Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Oprah Interview Scores Huge Ratings

Meghan Markle and Oprah Winfrey (Credit: CBS)

Oprah Winfrey’s explosive interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took the Sunday night ratings crown.

An average of 17.1 million viewers watched Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special, according to Nielsen.

Those numbers made the special the most-watched show of the night, and the third most-watched broadcast of the year after the Super Bowl on CBS pulled in 96.4 million viewers, and 20.4 million viewers watched the premiere of The Equalizer, right after the big game.

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During Winfrey’s interview, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dropped a series of bombshells as they explained why they gave up life as senior members of the royal family.

Among their complaints, rampant racism in the royal family. Markle, who is biracial, said the palace voiced concerns about the skin tone of the couple’s unborn son. She told Winfrey unidentified members of the royal family initiated “conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”

The former Suits actress added that her life as a royal became so unbearable that she considered suicide.

“Look, I was really ashamed to have to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he’s suffered,” she stated. “But I knew that if I didn’t say that I would do it… I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought.”

Meanwhile, Harry admitted he felt “trapped” in the royal bubble before he married Meghan.

“I was trapped within the system, like the rest of my family are,” he explained. “My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave, and I have huge compassion for that.”

CBS paid Winfrey’s Harpo Productions a reported $7 million for the rights to air the program. During the broadcast, Winfrey said the royal couple was not paid any money for the interview.