Gayle King says Oprah had no idea her bombshell Harry and Meghan interview was ‘blowing up’

Oprah’s best friend Gayle King has claimed that she was completely unaware of the bombshell impact her interview with Prince Meghan and Harry has had – insisting the TV mogul was ‘sitting on her porch reading a book’ while the royal family was rocked by the fallout from the explosive sit-down. 

Speaking on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, where Oprah aired more clips from her sensational sit-down with Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, on Monday, anchor Gayle revealed that she had called her close friend to chat about the frenzied response to the broadcast – but said that Oprah was completely unaware of the overwhelming reaction.

‘I called Oprah yesterday to say, “You know, this thing is blowing up,”‘ Gayle, 66, revealed. ‘She’s sitting on her back porch reading a book, not paying attention to all of this. I said, “I’m telling you, this is big.” [She said]: “Is it?” Yeah, no it’s big!’

Where has she been? Oprah's best friend Gayle King claimed on CBS This Morning on Tuesday that the TV host had no idea her bombshell interview with Meghan and Harry was 'blowing up'

Where has she been? Oprah's best friend Gayle King claimed on CBS This Morning on Tuesday that the TV host had no idea her bombshell interview with Meghan and Harry was 'blowing up'

Where has she been? Oprah’s best friend Gayle King claimed on CBS This Morning on Tuesday that the TV host had no idea her bombshell interview with Meghan and Harry was ‘blowing up’

Otherwise occupied: According to Gayle, Oprah was 'sitting on her back porch reading a book' while the royal family was rocked by the damaging allegations made during the sit-down

Otherwise occupied: According to Gayle, Oprah was 'sitting on her back porch reading a book' while the royal family was rocked by the damaging allegations made during the sit-down

Otherwise occupied: According to Gayle, Oprah was ‘sitting on her back porch reading a book’ while the royal family was rocked by the damaging allegations made during the sit-down 

But while the TV mogul was apparently totally unaware of the sensational response to the interview, the palace has come under furious scrutiny and criticism as a result of the very damaging allegations made by Meghan and Harry. 

The Queen broke her silence on the bombshell interview on Tuesday afternoon, just under 48 hours after it aired in the US, to say that ‘while some recollections may vary’ the ‘whole family is saddened’ to hear of the couple’s ‘challenging few years’.

Her Majesty said in a statement an alleged racist comment made about what color the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby Archie would be was ‘concerning’ and will be ‘addressed by the family privately’.

She added that Harry and Meghan – using their names rather than titles – and their son ‘will always be much loved family members’.

The statement said: ‘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.

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.’

It is understood the Queen waited until Tuesday to comment on the devastating interview with Oprah so that viewers in Britain had the chance to watch it first – but ‘the Firm’ is not expected to make any further comments.

The interview was watched by millions of viewers the world over – a fact that Gayle happily shared during CBS This Morning, while also voicing how ‘proud’ she is of her friend Oprah for landing the controversial sit-down.     

‘Oprah’s interview with Meghan and Harry delivered a huge ginormous audience. The primetime special right here on CBS Sunday night drew more than 17 million viewers in this country,’ Gayle said. 

Speaking out: The Queen broke her silence on the interview on Tuesday, saying that an alleged racist comment made about Harry and Meghan's baby Archie would be was 'concerning'

Speaking out: The Queen broke her silence on the interview on Tuesday, saying that an alleged racist comment made about Harry and Meghan's baby Archie would be was 'concerning'

Speaking out: The Queen broke her silence on the interview on Tuesday, saying that an alleged racist comment made about Harry and Meghan’s baby Archie would be was ‘concerning’

'Proud': Despite the furious controversy surrounding the interview and the allegations made within it, Gayle said she was 'proud' of Oprah (seen on Monday) for securing it

'Proud': Despite the furious controversy surrounding the interview and the allegations made within it, Gayle said she was 'proud' of Oprah (seen on Monday) for securing it

‘Proud’: Despite the furious controversy surrounding the interview and the allegations made within it, Gayle said she was ‘proud’ of Oprah (seen on Monday) for securing it 

‘That audience of that size is in the range of March Madness final game. In Britain, Oprah’s interview was watched by more than 11 million viewers, more than 54 per cent of homes. 

