Phillip Schofield quickly stood up for his co-host during a conversation on This Morning about Prince Harry’s latest interview on US television. The Duke of Sussex sat down with Hoda Kotb on NBC’s Today show where he spoke about his recent visit to the Queen.
Harry and wife Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, made a private visit to see the monarch and met with the Prince of Wales in Windsor last Thursday (April 14), having flown in from their home in the US before travelling on to The Hague in the Netherlands where the Invictus Games are being held.
Speaking about his meeting with the Queen, the 37-year-old prince, who stepped away from working royal duties in 2020, said: “Being with her it was great, it was just so nice to see her, she’s on great form. She’s always got a great sense of humour with me and I’m just making sure that she’s protected and got the right people around her. Both Meghan and I had tea with her, so it was really nice to catch up with her.”
The talk of his visit to the Queen comes days ahead of the monarch’s 96th birthday on Thursday (April 21) and just over a year after the funeral of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh and his interview has once again hit the headlines and caused debate.
His interview was discussed by Phillip and co-host Holly Willoughby on Wednesday’s This Morning, when they were joined by guests Tom Swarbrick and Camilla Tominey in the show’s ITV studio.
After taking a look at a clip of his chat, Holly, 41, commented: “So he says there that ‘I hope she’s protected and got the right people around her’, suggesting that the people she has around her at the moment aren’t protecting her? What does that mean?”
Camilla, who reports on the royal family as an associate editor of The Daily Telegraph, said that it is a “weird one” but added: “Who is he meaning? Does he mean her closest aide who is Angela Kelly, who we know the couple had a row with in the run-up to the royal wedding because there was a disagreement over whether a tiara could be produced at the right moment for Meghan’s hairdresser?
“Does he mean Prince Charles and Prince William and the rest of his family and that he’s suggesting she hasn’t got the right people around her?”
Phillip, 60, then responded: “The thing is – I don’t know this lady who did the interview, but she didn’t ask the question that we’re all asking. She immediately laughed it off and went into the next thing about ‘you make her laugh’. What she didn’t ask was, ‘What do you mean by this?'”
He added: “If you analyse it, for the first time, has that ever happened before that someone has potentially criticised the people around the Queen?” to which Camilla said that he had done that in the Oprah interview by “blaming staff for blocking his path to see the Queen”.
She then explained who interviewer Hoda Kotb was, saying: “She’s from the Today show in America, I used to do quite a lot of work for NBC. She’s like the equivalent of Holly and with her partner in crime-” to which Phil interjected: “Holly would have asked the follow-up question!”
Holly, while glad of her co-star’s support, made a face as she quipped: “I hope,” before they carried on attempting to dissect Harry’s interview a little further. Tom then commented: “I just think, once again, unfortunately for him perhaps, in can come across as a little bit patronising that he is seeking to protect her, apparently from the very institution he left to protect himself.”
Harry, who moved to Montecito, California, with Meghan following their decision to step down as senior royals, also spoke about the US now being home. He said: “Home for me now, for the time being, is in the States and it feels that way. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and have such a great community up in Santa Barbara.”
Harry flew back from California, without Meghan who was heavily pregnant at the time, to attend his grandfather’s funeral in Windsor in April 2021. He also returned to the UK to unveil the statue of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales on July 1 2021 with his brother the Duke of Cambridge. However, he was absent from the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service which took place earlier this month.