Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan would have postponed their Oprah Winfrey interview if “something had happened” to Prince Philip whilst he was in hospital.
The royal couple have been accused by some critics of being insensitive by airing their tell-all interview with Oprah this month whilst Harry’s grandfather was in hospital with an infection, as well as undergoing an operation for a pre-existing heart condition.
Philip, 99, was released from hospital this week and is now back at home, and Gayle King – who is a close friend of Meghan and Oprah – has now insisted the interview would not have aired if Philip’s condition had worsened.
Speaking on her SiriusXM radio show on Wednesday, Gayle said: “Well, just so you know, they had done that interview before Prince Phillip went into the hospital. If something, God forbid, had happened to him, the interview would not have run at this particular time. But the interview was done and was scheduled before he went into the hospital. But a lot of people have raised that point.”
The main portion of the interview with Oprah was filmed before the Duke of Edinburgh – who is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II – went into hospital in February.
Another portion of the interview took place at Harry and Meghan’s home where the couple tended to their chickens whilst chatting to Oprah, and during that section, Meghan revealed she had received a phone call that morning informing her of Philip’s hospitalisation.
The 39-year-old former actress – who has 22-month-old son Archie with Harry and is currently expecting a baby girl – then said she immediately phoned the Queen to make sure everything was okay.
She said: “This morning I woke up earlier than H and saw that there was a note from someone in our team in the UK saying the Duke of Edinburgh had gone to the hospital. I just picked up the phone and I called the Queen just to check in. I just called, that’s what we do.”
Among those criticising the couple for the timing of the interview was Piers Morgan, who recently quit ‘Good Morning Britain’ after his comments received thousands of complaints.
He had said: "I believe in freedom of speech, I believe in the right to have an opinion.
"If people want to believe Meghan Markle, that's entirely their right.
"I don't believe almost anything that's come out of her mouth.
"And I think the damage she's done to the British monarchy and to the Queen at a time when Prince Philip is lying in hospital is enormous and frankly contemptible.
"If I have to fall on my sword for expressing an honestly-held opinion about Meghan Markle and that diatribe of bilge that she came out with in that interview, so be it."