‘CBS said the special was the network’s largest live streaming event outside of the NFL and Super Bowl Sunday. 

‘Needless to say I’m talking about it because it was on CBS and I’m very proud we got it, I’m very proud of the job Oprah did, but I thought it was interesting that [it got] over 12 billion impressions on social media.’ 

Oprah appeared on CBS This Morning on Monday, hours after her interview aired on the network, to share more footage from the sit-down – including a clip of Meghan accusing her father, Thomas, of ‘betraying her’. 

In the newly released footage from the interview, Meghan said she has ‘found it hard to reconcile’ with her dad Thomas for insisting he had not been speaking to the media. 

She said: ‘I look at Archie, I think about this child, and I genuinely can’t imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child.’ 

Meghan drew a contrast with her mother Doria Ragland, who she praised for remaining ‘in silent dignity for four years’.

The clip also saw Meghan distance herself from her half-sister Samantha, who has released a ‘tell-all’ book about their relationship.

The Duchess retorted: ‘I think it would be very hard to tell all when you don’t know me.’

She said she grew up ‘an only child’ and even claimed Samantha only changed her surname back to Markle after Meghan struck up a romance with Harry.

Hitting back: Meghan's father Thomas Markle denied his daughter's claims that he had 'betrayed her' during an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday morning

Hitting back: Meghan's father Thomas Markle denied his daughter's claims that he had 'betrayed her' during an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday morning

Hitting back: Meghan’s father Thomas Markle denied his daughter’s claims that he had ‘betrayed her’ during an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday morning  

Backlash: Thomas (seen with his daughter) also branded his son-in-law Harry 'snotty' and accused him of failing to properly support her when she was suicidal

Backlash: Thomas (seen with his daughter) also branded his son-in-law Harry 'snotty' and accused him of failing to properly support her when she was suicidal

Backlash: Thomas (seen with his daughter) also branded his son-in-law Harry ‘snotty’ and accused him of failing to properly support her when she was suicidal

The tension between the Markles was addressed in unaired sections of the Sussexes CBS sit-down with Oprah, who probed about her relationship with Thomas.

Thomas was supposed to walk Meghan down the aisle in May 2018 but pulled out of the ceremony following health problems.

The two were also engaged in a row about him speaking to the press.

Oprah asked: ‘Did it feel like betrayal when you found that your father was working with the tabloids?’ 

After weighing up if she was ‘comfortable’ delving into the issue, Meghan said her father had assured he had ‘absolutely not’ spoken to the press.

She said: ‘If we’re going to use the word betrayal it’s because when I asked him, when we were told by the comms team this was a story that was going to be coming out which, by the way, the tabloids had apparently known for a month or so and decided to hold until the Sunday before our wedding because they wanted to create drama, which is also a key point in all this, they don’t report the news, they create the news.  

‘We called my dad, and I asked him, and he said no, absolutely not.

I said, you know, the institution has never intervened for anything for us, but they can try to go in and kill this story. But if they do this once, we’re not going to be able to use that same leverage to protect our kids one day.

She added: ‘I said we won’t be able to protect our own kids one day, and I said, I just need you to tell me. If you tell me the truth, we can

‘And he wasn’t able to do that. And that for me has really resonated, especially now as a mother.’

Meghan went on: ‘And also me saying just full stop, if we use this to protect you, we won’t be able to protect our own children one day, I’m talking about your grandchildren.

‘I look at Archie, I think about this child, and I go I genuinely can’t imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child. I can’t imagine it. So it’s hard for me to reconcile that.’

