Why Prince Harry Is Being Called Meghan Markle's Hostage Ahead of Oprah Interview

On Sunday night, a two-hour interview that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave to Oprah Winfrey airs on CBS to address their decision to step down as working royals and distance themselves from The Firm. Preview clips from the interview hint at the fact that they will not gloss over their experiences with the Royal family in recent years. "I don't know how they could expect that after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us," Markle tells Oprah. "If that comes with risk of losing things, I mean there's a lot that's been lost already." According to reports, Queen Elizabeth and Prince William are "furious" about the interview and "feel that by sharing [Harry and Meghan's] side of the story, the entire royal family will be painted in an unfair way."

In the lead-up to the interview, the Palace and the British tabloids have launched a transparent smear campaign in order to throw Markle's credibility into question. The first round of rumors came from The Times and claimed that Markle bullied her staff, leading to tears and longtime employees quitting. "We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” Buckingham Palace's statement read. “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 latest rumors come from The Telegraph, with former staffers claiming that they nicknamed Harry "the hostage" due to Meghan's imperious nature. The source claims that there was a tense moment between Markle and staffers ahead of the 2018 royal wedding when she was told that she couldn't take the tiara that she planned to wear on the day to her planning hair appointment. The source says the staffer "told Harry it was priceless and couldn't suddenly be handed over at short notice," to which Harry replied, "What Meghan wants, Meghan gets." The source also claims that "he was constantly looking for reasons to say she had been deprived... she wanted drama from the very beginning."

This idea that Harry hasn't always been wary of the British press and royal life is ahistorical. Since Princess Diana's death, Harry has made it very clear the disdain that he feels for so many aspects of the life that he was born into. The treatment of his wife has only brought it all into sharper relief. "Everything that she went through and what happened to her [Meghan Markle] is incredibly raw every single day and that is not me being paranoid. That is just me not wanting a repeat of the past," Harry told ITV in an interview in 2019.

"Part of this job ... means putting on a brave face and turning a cheek to a lot of this stuff," he said. "All we need to do is focus on being real, and focus on being the people that we are and standing up for what we believe in. I will not be bullied into playing a game that killed my mum."