Prince Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan Markle have made their first appearance since quitting the royal family and announcing their second child together.
The couple, who were last Friday stripped of their remaining royal titles and patronages, recorded a 20-second video to plug their Archewell Audio podcast at a Spotify live stream event broadcast today.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex last year announced they had secured a deal with the music streaming giant, thought to be worth up to £30million. It was commercial deals such as this that put the couple at odds with the impartiality required of those in public service and seemingly led to the permanent split with the Firm.
In the brief appearance, Meghan, 39, gushes that they are ‘using podcasting to drive powerful conversations’, before Harry, 36, chimes in ‘that inspire, challenge and educate’.
‘We created Archwell audio to make sure we can elevate voices that maybe aren’t being heard and hear people’s stories,’ Meghan, who was wearing a £2,645 Oscar de la Renta dress, continues.
Harry finishes: ‘And the biggest part of this is trying to create this community of where you can share, that will encourage everybody else to then share their own vulnerabilities in that safe space.’ It is unclear when the video was filmed.
It comes just hours after it emerged Harry and Meghan’s incendiary interview with their friend Oprah Winfrey may have to be re-edited or even partially re-shot due to the rift it has caused with the royal family and 99-year-old Prince Philip’s hospitalisation.
Prince Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan Markle have made their first appearance since announcing their second child together and permanently severing their ties with the royal family
Harry and Meghan appeared at the live streamed event alongside celebrities such as Bad Guy hitmaker Billie Eilish and Korean girl group Blackpink.
Meanwhile, podcasters including Jemele Hill, Connie Walker and Misha Euceph also discussed the role that podcasts play in sharing people’s stories with a wider audience.
Red carpet appearances from hit musicians including Jorja Smith and Lizzo were also featured in the Spotify event.
It comes as Harry and Meghan are said to be in shock because the Queen stripped them of their royal and sporting patronages after they ‘poured their hearts out’ to Ms Winfrey during a two-day shoot in their £11million LA mansion last week.
The tell-all interview is due to air on Sunday March 7 with no topics off-limits with one source warning Harry’s family the show would be a good ‘time to hide behind the sofa at the palace’.
Today it was announced the Queen will steal a march on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and beat them to the airwaves by addressing the nation on TV supported by Prince Charles and Prince William just hours before the Sussexes’ interview.
Her Majesty was due to attend the annual Commonwealth Service on March 8 – but this has been cancelled for the first time in nearly half a century due to Covid-19, Westminster Abbey announced this morning.
Instead the Queen has chosen to share her annual message 24 hours earlier for A Celebration For Commonwealth Day, in a speech pre-recorded at Windsor Castle and broadcast on BBC One on Sunday March 7.
This will be shown to millions a few hours before Harry and Meghan’s intimate interview with Oprah Winfrey is being screened in a 90-minute special on CBS at 8pm EST in the US – around 1am UK time on Monday.
And in a show of unity with the monarch, Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, will also take part in the show hosted by Anita Rani, sharing their royal perspectives on the importance of Britain’s Commonwealth links.
The couple (pictured), who were last week stripped of their remaining royal titles and patronages, recorded a video to plug their Archewell Audio podcast at a Spotify live stream event that was broadcast today
The clash between the Queen’s BBC statement and the Sussexes’ multi-million dollar CBS interview has extra significance because last year’s Commonwealth Service was when the couple bowed out as working royals, and when they were last seen in public with Harry’s grandmother, father and brother.
Meghan Markle is adopting a ‘UK royal style of pose while Prince Harry’s body language looks a lot more US’ in latest appearance, behavior expert claims
British body language expert Judi James told FEMAIL that the Duke of Sussex appeared to have a ‘US-style polish’ to his posing in the latest clip recorded for Spotify.
She said: ‘There appears to be a new US-style polish to Harry and Meghan’s posing and body language here, with a new emphasis on making Harry look like the more dominant alpha male while Meghan sits demurely beside him, gazing in admiration.
‘There is almost a switching of delivery styles from these two, with Meghan adopting a much more UK royal style of pose with her hands folded over one another on her lap as she sits close to her husband.