Fury: Meghan's half-sister Samantha slammed the Duchess' interview with Oprah on Monday night - and accused her of using her 'depression' as an 'excuse to treat people like dishrags'

Fury: Meghan's half-sister Samantha slammed the Duchess' interview with Oprah on Monday night - and accused her of using her 'depression' as an 'excuse to treat people like dishrags'

Fury: Meghan’s half-sister Samantha slammed the Duchess’ interview with Oprah on Monday night – and accused her of using her ‘depression’ as an ‘excuse to treat people like dishrags’ 

Evidence: She blasted her half-sister's claim that the two women haven't seen each other in 20 years, sharing an image of them at her college graduation in 2008 - 13 years ago

Evidence: She blasted her half-sister's claim that the two women haven't seen each other in 20 years, sharing an image of them at her college graduation in 2008 - 13 years ago

Evidence: She blasted her half-sister’s claim that the two women haven’t seen each other in 20 years, sharing an image of them at her college graduation in 2008 – 13 years ago 

Both Thomas and Samantha Markle fired back at Meghan’s claims in their own interviews – with both furiously blasting comments made by the Duchess during the follow-up clips.  

Samantha, 56, slammed Meghan’s bombshell interview, saying ‘the truth was totally ignored and omitted’ while providing photos and documents to disprove each of the Duchess of Sussex’s claims about her.

She also told Inside Edition that she has no sympathy for Meghan, who revealed during the shocking interview that she battled suicidal thoughts during her time as a royal – instead accusing the Duchess of using her ‘depression as an excuse for treating people like dishrags’. 

Thomas meanwhile denied his daughter’s claims to Oprah that he had ‘betrayed’ her before branding his son-in-law Harry ‘snotty’ and accusing him of failing to properly support her when she was suicidal. 

Markle says that he’s apologized ‘100 times’ for doing a deal with a paparazzi photographer before the Royal Wedding in 2018 and urged the couple to see him with Archie now they only live ’70 miles away’ from his Mexico home.

He said: ‘We all make mistakes – but I’ve never played naked pool or dressed like Hitler like Harry did.’

And in a further attack on Harry, Thomas said that his daughter’s admission she was suicidal while living in the UK reflected badly on his son-on-law.

He said: ‘It really did upset me, like I said, it would have been easy for her to reach out to me, any of the rest of her family, who she claims she doesn’t know. But the other thing is that I would think that she could turn to her husband.’ When noted she did speak to Harry, Thomas said Meghan’s husband Harry had ‘obviously not supported her that well’.

He than slammed his daughter’s decision to refuse to see or speak to him, saying: ‘The biggest problem here is she’s pretty much ghosted all of her family.’

Queen breaks silence on Harry and Meghan: Palace says ‘while some recollections may vary’ the ‘whole family is saddened’ to hear of couple’s ‘challenging few years’ – but allegations of racism will be addressed ‘privately’

The Queen has broken her silence on Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview to say that ‘while some recollections may vary’ the ‘whole family is saddened’ to hear of the couple’s ‘challenging few years’.

Her Majesty said in a statement an alleged racist comment made about what colour the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby Archie would be was ‘concerning’ and will be ‘addressed by the family privately’.

She added that Harry and Meghan – using their names rather than titles – and their son ‘will always be much loved family members’.

The statement said: ‘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.

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.’

It is understood the Queen waited until Tuesday to comment on the devastating interview with Oprah Winfrey so Britons had the chance to watch it first – but ‘the Firm’ is not expected to make any further comments.

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said her response assures Harry and Meghan and the public that the concerns raised in the interview will be addressed.

He told MailOnline: ‘It would always have been inappropriate to do a point by point rebuttal of claims which they made with which the Palace disagree. Since the interview reportedly runs to 3 hours, 20 minutes, it was very likely further extracts would be released which would obviously cause complications.

‘The Queen, part of whose life’s work has been to nurture the Commonwealth, a symbol of diversity, has rightly expressed concern about the issue of race being raised.

‘As has been widely reported, the views expressed on several issues by the Sussexes were highly questionable. The Queen’s use of the phrase ”while some recollections may vary” handles this with sensitivity.

‘We know from her Christmas messages how important the family is to the Queen. All families have their differences and difficulties and the strength of Harry and Meghan’s feeling that they had been badly treated was obvious.

‘The reference to Harry, Meghan and Archie as ”loved family members” is therefore highly appropriate.

‘They are assured that their concerns are taken very seriously and that the way to handle the issues they have raised is to do so privately, as a family.

‘This is a short statement which, in the Queen’s inimitable way, has a healing touch. Let us hope that, after yesterday’s shock interview, it begins a process where the royal family and the Sussexes, who are part of it, can realise their undoubtedly unique potential together and solve their differences away from the public gaze.’

