It feels like things can’t get any worse between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry and the rest of the royal family across the pond — but according to Omid Scobie, co-author of royal bio Finding Freedom with Carolyn Durand, the media war between the Sussexes and the Firm is just beginning. The recent Times report on claims that Meghan had bullied staff fits right into the Palace’s playbook, Scobie confirms to SheKnows exclusively, and he doesn’t expect that to be the end of Meghan’s media woes up until her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey airs.
Asked how the royal family might retaliate against Harry and Meghan for sharing sensitive information, Scobie explained to SheKnows that it’s not in the Firm’s nature to respond to specific stories — but rather to try and protect themselves before anything can come out.
“We’re seeing that playbook in motion now,” Scobie says of negative media about Meghan. “I think the one thing that palace or the institution is famous for is trying to get ahead of the story. Despite the “never complain, never explain” policy, we’re seeing a lot of complaining and a lot of explaining at the moment without actually knowing any of the details of what’s in this interview. And last night’s coverage in the Times is very much an example of that.”
We're on the edge of our seats in anticipation of watching the Oprah interview with Prince Harry & Meghan Markle. https://t.co/Q5fbOxNjHO
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) March 2, 2021
Scobie describes facing similar negative media in the weeks and months leading up to the publication of Finding Freedom, a bio many in the Palace feared would shed negative light on the royals due to its reported pro-Meghan message.
“The palace was already fighting against it, expecting the absolute worst,” he says, adding with regard to Meghan: “I think we’ll see more of that throughout the week.”
In other words, yes, it’s largely believed that the royal family (or royal institution, a distinction Scobie also stresses making) is to some extent behind the release of negative news articles about Meghan in the days leading up to this interview’s release. And yes, it’s because they’re frightened by the magnitude of Oprah’s power.
“It is an institution that is constantly on the defense and ready to protect itself and prove itself at times like these,” Scobie describes. “When you have Harry and Meghan speaking negatively of it in front of Oprah, in front of — I’m going to guess — at least 20 million Americans, that could have a huge catastrophic effects on the future of the firm and its image around the world.”
With friends like Oprah, it’s no wonder that Meghan is standing tall.
Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.
Click here to see Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s complete relationship timeline.