‘In earlier appearances it was often Harry squeezed down one end of the sofa while Meghan addressed the camera and led the conversations but here she seems to take a much softer role to create the impression that it is Harry who is the star turn.’
She added: ‘While Meghan adopts the demurely regal pose Harry’s body language looks a lot more US, with his wide hand gestures and his energetic delivery.
‘As a signal to their fans and public this body language seems to show Harry in the driving seat for the podcast, with Meghan using something more like the kind of fond eye-gazing that we used to see from supportive presidential wives.’
It is not yet known how or when UK viewers will see the full Oprah interview, with TV companies already locked in an international bidding war for the rights to the programme. ITV are understood to be in the driving seat in Britain with a UK deal expected in the coming days, although ViacomCBS are yet to comment.
Clips of the Oprah interview will be all over the international TV news and online media minutes after it is shown in America, but the full 90-minute show may not be broadcast in the UK until later in the week.
Meanwhile, there are claims in the US that CBS would like to re-shoot some of the interview – and a new edit of the existing footage – because of the row it has caused with the Queen and his brother Prince William back in Britain. His grandfather Prince Philip’s admission to hospital in London also happened after some or all of the interview was completed.
A source told the Mirror: ‘When the Duke and Duchess spoke, it was never envisaged they would have their patronages taken away. They didn’t see it coming and spoke as though they still had roles to play.
‘Now, however, other than their titles, they are to have no role in royal life – a point producers know was not discussed when Winfrey spoke to them. Neither the Sussexes nor the TV crew saw the fallout of their interview leading to this. Harry and Meghan thought they would retain their roles. But things have significantly changed for them since they eagerly sat for Winfrey and poured their hearts out.’
Prince William has been left ‘really sad and genuinely shocked’ by his brother’s behaviour towards the Queen after Harry and Meghan were cast out as working royals.
The Duke of Cambridge is said to be ‘very upset by what has happened’ and feels Harry has been ‘insulting and disrespectful’ to their grandmother. But he also refuses to call it a day with his brother, and hopes that focussing on ‘purely family matters’ with the Duke of Sussex, could help repair their rift.
An insider told The Daily Telegraph: ‘There is hope that they can all move forward now these loose ends have been tied up once and for all.
‘The [one year] review had been hanging over both sides for some time but now it has finally been resolved, it allows all parties to work on purely family matters.’
Harry’s grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, is still in a central London hospital today amid claims Prince Charles may have used his visit to ‘reassure him’ about the growing row with Prince Harry and his wife.
Royal author Penny Junor said: ‘Momentous things are happening in the family at the moment and I suppose it’s perfectly possible that Charles wanted to go and talk to his father and reassure him about Harry’. The hospital’s website states visitors will ‘only be considered in exceptional circumstances’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who now live in California after quitting as senior members of the Royal Family last year, announced they are expecting their second child on Valentine’s Day
The relationship between the two brothers was strained before Friday’s announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had been stripped of their remaining roles after their 12-month trial separation from royal life and move to the US.
How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle expanded their empire by signing lucrative ‘£30 million’ podcast deal with Spotify
Last year, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry signed a lucrative podcast deal with Spotify worth up to £30million as they took another big step towards building what experts believe could become a $1billion business empire in the US.
The couple agreed to produce and host their own shows as part of the newly formed Archewell Audio – which started with a ‘holiday special’ that featured their son, Archie.
Spotify has not revealed what the contract is worth, but the streaming service agreed a £75m ($100m) deal with US comedian Joe Rogan in May. The Mirror reported the Sussexes would be paid £30million – other sources put it closer to £20million.
The Sussexes’ agreement comes after the couple agreed a £100million partnership with Netflix.
A ‘well placed’ royal source told the Mirror: ‘The initial multi year deal is worth in excess of £30 million with a view to extending the deal within six months.
‘Meghan was the driving force behind the deal. She was incredible in the meetings with executives and had a clear vision of what they as a couple have to offer. Spotify’s whole business plan is to acquire the world’s most talked about celebrities in one place and Harry and Meghan fit the bill entirely. It’s a win win scenario.’
