Prince William Was Unable to Eat, Went Into Hiding for a Week in the Lead Up to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Oprah Interview

“He was just in bits, basically.”

Prince William closeup
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince William was apparently so spun up over the thought of what his younger brother Prince Harry and sister-in-law Meghan Markle might say in their sit-down with Oprah Winfrey that he couldn’t eat for a week prior to the interview airing, The Mirror reports.

William was physically sick with worry in the days leading up to the bombshell interview in March 2021, said Charlotte Griffiths, editor-at-large for The Mail on Sunday

Prince William looking to the side

(Image credit: Getty)

“What I find quite surprising, and I’ve heard this for a long time now from many different sources, is that in the lead up to that Oprah interview, William was quite literally sick with worry,” she said on Dan Wootton’s GB News show. “He was not eating, and he became, not reclusive, but he definitely was hiding away. He went to a royal residence for a period of time to cut himself off from the world. He was just in bits, basically.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on a red carpet

(Image credit: Getty)

Harry and Meghan, among other revelations, shared with Winfrey that a member of the royal family inquired about a not-yet-born Prince Archie’s possible skin tone; Meghan also revealed that she had suicidal thoughts while a working member of the royal family. Following the interview, the Palace released a statement two days later that included the now-iconic line “recollections may vary”; Marie Claire reported recently that Princess Kate in particular staunchly fought for that strongly-worded line to be included. The Mirror reports that it was William who coined the statement, but Kate that pushed that it be used in the final draft.

Kate Middleton in a pink suit

(Image credit: Getty)

“And what Kate was doing was standing by her man,” Griffiths said. “Kate was like, ‘I’ve got to stick up for this guy and protect him. He’s being destroyed by this,’ and that probably made her quite steely even though she has this reputation for being shy. But when it comes to protecting her husband, she’s going to step in and protect him.”

Since the Oprah interview, the Sussexes have continued to speak out in various interviews, in their six-part Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, and in Harry’s memoir, Spare, which takes aim at William in particular. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.