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Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Oprah Interview Sparks Mania in the U.K.

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As the date of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry draws closer, the U.K. is revelling in a favorite pastime – Royal obsession.

Speaking after acquiring the two-hour interview for U.K. broadcaster ITV, where it airs March 8, Kevin Lygo, ITV managing director media and entertainment, said: “This interview is already a national talking point.”

Successive clips teased by CBS, where the interview airs March 7, have successfully whipped the country into a frenzied lather, led by the tabloids, with a 360 degree view of opinions being expressed about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“I will defend Meghan and Harry until I’m blue in the face, but I can’t help coming back to the fact that this ‘beleaguered’ pair are also a very well-connected, very wealthy couple, with an array of opportunities ahead of them,” wrote Natasha Mwansa in the Evening Standard on Friday. “Once the Oprah interview is out the door, perhaps they should give it a rest.”

Some of the speculation over at the Daily Mail is about the postponement of the interview since the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, the husband of the Queen, is currently in hospital for a heart ailment. “Even if Meghan had the choice to postpone the Oprah special she said she wouldn’t because it has absolutely nothing to do with Prince Philip and that this is just an excuse by the palace to keep her muzzled,” claimed the tabloid on Friday, quoting a “Hollywood insider with ties to the Sussexes.”

In the latest clip, released on Friday, Markle talks about how “liberating” it is to be able to grant Oprah the interview, after being denied the opportunity by royal aides in 2018.

It is an earlier clip that really caused a storm in Britain. “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 says in the clip. “And if that comes with risk of losing things, I mean there’s a lot that’s been lost already.”

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams, who was the editor of “International Who’s Who,” a 172-year-old publication that lists prominent people from around the world who influence British life, from 1975-2001, analyzed the clip for Variety.

About Markle’s use of the phrase “the firm,” Fitzwilliams says that it is an innocuous phrase coined by the Duke of Edinburgh, which “has established slightly sinister connotations for some people using it, but it shouldn’t be.”

Referring to Markle’s comment about the “risk of losing things,” Fitzwilliams says that it could be a reference to the patronages the Sussexes lost while walking away from the Royal family, and also Prince Harry’s military links, which were dear to him.

“What more could they lose?” asks Fitzwilliams. “I was wondering whether it might refer to being asked to royal family gatherings of some sort,” says Fitzwilliams. “Alternatively it could mean, a link to the line of succession. Harry is sixth in line, Archie’s [Harry and Markle’s son] seventh and the new baby will be eighth.”

“The trailers point to one thing, and that is people will watch, and they will watch in their hundreds of millions,” says Fitzwilliams.

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