Diana’s former private secretary and chief of staff, Patrick Jephson, spoke about the family on CNN on Saturday, March 6, a day before CBS aired Oprah Winfrey‘s highly anticipated tell-all interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant with their second child.
During the special, Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, detailed the reasons behind their move to the U.S. and their 2020 royal exit, which was recently made permanent and which followed a growing rift between the duke and his older brother Prince William, who is second in line to the throne.
“Thirty years ago we were in a comparable situation where rifts were opening up within the royal family and it was starting to escalate,” Diana’s former aide told CNN. “There were a lot of unhappy people involved then. I’m quite sure there are a lot of unhappy people involved now.”
“First and foremost, we should remember this is a family rift,” Patrick said about Meghan and Harry’s relationship with the royal family. “It has taken on a lot of the trappings of a big media PR story, but at the heart of this are real people really hurting and I hope that somewhere in the midst of the current back-and-forth, somebody is putting down the seeds for eventual reconciliation, which has to come.”
Following her 1992 split from husband and Harry’s father Prince Charles, Diana became estranged from her ex’s family and became the first royal to give a tell-all interview. She famously spoke candidly about her life and feeling pressure from the media in a BBC Panorama interview with Martin Bashir in 1995, less than two years before her death at age 36.