to leave the UK, in an interview with James Corden
  • March 1 – A preview clip of the Oprah interview shows Harry saying his biggest fear is that ‘history would repeat itself’ in a reference to his mother’s death, while the host is also seen asking Meghan if she was ‘silent or silenced’, but her answer is not revealed. 
  • March 3 – A spokesman for Meghan says she is ‘saddened’ by a report in The Times that she faced a bullying complaint while at Kensington Palace.
  • March 7 – Meghan and Harry’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey airs in the US. The Sussexes laid bare their brief lives as a working royal couple, alleging a member of the family made a racist comment about their son, and how the duchess had suicidal thoughts but her approaches to the monarchy for help were turned down.
  • March 8  – The fallout from the interview continues and the couple’s chat with Oprah airs in the UK on ITV.
  • March 9 – Buckingham Palace issues a statement, saying the Queen is ‘saddened’ to hear the full extent of the challenges faced by the Sussexes and the issues raised around race are ‘concerning’.
  • March 16 – Gayle King reveals Harry has spoken to his brother Prince William and their father Prince Charles. 

Royal aides announced earlier this month that past and present employees of Meghan and Harry would be invited to speak in confidence about their experiences, after it was alleged she drove out two personal assistants and staff were ‘humiliated’ on several occasions.

Now it is understood an outside legal company will help Buckingham Palace’s human resources team as it examines the circumstance of the allegations, first reported by the Times newspaper.

According to other reports, the Sussexes are not expected to be asked to contribute to the review, but the duchess has written to the palace asking for any documents, emails or texts relating to the allegations against her.

Lawyers for the duchess have denied the bullying allegations. Harry was also accused of bullying, with the Times reporting earlier this month that a member of staff told a colleague the couple were ‘outrageous bullies’.

When the bullying allegations were first made, Buckingham Palace said in a statement it was ‘very concerned’ about them, and stressed the Royal Household ‘does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace’.

It added: ‘Accordingly, our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.’

The investigation was launched after the Times reported that Jason Knauf, the Sussexes’ then communications secretary, made a bullying complaint in October 2018 in an apparent attempt to force Buckingham Palace to protect staff.

A source told the newspaper that Harry begged his senior aide not to take the matter further, but it also reported that lawyers for the duke and duchess deny the meeting took place and that Harry would not have interfered with staff matters.

Mr Knauf reportedly sent an email outlining the duchess’s alleged actions to Simon Case, the Duke of Cambridge’s then private secretary and now the cabinet secretary, after conversations with Samantha Carruthers, the head of human resources.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘Our commitment to look into the circumstances around allegations from former staff of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is being taken forward but we will not be providing a public commentary on it.’

A spokesman for the Sussexes declined to comment. Soon after the bullying allegations were made, the monarchy was left reeling after Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah, in which they made a string of allegations, including accusing a member of the royal family of making a racist comment about their son Archie. 

MailOnline and Daily Mail owner Associated Newspapers complains to CBS and ITV over ‘seriously inaccurate and misleading’ montage of newspaper headlines from Oprah interview 

The owner of MailOnline and the Daily Mail has complained to CBS for doctoring  headlines and taking them out of context during the Oprah interview.

Associated Newspapers said a section of the programme designed to illustrate racist coverage of Meghan by the British press was ‘seriously inaccurate and misleading’.

CBS invited viewers to believe that a montage of cuttings were all headlines that had appeared in British newspapers – but some had been edited or even manufactured using sentences selectively plucked from the article. 

Many were not even articles from the UK media but from foreign newspapers, including US tabloids.

In a letter sent to Viacom CBS yesterday, Associated Newspapers’ legal director Elizabeth Hartley demanded the montage be removed from the broadcast.

WHAT THEY SHOWED: The mocked-up headline purported to be from this website is reduced to a single quote and appeared as a commentator discussed ‘undeniable racist overtones’ in media coverage

IN REAL LIFE: The story – which was on the front of that day’s Mail On Sunday – was a story exposing the suspension of the girlfriend of the UKIP leader for using the racist phrase that appeared in the headline. Producers removed all that context

Many were not even articles from the UK media but from foreign newspapers, including US tabloids such as Star magazine 

She said one of the most ‘egregious’ examples was an article that appeared in the programme with the headline: ‘Meghan’s seed will taint our Royal Family’.

