Sophie Wessex is with the Queen ‘more and more’ says insider
In a recent interview, Sophie and Edward joked by claiming “Oprah who?”, when asked whether they had sat down and watched the Sussexes’ CBS chat with Oprah in March.
Sophie then added: “Yes, what interview?”
This was followed up when Sophie then admitted there was “no reason to know who” the US chat show legend was, despite the 56-year-old actually visiting the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in 2013.
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Sophie, Countess of Wessex with Prince Edward during the pandemic
She visited the course and its students in Meyerton, South Africa, as part of a week-long visit to the country with her husband Edward as part of the Earl of Wessex’s work with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation and South African President’s Award for Youth Empowerment Trust.
Sophie’s remark came up after the couple were quizzed about a moment when Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, had a long conservation with Oprah – but was unaware of who she was during their chat.
Speaking to the Telegraph, Sophie defended the Archbishop, adding: “You know, if you’re not into chat shows, there’s no reason why you should know who she is.
“Certainly not in this country, anyway.”
Sophie, Countess of Wessex at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls
Some on Twitter criticised Sophie for appearing to comment about whether people would know who Oprah actually is, after the photo of the countess in South Africa emerged.
One wrote: “Wow just a while I read something where she claimed she didn’t know Oprah, well, well, well this is very interesting.”
A second said: “Now who did she think this Oprah Winfrey was that’s has a school named after her? She wasn’t the least bit curious?”
While a third concluded: “I’m disappointed in you Sophie. It would have been more prudent to just say nothing.”
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Sophie, Countess of Wessex in South Africa
During the same interview, Sophie discussed Harry’s return to the UK earlier this year after he and Meghan quit the Firm last year.
Harry had come back following the sad passing of his grandfather, and royal stalwart, Prince Philip, so he could attend the funeral.
At the time there was speculation that Harry and William had been embroiled in an ongoing feud, particularly after Harry’s remarks in the Oprah discussion.
Reflecting on Harry’s appearance, Sophie said it was “nice” to see the Duke of Sussex and the pair had a “lengthy chat” upon his return.
Oprah Winfrey at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding
But attention has again turned to the fallout of the Oprah interview, and tensions deepened after details of a call between Harry and William emerged following its release.
After his interview, William reportedly spoke with Harry, but Oprah’s close friend Gayle King alleged the conversations were not productive.
This led a source close to William to confess that the future monarch was worried “that anything he says to his brother will be plastered over American TV”.
It is unclear when the supposed row between the dukes began, but historian Robert Lacey argued it was down to Charles to heal the wound, something he is expected to do today.
Royal Family tree
Speaking last year, Mr Lacey told US Weekly that Charles was the “obvious person to create or encourage their reconciliation”.
He continued: “He hasn’t come into the picture as we know so far…[but] that is one possible channel for reconciliation.
“I’d rather hope that behind the scenes, Charles is at work mending the fences [and] building the bridges.”
Mr Lacey argued that the siblings’ relationship is nearly beyond repair, and wrote in the 2020 book Battle of Brothers: “Both brothers have been damaged by their upbringings; both have reacted by finding different solutions.
“There is so much pain and trauma in this story, going right back to the beginning.”
He added that if the two can’t reunite it will become a “potential tragedy” for Harry and William, adding: “This compares with Edward VIII’s abdication in 1936 and the death of Princess Diana in 1997.
“It’s of that scale. And it’s a challenge that’s yet to be resolved.”