Oprah Winfrey has shared her thoughts on whether or not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle should attend the coronation of King Charles in London on May 6.
Winfrey, who is reported to maintain close links to the royal couple following their bombshell interview in 2021, was asked whether she thinks they should attend the crowning ceremony by mutual friend Gayle King in a recently released clip from Tuesday’s CBS Mornings show.
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan confirmed earlier this month that the couple had received an “email correspondence” from Charles’ office “regarding the coronation,” amid mounting speculation over whether or not they would be welcome in the aftermath of their allegation-packed docuseries and memoir.
Oprah Winfrey photographed February 26, 2018. And (inset) Prince Harry and Meghan Markle photographed June 3, 2022. Winfrey was asked what her advice for Harry and Meghan would be over whether or not to attend King Charles’ coronation by Gayle King. Christopher Polk/Getty Images/Samir Hussein/WireImage
“Do you think they should go, do you think they should not go? Is it something you’d like to comment on? I’m listening,” King asked Winfrey, who was on the morning show to promote her 100th book club selection, Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano.
“I think they should do what they feel is best for them and their family. That’s what I think,” the TV veteran advised.
“That’s what the bottom line comes down to. What do you feel like is the right thing for you?”
“They haven’t asked me my opinion,” she concluded.
Both Winfrey and King have been linked socially to Harry and Meghan. In 2018, Winfrey was a prominent guest at the couple’s Windsor Castle wedding, sitting in the St George’s Chapel quire stalls, a bank of seating usually reserved for close family members during royal weddings.
In 2019, King was one of the small number of guests who attended Meghan’s exclusive baby shower in New York, a gathering she defended when it sparked criticism of the duchess in Britain over its perceived extravagance.
The couple gave their first joint in-depth interview to Winfrey in 2021, after their dramatic exit from the monarchy a year earlier. The topics discussed dominated news coverage around the world, with the outstanding claim coming from Meghan that appeared at the time to suggest a member of the royal family had made racially insensitive comments about the skin color of her and Harry’s future children.
The interview saw an increase of anti-racist criticism of the monarchy which in turn provoked a rare response from Queen Elizabeth II through Buckingham Palace. A statement released after the interview’s broadcast read:
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle photographed with Oprah Winfrey during their tell-all interview, March 2021. HARPO Productions
In 2023, promoting his record-breaking memoir Spare, Harry was asked about the racist allegation against the royals, denying that the couple had done so, instead highlighting that the press had forged that narrative.
“You talk about accountability, in the Oprah interview you accused members of your family of racism…” ITV’s Tom Bradby asked the royal in an interview for British TV.
“No I didn’t. The British press said that. Did Meghan ever mention that they’re racist?” he responded.
“She said there were troubling comments about Archie’s skin color,” said Bradby.
“There was—there was concern about his skin color,” Harry explained to which Bradby challenged: “Wouldn’t you describe that as essentially racist?”
The prince continued to explain that having “lived within that family,” he didn’t consider the comments racist but that the situation was an example of “unconscious bias,” that the family member in question should work on.
King Charles and Queen Camilla will be crowned at Westminster Abbey on May 6, the same day as Harry and Meghan’s son, Prince Archie, has his fourth birthday.
Asked whether he would travel to the U.K, amid his ongoing security lawsuit over police protection and strained relationships with his family members, Harry told Bradby in January: “There’s a lot that can happen between now and then. But, you know, the door is always open.”
Newsweek approached representatives of Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle via email for comment.
James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.
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