The actual headline that appeared on MailOnline made clear the article was about the suspension of a UKIP party member for making racist comments about Meghan.

But it was so drastically trimmed back for the Oprah interview that this was not obvious.

Ms Hartley said: ‘It is a thoroughly dishonest misrepresentation of a newspaper headline and article which was the opposite of racist. No one viewing the programme would have understood this from the montage.’

She also pointed to another supposed headline that appeared in the montage that was not a genuine headline at all.

The broadcast had mocked-up a MailOnline headline to read: ‘Rich and exotic DNA, Miss Markle’s mother is a dread-locked African American lady from the wrong side of the tracks…’ 

This was not the headline that appeared on Rachel Johnson’s comment piece in 2016, but was instead a sentence lifted from the article and paraded as a headline.  

WHAT THEY SHOWED: The producers plucked a line  from the article about ‘rich and exotic DNA’ and wrote it in a large typeface where the headline would normally be

IN REAL LIFE: The text the show featured appeared in a column by the Prime Minister’s sister Rachel Johnson. This is how it actually appeared online. The line of text that the show made appear to be the headline was in fact taken from the middle of paragraph three of the 11-paragraph piece

Ms Hartley said that, in context, ‘it is clear that Rachel Johnson’s intention was not to racially abuse the duchess’ but rather to ‘praise the duchess’s genetics, looks, social conscience and humanitarian efforts’.

She added: ‘While Ms Johnson has since accepted that the phrasing was regrettable, it is plainly misleading to present this sentence out of context, disguised as a headline, and as an example of racist online abuse.’ 

It was exposed earlier this week how the CBS broadcast, watched by 17million in the US and 11million in the UK via ITV, also doctored UK media websites.

One even altered the words on the Daily Telegraph’s website into American English.

The same newspaper later reported that 11 of the 30 headlines shown during the montage were from US or Australian outlets. 

WHAT THEY SHOWED: The headline read ‘BBC comedy portrays Meghan Markle as ”trailer trash” American who threatens to knife Kate Middleton’. But the character was actually meant to be the opposite of what Meghan was really like  

IN REAL LIFE: The article as it appeared on the Telegraph’s website – with Defence spelled the English way, not how the Americans mocked it up – makes it clear that the comedienne portraying Meghan as ‘trailer trash’ was doing so as it was ‘finding humour’ in a ‘ridiculous’ idea

Ms Hartley stressed that Associated Newspapers ‘unquestionably supports freedom of speech and the First Amendment’ but said the montage section of the programme went against CBS’ own commitment to journalistic integrity.

She said: ‘In conclusion, the programme in its current form, does not comply with the ViacomCBS editorial policies or align with its stated values. In terms of both accuracy and integrity, the programme is clearly compromised by the inclusion of this misleading montage. 

‘Accordingly, I should be grateful for your urgent confirmation that the offending content will be removed from the programme currently being made available to the public. 

‘We also understand that a further broadcast is being planned tonight. The montage should therefore be deleted prior to that broadcast.’

CBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Harpo productions, Oprah Winfrey’s company, said: ‘Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, shared in the interview their personal story. We stand by the broadcast in its entirety.’

WHAT THEY SHOWED: Oprah’s team reduced this Telegraph article to a headline suggesting the Duchess ‘doesn’t speak our language’. As they mocked up the Telegraph’s website, they spelled 

IN REAL LIFE: The piece – an opinion column – has the subdeck that explains it is critiquing the Duchess’s ‘earnest gushing’ which the writer finds to be ‘like nails down a blackboard’

WHAT THEY SHOWED: The interview flashed up a Guardian headline apparently referring neutrally to Danny Baker talking about comparing Archie to ‘a chimp’

IN REAL LIFE? No such headline is immediately available on the Guardian’s website. This, from the aftermath of Baker’s sacking, is their story about him talking about his Tweet and apologising for it

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