MEGHAN plotted her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey three years ago — in the weeks before she married Harry.
The Duchess, 39, first wanted to speak when the chat queen rang in 2018.
In a new trailer for tomorrow’s show, Oprah reveals: “You said sorry it’s not the right time.”
Meghan had another dig at “The Firm” by claiming that Palace aides stopped her being interviewed by Oprah before the Royal Wedding.
In the 60-second teaser clip — the longest so far — Oprah Winfrey recalls how she called Meghan in London in “either February or March 2018”.
Meghan, 39 — seen sitting alone without husband Prince Harry, 36 — responds: “Well, I remember that conversation very well.
“I wasn’t even allowed to have that conversation with you personally, right. There had to be people from the camp sitting there.”
The two had met face to face for the first time at Kensington Palace several weeks after Oprah made her request for an interview.
The US TV legend, 67, was then a surprise guest at Meghan and Harry’s £30million wedding in May 2018.
Last night Buckingham Palace refused to comment, but aides insisted that Meghan had not been blocked.
A senior source said: “The Duchess was not stopped from doing anything.
“But it is not exactly a surprise there would be misgivings about a new senior member of the Royal Family holding a celebrity interview on US television just weeks before a wedding.”
Meghan — who claims she had been “silenced” during her time as a working royal — tells Oprah members of the Royal Household were listening in to a phone call between the pair as they tried to arrange an interview.
Oprah says: “You turned me down nicely and said perhaps there will be another time, when there’s the right time. What is right about this time?”
Meghan responds: Umm . . . well, so many things. That we’re on the other side of a lot of . . . a lot of life experience that’s happened.
‘I COULDN'T HAVE SAID ‘YES’. IT WASN'T MY CHOICE TO MAKE’
“And also that we have the ability to make our own choices in a way that I couldn’t have said ‘yes’ to you then. That wasn’t my choice to make.
“So, as an adult who lived a really independent life to then go into this construct that’s umm . . . different than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say ‘yes’.”
Meghan, who is pregnant with her second child with Harry, adds: “I’m ready to talk. To be able to just make a choice on your own. And just be able to speak for yourself.”
Meghan claims that quitting royal duty is “liberating” and it was good to speak to Oprah — a chat which will be beamed to 68 countries worldwide.
The Duchess revealed the plot three years after Oprah and broadcaster CBS denied they had been discussing an interview with her.
Asked about it in June 2018, Oprah publicly denied it was on the cards.
She added: “I sure would like it to be true. Who doesn’t want to talk to Harry and Meghan.”
Yesterday royal watchers said Meghan had been “staggeringly naive” to think she could conduct an interview before her wedding.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said: “It beggars belief that she would enter the Royal Family having absolutely no idea at all as to what this appeared to entail.
“I really can’t believe she was so staggeringly naive to believe it would be possible to do an interview with Oprah as though she were a big Hollywood star. You wonder what she thought the Royal Family was.
“She wants the audience to think she was in a cage. But there are certain things you can and certain things you can’t do as a royal.”
Buckingham Palace has launched an investigation into claims that Meghan bullied royal staff — leaving one in tears and forcing others to quit.
'MEGHAN SAID SHE WAS SINGLED OUT FROM DAY ONE'
But a friend of Meghan said: “These outrageous allegations confirm why she and Harry had to part ways and make it their mission to be a voice for the underdog.
“She said it’s a double standard and not in a million years would Kate ever be treated this way. Meghan said she was singled out from day one.”
Meanwhile, the former actress’s Hollywood pals leapt to her defence.
TV producer Lindsay Roth – one of Meghan’s oldest mates, who she met at university — said “goodwill runs in her bones” in a lengthy Instagram post about the Duchess.
Author Ms Roth, who chose Meg as her Maid of Honour, gushed: “If she’s driving with you in the passenger seat, she will fling her right arm in front of you at the slightest bump in a gesture of love to ensure your safety.
“If you ever have the pleasure of meeting Meg — and I hope more of you do — you will see the altruistic, magnanimous friend who I am so lucky to have in my corner.
“She was this woman when we were students together at Northwestern University; she was this woman in Los Angeles when her days were spent auditioning.
“She was this woman after you knew she was dating Harry; she was this woman when she became Duchess of Sussex and she is still – without a doubt – this very same woman today.”
Actress Janina Gavankar added: “I have known Meghan for 17 years. Here’s what she is: kind, strong, open. Here’s what she’s not: ‘a bully’.”
Jon Cowan, an exec producer on Meghan’s former show Suits called her a “warm, kind, caring person”, tweeting: “It’s also possible the Duchess of Sussex is a good person thrust into an unimaginable world.”
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, said: “No senior working member of the Royal Family would ever be allowed to do a personal interview with Oprah. Definitely not. Doesn’t matter who they are.
“The policy is simply never complain and never explain.
“It is very undignified to bare your soul to a complete stranger in front of a television camera when a working senior member.
“Senior working royals do interviews for news channels and about their projects, what they are doing and their charities. But not like this. Not speaking about themselves to Oprah, who will ask personal questions.
“The only one who has was Fergie and, of course, she wasn’t a member of the Royal Family at the time”
- Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey is to be screened in the US at 1am UK time on Monday and in the UK that night on ITV at 9pm.
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