Former Press Secretary to Her Majesty Charles Anson said her message was ‘edged with sadness’. He told Sky News: ‘I think these developments are difficult to deal with and and she wants to do it in a fair way but in the family circle rather than by public diplomacy.’

On whether the family can reconcile with the couple, he added: ‘I think the main point there has always been that the Queen has said whatever decision Prince Harry and Meghan take… Her Majesty and the Family wish them well.

‘And on the personal basis, they will be always much loved members of the family and will no doubt join in family occasions despite these troubles, which one hopes will be alleviated over time.’

It comes after senior royals broke cover today amid claims the palace was paralysed with fear that Harry and Meghan could reveal the figure accused of commenting on Archie’s skin colour.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were out and about visiting several vaccination centres as part of their official duties, while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were seen driving around London on personal errands.

A senior palace source earlier today claimed the delayed statement from the Queen was partly down to a lack of ‘trust’ between the Windsors and the Sussexes, with fears a denial without fully investigating the claims could lead to Harry and Meghan naming the person they accuse of making the comment.

The Duchess of Sussex’s allegation a senior royal asked Harry how ‘dark’ Archie’s skin would be and the claim the one-year-old was denied the title of prince because he is mixed-race – rather than because of protocol – are the most damaging to the royals.

‘A denial could lead the Sussexes breaking their vow and naming the member of the royal family who discussed their son’s skin colour. There is a lack of trust,’ an insider told the Evening Standard.

The source added: ‘It could lead to the Sussexes naming names and it blowing up again.’

Prince Charles smiled but stayed silent as he was quizzed about the interview on the first official engagement by a royal since it aired – as he told a nurse ‘I can imagine how exhausting it is’ as she described her work handing out vaccines.

The Prince of Wales – who is said to be ‘absolutely devastated’ at Harry’s claims he cut him off, put on a brave face as he spoke to medics, clerics and patients at Jesus House church near Brent Cross in London, following the deluge of personal attacks in front of a TV audience of 28million in the UK and US alone.

He was alone for that visit, although Camilla joined him later for trips to a vaccination centre in Elephant and Castle, south London, and the headquarters of NHS England.

One parishioner at Jesus House, who only gave her first name, Grace, highlighted that Charles had visited a ‘black church’, adding: ‘All that effort and someone turns around and says there’s racism, I don’t believe that’.

Harry – through back-stage comments to Oprah – has ruled out the Queen and Prince Philip as having made the comments about Archie but left other royals under suspicion.

Charles is said to be ‘deeply’ concerned over the racism claims, with a source saying: ‘It goes against everything the Prince of Wales believes in. He believes diversity is the strength of our society.’

This morning’s visit is understood to have been in the palace diary for some time, although the royals may have had a suspicion about what could be discussed in the Oprah interview in advance of it airing.

Charles seemed at ease as he chatted with people waiting for their vaccinations, including one woman who said she was from Nigeria.

The prince – who previously visited the church in 2007 – replied: ‘Oh fantastic, yes, I’ve been there. Lots of different ethnic groups. Do give them my kind regards next time you speak to them.’

As Charles left the church, a reporter asked, ‘Sir, what did you think of the interview?’, and after turning to see who had called out, he smiled and carried on walking.

In the Oprah interview, Charles was personally referenced by Prince Harry, who said he felt ‘really let down’ by his father after he allegedly refused to answer his calls during his time in Canada.

Harry also claimed his family had cut him off financially and suggested the Queen had been badly advised and had cancelled a meeting scheduled at Sandringham.

Discussing his father, Harry said: ‘I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like. I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.’

Royal insiders have rubbished the claims and said Charles feels ‘let down’ by his son’s comments.

‘The Prince of Wales went out of his way to make sure his son and daughter in law were financially supported,’ a senior source told the Standard.

Harry’s remarks raised eyebrows as the couple had themselves made clear their express wish to be ‘financially independent’ when announcing their decision to quit in January 2020.

Meanwhile, another source close to the heir to the throne told the Telegraph Charles will be left ‘absolutely devastated’ by what his youngest son had said about him.

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