On March 7, CBS aired a two-hour sit-down that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did with the media mogul, 67. It was the couple’s first major television interview since quitting royal duties and buying a home last year in the U.S.
When the network first announced the special on Feb. 15, it revealed that nothing would be off-limits during the wide-ranging interview. However, Winfrey never asked the couple about the Duke of York, 61.
“I supposed it could be said that he wasn’t relevant,” 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 both Harry and Meghan. And if that’s the reason, I think that’s rather charming because I think Eugenie has been a very good friend to both of them.”
“It’s believed that [Eugenie] is probably the only member of the royal family who is the closest to them and has kept in touch,” Pasternak continued. “We don’t know the reason, but one can only suspect that maybe out of respect for her, they didn’t want to go into her father.”
In the interview, Markle, 39, confirmed that she and Eugenie, 31, knew each other before the former American actress met Harry, 36.
Prosecutors in New York have wanted to speak with Andrew for several months as part of their allegations, made by several women, that some of Jeffrey Epstein’s staff and his girlfriend helped recruit him underage sex partners.
One of those women, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, also claims Epstein arranged for her to have sex with several rich or notable men, including Andrew.
Giuffre, 37, said she had sex with the prince three times – in London and at Epstein’s New York mansion when she was 17 and in the U.S. Virgin Islands when she was about 18.
Pasternak has previously written about the other American divorcee who married a royal for a book titled “The Real Wallis Simpson.” The British writer tracked down Simpson’s last remaining circle of intimate friends who wanted to set the record straight.
Pasternak is aware that some critics believe Andrew hasn’t faced 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 backlash against him was intense,” she said. “He’s become a sort of a royal pariah, a non-person.”
In November 2019, Andrew gave a disastrous interview to BBC Newsnight where the fallen royal alleged he had “no recollection” of ever meeting Giuffre.
Andrew also claimed he regrets not cutting ties with Epstein after the financier pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida under a deal that required him to serve 13 months in jail and register as a sex offender.
Andrew saw Epstein after his release from custody in Florida.
Following the interview, which was widely panned by critics, the younger brother of Prince Charles announced he was stepping back from his public duties for the foreseeable future.
While Andrew insisted he would “help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required,” New York investigators said he has yet to speak with them about his friendship with Epstein.
Andrew’s lawyers then blamed the U.S. Department of Justice, saying the prince had offered three times to give information to investigators, though on a condition that his statements be confidential.
The U.S. attorney in Manhattan countered that Andrew’s lawyers were misleading the public about his willingness to cooperate.
A rep for Andrew told Fox News they had no comment.
“I’m afraid we simply cannot comment on the legal process as any communications would be covered by the DOJ’s own confidentiality rules, which we have always observed,” the spokesperson added.
A rep for DOJ told Fox News they had no comment at this time. Attorneys for Giuffre didn’t immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
“What really surprised me about Meghan and Harry’s interview is that traditionally, televised interviews haven’t gone well for members of the royal family,” said Pasternak. “We saw it with Prince Charles and Dimbleby [in 1994] and then Andrew with Newsnight.”
“With Diana and Panorama, she was specifically criticizing Charles, but she wasn’t really going all guns out for the monarchy, the institution her children was born into,” she shared. “So it wasn’t surprising that Meghan and Harry did face a massive backlash for parts of their interview.”
Markle 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.
Harry also 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.
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.
It didn’t take long for the fairy tale to unravel.
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.