Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to Discuss Leaving Royal Family in Oprah Winfrey Interview, Royal Expert Says

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are ready to tell their side of the story when it comes to their shocking decision to step down as senior members of the royal family, royal expert Katie Nicholl tells ET.

ET spoke to Nicholl on Tuesday, after 39-year-old Meghan and 36-year-old Harry shared that they're expecting their second child together and after it was announced that they would be sitting down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey. According to Nicholl, the couple will indeed discuss leaving the royal family, as well as her difficult relationship with her father, Thomas Markle.

"We're told this is going to be a wide-ranging interview and that nothing is off limits," Nicholl tells ET of Meghan and Harry's first sit-down interview since their engagement in November 2017. "We're told Megan will discuss motherhood, her philanthropy work, what it was like marrying into the royal family and inevitably, they're going to be talking about what it was like to leave the royal family. I'm sure we're going to see her discuss in some detail at least her relationship with her father."

"Of course, the couple will talk about what they're going to do next, and I think there's very much a desire to talk about the future, but also to reflect on some of the past and let's not forget, this is really the first opportunity the couple have had to put their side of the story across," she continues. "Their side of the story has been put forth by many other voices, but not theirs -- this, I’m told, is their moment to tell the truth in their own words."

Nicholl says that since the couple is no longer working under the royal family, they aren't obliged to run anything past the Palace and have their own team of professional advisers. Still, according to the royal expert, they are still keeping Harry's family in mind, particularly, Queen Elizabeth.

"The couple really want this to be an interview in which they can sit down and tell their side of the story," Nicholl says. "This is their first opportunity to sit down and talk about the past year in their own words. I'm told the intention is not to hurt or upset anyone in the royal family. They want to be respectful, particularly to the queen, and don't forget this interview will come a few weeks before the queen's 95th birthday and just before the 100th birthday celebrations for Prince Philip."

"Of course, until the interview airs, we don't know how it's going to be received by the royal family, but I think the fact that they are doing this interview ... yes, it will send alarm bells ringing at the Palace," she adds. "Historically, the sit-down interviews that the royals have given have only ever backfired. Of course, Meghan and Harry will be hoping that this is a success for them but there is a lot of talk that now that we are coming up to that year anniversary of them leaving Britain, that final severance of the divorce is going to take place. There is speculation that Harry and Meghan will lose their official royal patronages as they embark on a completely independent life of the royal family."
 
As for why they chose Winfrey to do the sit-down, she says that the media mogul -- who attended their 2018 royal wedding at Windsor Castle -- was always the front-runner. The highly anticipated CBS special, Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special, will air on March 7.

"She is a close friend of theirs and neighbor, she's gotten to know the couple and Megan's mother, Doria, very well over the last few years and she has really become a part of the Sussexes' inner sanctum, someone who they trust," Nicholl says. "She is someone in their inner circle, and clearly Meghan and Harry both feel comfortable about sitting down with Oprah on this no-holds-barred interview."

On Tuesday, Winfrey's best friend, Gayle King, commented on the upcoming 90-minute special.

"I know she's been working on the questions all weekend long," she said of Winfrey on CBS This Morning. "I'm told nothing is off limits, nothing is off limits. She can ask anything she wants."

Meanwhile, for more on Meghan and Harry's exciting pregnancy news, and the subtle way they paid tribute to his mother, the late Princess Diana, watch the video below.

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