The Countess of Wessex said she had a ‘lengthy’ conversation with Prince Harry after Philip’s funeral as she and husband Prince Edward touched on the fallout of Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview
Sophie Wessex says the Royals are ‘still a family, no matter what happens’ in an apparent reference to the fallout created by Megxit and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s controversial Oprah Interview.
She and husband Prince Edward also said taking on a more prominent role in the new slimmed-down monarchy after Harry and Meghan’s abrupt departure was “flattering”.
The Countess of Wessex also said she had a “lengthy chat” with Harry after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April, in an interview with the Telegraph magazine.
It was the first time Harry had been in the UK since stepping down as a senior working royal for a new life of personal and financial freedom in the US with Meghan and their son Archie.
His trip in honour of Philip also came just weeks after the Sussexes explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they accused the royal family of racism and the institution of failing to support the suicidal duchess.
In the Wessexes first public comments since the funeral, Sophie said: “We are still a family no matter what happens, we always will be.”
Edward said “Oprah who?” with a smile and Sophie said “yes, what interview” when asked about the bombshell chat Meghan and Harry had with the US chat show host.
Reflecting on their more prominent role in the monarchy, she said: “We’ve plodded along doing what we’re doing, hopefully doing it well. And then all of a sudden there’s a bit of a hiatus and things have changed a bit.
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“Naturally, the media are looking for people to fill the so-called void.”
She added: “If people want to pay more attention to what we’re doing, then great.”
She said her children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, “still keep expecting to see grandpa arrive in his green Land Rover” as the couple pledged to continue Philip’s work through the Duke of Edinburgh award.
The couple said the Queen had been “keeping busy” since her husband’s death, with Edward telling the magazine: “The job is not something you can walk away from, it just carries on relentlessly.”
Sophie also said, in reference to the masked Queen sitting on her own at Philip’s funeral: “To see Her Majesty on her own; it was very poignant.”
The Wessexes’ comments come after a tumultuous period for the Royals, sparked by Meghan and Harry stepped back as royals in January last year and subsequently relocated to California with son Archie.
Meghan is heavily pregnant with a baby girl and is thought to be due to give birth any day now.
In the Oprah interview, the couple said an unnamed member of the family had made remarks speculating what colour Archie’s skin would be.
They also said Meghan had suffered suicidal thoughts but not been offered mental health support.
The Oprah interview aired with Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather Philip unwell in hospital, and he died just weeks later after returning home to Windsor Castle.
Harry confirmed a rift with brother William although the pair were filmed chatting after Philip’s funeral in April, with Kate Middleton lauded as a peacemaker after she stepped back and allowed them to talk.
But Harry’s troubled relations with father Charles, which he addressed in the Oprah interview, have come to the fore since then.
He recently spoken of his “genetic pain”, saying his father Charles had “passed on the suffering” of his own upbringing in an indirect criticism of the Queen.
He compared his life to a “mixture between The Truman Show and being in a zoo” and vowed not to pass on the same pain to his children.
He has also appeared in a series of shows discussing mental health with Oprah Winfrey, called The Me You Can’t See on Apple TV+, alongside a host of other celebrities.