Last Friday, Buckingham Palace confirmed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won’t be returning as working royals after their one-year trial period, which commenced after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their plans to step back as senior royals and move to California. At the same time, the statement noted the pair will no longer keep their patronages, which is a decision rumored to have been influenced by the couple’s recent personal deals, such as a podcast with Spotify and a partnership with Netflix.
It was then announced the Prince and Markle would be doing a sit-down TV appearance with Oprah, their first joint interview since announcing their engagement in 2017. But one week out from the conversation, James Corden dropped a surprise: he’d managed to get the Duke before Oprah, taking the prince on a red bus tour of Los Angeles, complete with both literal and figurative tea.
During the conversation on top of a double-decker bus, Prince Harry went into detail about the couple’s huge decision to move their family overseas and finish their public-facing roles as senior royals.
“It was never walking away, it was stepping back rather than stepping down,” he said.
Though Markle previously said her mental health was being severely impacted as a result of the British press, Prince Harry had never spoken of the personal toll the “toxic” interest in his relationship and wife’s life had on him. “It was a really difficult environment as I think a lot of people saw,” he said. “We all know what the British press can be like. It was destroying my mental health.”
He continued, “So I did what any husband and what any father would do which is ‘I need to get my family out of here,’ but we never walked away.”
Prince Harry also appeared to reference the palace’s statement last Friday that he and Markle were “stepping away from the work of The Royal Family” because it is “not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.”
At the time, the couple released a follow-up statement saying that they do plan on continuing to live a life of service because “service is universal.” The Prince reiterated his point to Corden, noting, “whatever decisions are made on that side I will never walk away. I’ll always be contributing. My life is public service so wherever I am in the world it’s going to be the same thing.”
This conversation is just a snippet of what we’re bound to hear from the couple in their interview with Oprah, which is set to air in the U.S. on March 7th. Ahead of the CBS special, we’ve noted everything you need to know—including how Oprah got the gig and how to watch the full thing from overseas—here.