On March 7, CBS aired a two-hour tell-all that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle gave to the media mogul, 67. During the televised sit-down, Harry, 36, revealed that his relationships with his father Prince Charles and his older brother Prince William have ruptured.
Markle, 39, described feeling so isolated and miserable inside the royal family that she had suicidal thoughts. The Duchess of Sussex also alleged that a member of the royal family had “concerns” about the color of her unborn child’s skin.
Still, Bullen believes the palace will “carry on.”
“The monarchy can survive this interview without a doubt,” Bullen told Fox News. “There is not an inkling within me that would suggest that anything but survival is possible for them. Look, this is bad. This is shocking. This is awful. And it’s really sad. But the queen has been incredible in navigating these great personal and public disasters faced by the family.”
Bullen is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV. The award-winning documentarian has been making programs about the royal family for nearly 20 years and has worked closely with Charles, 72, for eight.
Thirty-six hours after the couple’s allegations aired, Buckingham Palace released a public statement. However, it failed to quiet the controversy and some observers have criticized the royal family for not forcefully condemning racism and suggesting the couple’s version of events may not be accurate.
“Too little, too late” was the verdict of royal commentator Peter Hunt, who also criticized the palace’s 61-word statement for saying the issue would be dealt with privately as a family matter.
“This delayed, tame statement went for predictability when unpredictability — stepping out of the Windsor comfort zone — was what was needed,” Hunt wrote on the website of the influential British magazine The Spectator.
The statement was issued on behalf of the queen, 94. It came after mounting public pressure.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the palace said. “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
The comments were the palace’s first words since the interview rocked the royal family — and touched off conversations around the world about racism, mental health and even the relationship between Britain and its former colonies.
Bullen said this isn’t the first time that the queen has dealt with such a global scandal.
“When Princess Diana died, there were stories flying around insisting that the royal family had her killed,” he explained. “There was this feeling of rioting on the streets. People were publicly against the royal family and in support of Diana. But the queen calmed the waters with her speech the night before the funeral and things moved on.”
“But even in the last hundred years, the family has always survived after facing any kind of crisis thrown at them,” he continued. “This is just another crisis they will have to go through.”
Shortly after the interview, William defended the monarchy by saying that they are “very much not a racist family.” The 38-year-old’s comments were made during a visit to an East London School.
The Duke of Cambridge, who is second in line to the throne after Charles, said he hadn’t yet spoken to Harry in the aftermath of the interview.
“But I will do,” he noted.
Two days after the tell-all, Charles stepped out to visit a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in London. The Prince of Wales was asked for his reaction to the shocking conversation by reporters but remained silent.
A rep for Charles didn’t immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Bullen said he has no doubt that the comments made by Harry and Markle hurt the family.
“What I think is awful about this is that it comes from deep within the family,” he said. “When Diana gave her own shocking interview it was, to a certain extent, outside the family. But this disaster was made within the family.”
Still, Bullen noted that Harry and William are expected to stand “shoulder to shoulder” at a memorial they commissioned for their late mother this summer. And so far, it’s still on.
“They would both want to honor her and both have committed to doing so,” said Bullen. “And the plan is still on. What happens now is anybody’s guess, but I would imagine that they will be together on the first of July.”
Representatives for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had no comment when reached by Fox News.
Harry told Winfrey the royal family cut him off financially at the start of 2020 after announcing plans to step back from his roles. But he was able to afford security for his family because of the money his late mother left behind.
He said his relationship with Charles has been impacted. He even noted that the patriarch stopped taking his phone calls.
“There is a lot to work through there,” Harry said about his relationship with his father. “I feel really let down. He’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like. And Archie is his grandson. I will always love him, but there is a lot of hurt that has happened.”
Harry also acknowledged that he does not have a close relationship presently with his brother William. He disputed rumors that he intentionally blindsided the queen with his decision to split. He suspected the rumors came from the institution.
“I’ve never blindsided my grandmother,” Harry said. “I have too much respect for her.”
The interview has been viewed by nearly 50 million people worldwide.
After Harry and Markle married in May 2018 at Windsor Castle, the royal family seemed to welcome the Duchess of Sussex, a glamorous former TV star. The pair were seen as providing a fresh young face for the monarchy of an increasingly multicultural nation.
The couple stepped away from royal duties last year and eventually settled in California, saying they wanted to escape racist coverage and unwanted intrusions on their privacy by the British media.
During the interview, the duke and duchess shared they are expecting a girl due this summer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.