EXCLUSIVE: A royal expert believes there is a good reason Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did not bring up Prince Andrew during their bombshell reveal with Oprah Winfrey.
On March 7, CBS broadcast a two-hour session the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had with the media mogul, 67.
When the network first announced the special on February 15, it revealed that nothing would be off limits during the high-profile interview. However, Winfrey never asked the couple about the Duke of York, 61.
“I assumed you could tell it was irrelevant,” royal author Anna Pasternak told Fox News. “It could also be out of loyalty and respect for his daughter, Princess Eugenie, who is close to Harry and Meghan. And if that’s the reason, I think it’s quite charming because I think Eugenie has been a very good friend to both of them. their. ”
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“We believe that [Eugenie] is probably the only member of the royal family who is closest to them and who has stayed in touch, “Pasternak continued.” We don’t know the reason, but one can only suspect that perhaps out of respect for her , They did not do it. I want to go to his father. ”
In the interview, Markle, 39, confirmed that she and Eugenie, 31, knew each other before the former American actress met Harry, 36.
New York prosecutors have wanted to speak to Andrew for several months in connection with their allegations, made by several women, that some staff at Jeffrey Epstein and his girlfriend helped him recruit underage sex partners.
One of those women, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, also claims that Epstein arranged for her to have sex with several wealthy or notable men, including Andrew.
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Giuffre, 37, said she had sex with the prince three times – in London and at Epstein’s mansion in New York City when she was 17 and in the US Virgin Islands when she was around 18.
Pasternak previously wrote about the other American divorcee who married a royal for a book called “The Real Wallis Simpson”. The British writer has reunited with Simpson’s last circle of close friends who wanted to set the record straight.
Pasternak is aware that some critics believe Andrew did not face the same media backlash as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after the couple spoke out.
” I think [those people] have a very short memory if they think that because Andrew gave his own interview and the reaction against him was intense, ”she said.
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In November 2019, Andrew gave a disastrous interview to BBC Newsnight where the ousted royal claimed he had “no recollection” of ever meeting Giuffre.
Andrew also claimed he regretted not severing ties with Epstein after the financier pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida under an agreement that required him to serve 13 months. prison and register as a sex offender.
Andrew saw Epstein after he was released from Florida.
Following the interview, which was widely criticized by critics, Prince Charles’ younger brother announced he was stepping down from public office for the foreseeable future.
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While Andrew insisted he “would assist any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if necessary,” investigators in New York said he had yet to speak to them about his friendship with Epstein.
Andrew’s lawyers then blamed the US Department of Justice, saying the prince offered three times to give information to investigators, but on condition that his statements be confidential.
The Manhattan American attorney retorted that Andrew’s attorneys were misleading the public about his willingness to cooperate.
A rep for Andrew told Fox News they have no comment.
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“I am concerned that we simply cannot comment on the legal process, as any communication would be covered by DOJ’s own privacy rules, which we have always followed,” the spokesperson added.
A DOJ representative told Fox News they have no comment at this time. Lawyers for Giuffre did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
“What really surprised me about the interview with Meghan and Harry is that traditionally TV interviews have not gone well for members of the royal family,” Pasternak said. “We saw it with Prince Charles and Dimbleby [in 1994] then Andrew with Newsnight. ”
“With Diana and Panorama, she was specifically criticizing Charles, but she wasn’t really going to fight for the monarchy, the institution her children were born into,” she explained. “So it was no surprise that Meghan and Harry faced a massive backlash during parts of their interview. ”
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During the televised session, the Duke of Sussex revealed that his relationship with his father Charles, 72, and older brother Prince William, 38, had broken down.
Markle described feeling so isolated and miserable within the royal family that she had thoughts of suicide. The Duchess of Sussex also alleged that a member of the royal family had ‘concerns’ about the color of her unborn child’s skin.
The family member was not Queen Elizabeth II, 94, or Prince Philip, 99, according to Harry, sparking a wave of speculation about who it could be.
Harry also told Winfrey that the Royal Family cut him off financially in early 2020 after announcing his intention to step down from his roles. But he was able to ensure the safety of his family thanks to the money left by his late mother.
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After Harry and Markle’s wedding in May 2018 at Windsor Castle, the royal family appeared to welcome the Duchess of Sussex, a former glamorous TV star. The couple were seen as a new and young face to the monarchy of an increasingly multicultural nation.
It didn’t take long for the fairy tale to unfold.
The couple stepped down from royal duties last year and eventually settled in California, claiming they wanted to escape racist coverage and unwanted intrusions into their privacy by the British media.
During the interview, the Duke and Duchess said they were expecting a girl this summer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.