The couple then issued a sharp rebuke, declaring they would offer ‘continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role’.
They signed off: ‘We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.’
Sources close to the monarch told The Sunday Times that the riposte was ‘petulant and insulting to the Queen’. A source told the Mail: ‘Their statement in response to the Queen’s heartfelt sentiment that the couple are still muchloved members of her family was considered highly disrespectful.’
The source added: ‘At the end of the day this was all their [Harry and Meghan’s] decision.
‘They asked to explore an ‘alternate way’ but the only alternative is that you are either a public servant or you aren’t. She made her view clear from the start and hasn’t ever deviated from that.
‘People [in the household] would have liked a different outcome. Harry and Meghan clearly could have made a very positive contribution to public life in the UK. But from the start they made clear they were only ever interested in pursuing this quasi-royal role.
‘It seems Harry genuinely thought he could persuade Her Majesty of the merits of that. But she has always been clear on this point – you cannot pursue commercial interests while undertaking public duties. It is untenable.’
Another source suggested that there has been widespread exasperation at the ‘inflammatory’ statement and determination to ‘always have the last word’.
They said the Queen had no choice but to act as the situation ‘wasn’t fair’ on the charities and organisations that rely on royal patronage.
It remains to be seen whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will carry out any additional interviews with Miss Winfrey in light of Friday’s announcement.
The Queen was reportedly ‘blindsided’ by the interview, which will be shown on March 7.
Oprah Winfrey spent two days interviewing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Wednesday and Thursday before their parting shot at Buckingham Palace – and ‘gained a unique insight into the rift’, it was claimed last night.
Buckingham Palace announced in a dramatic statement that Harry and Meghan had been stripped of their remaining roles following their move to California. Minutes later, the apparently furious Sussexes issued a stinging rebuke to the Queen, insisting they would still ‘live a life of service’ despite her decision
Meanwhile, it emerged Harry and Meghan’s incendiary interview with their friend Oprah Winfrey (pictured) may have to be re-edited or even partially re-shot due to the rift it has caused with the royal family and 99-year-old Prince Philip’s hospitalisation
The prime-time discussion, which controversially ‘blindsided’ the Queen after her grandson chose not to inform her of the sit-down ‘tell all’, will make ‘pure gold’ when it airs next month, aides told the Sun.
The chat show host prepared for the interview at her home in Hawaii before flying into California, where she also owns a second property in Montecito a short drive from the couple, on her £50million private jet.
Oprah, who attended the Sussexes’ wedding and has been a firm supporter of their decision to leave Britain, was with the couple just hours before they released their statement, having filmed the discussion on Wednesday and Thursday.
The presenter only left Santa Barbara, where she travelled to with an entourage of assistants and her rescue cocker spaniel Sadie, later on Friday, as the fallout from Megxit went into overdrive.
Sources told the Sun how the friends looked relaxed, and not as if they were caught in the middle of a major royal drama.
Elsewhere, Prince William was left furious at Meghan and Harry’s ‘insulting, disrespectful and petulant’ parting shot at the Queen, it was claimed at the weekend
In stark contrast to the glamorous meeting, Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip, remains in hospital, and was visited by a teary-eyed Prince Charles.
The interview with Oprah is due to be aired on Sunday March 7, and a person close to the Sussexes told the Sunday Times last night that Meghan believes the prime-time broadcast gives her the ‘loudest way she’ll get her voice back’.
Another source told the Sun: ‘The pair are clearly very close to Oprah and the fact she’s been with them at such an intense time has given her a unique insight into the rift with the royals.
‘The drama of last week means that Oprah’s tell-all show will be pure gold. It’s time to hide behind the sofa for the other royals.’
Pictured: The statement from Buckingham Palace that The Sussexes had been stripped of their remaining roles
Minutes later, the apparently furious Sussexes issued a stinging rebuke to the Queen, insisting they would still ‘live a life of service’ outside the royal fold. They added: ‘Service is universal’