Prince Harry has been desperately urged to delay the airing of an interview with Oprah as his grandfather Prince Philip enters his third week in hospital.

The television special, expected to be a royal wrecking ball, has "appalled" some senior figures.

The chat, due to air in the United States on March 7, when Prince Philip will likely still be hooked up to heart monitors.

He was moved to London's best heart hospital, with Buckingham Palace revealing for the first time that this latest hospital stay was heart related.

Palace insiders have urged Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex to hold off on airing their Oprah interview until Prince Philip is out of the woods. Picture: CBS
Palace insiders have urged Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex to hold off on airing their Oprah interview until Prince Philip is out of the woods. Picture: CBS

Prince Harry and Meghan's sit down interview with Oprah was already thought to be uncomfortable viewing for the Royal Family.

The program was extended from 90 minutes to two hours, which in part was seen as a cash grab by broadcaster CBS, which is charging $250,000 for a 30-second advertisement slot.

But the timing of the interview, for which the couple were not paid, has raised serious questions about Prince Harry's judgment.

Penny Junor, who wrote a biography on Prince Harry, told The Sun: "It's bad timing when they're going to be saying 'poor us'."

And a senior royal source told the newspaper: "Why are they doing it?"

The last time Prince Harry and Meghan did a wide ranging television interview with a British broadcaster ITV the fallout was nuclear.

Meghan was seen as criticising the Queen when she suggested not many people had asked if she was okay.

 

And Prince Harry, according to previews, used the Oprah interview to criticise the British Press and claim that Meghan was being treated unfairly in the same way as his late mother, Princess Diana, had been.

He was expected to be asked about the loss of his military titles in the Oprah interview, which reportedly upset him greatly.

Prince Philip will enter his third week in hospital on Wednesday, as he was transferred to London's best heart hospital.

The 5km trip from King Edward VII's Hospital in Marylebone to St Bartholomew's in central London, near St Paul's Cathedral, was shrouded in secrecy.

Umbrellas covered the duke, 99, as he was taken to a waiting ambulance, which travelled under police escort.

Prince Philip will have been in hospital for 14 nights on Wednesday morning Australian time, with Buckingham Palace saying that he was not expected out before the weekend.

However, the Queen has carried on with her duties, including the release of a jovial call with the South Australian Premier Steven Marshall.

 

Royal watchers say that the Queen did not "look worried" or like she was "waiting for a phone call", but news of the heart condition has added a new complexity to what was publicly known about the duke's illness.

Ms Junor said she hoped Philip, just three months shy of his 100th birthday, would continue to fight.

"Let's hope he's not resigned, let's hope he's not being a good patient because I think that would probably be a bad sign - a cantankerous duke is a healthy one," she said.

"I think the Queen looked very jolly in a message that she put out the other day about having the vaccine.

"She doesn't look to me like someone who is desperately worried and waiting for the phone to ring."

Prince Philip, who walked into hospital on February 16, has been battling an infection.

But his son Prince Charles, 72, left in tears after he visited him on his first weekend in hospital.

That visit raised serious questions about his health, which appear to now, in some part, be answered.

 

There were reports other members of the Royal Family may visit in the coming days.

Buckingham Palace said on Monday in a statement: "The Duke of Edinburgh was today transferred from King Edward VII's Hospital to St Bartholomew's Hospital where doctors will continue to treat him for an infection, as well as undertake testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition.

"The duke remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week."

Prince William and Prince Edward, the duke and Queen's youngest son, had last week tried to play down his condition.

Prince Philip was treated for heart problems in 2011 and was taken to hospital via helicopter from Sandringham to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

That scare, which required that he have a stent inserted in an artery, was shortly before Christmas that year.

 

The Queen, their children and grandchildren visited during his four-night stay, which saw him spend Christmas and Boxing Day in hospital.

The duke also spent four nights in hospital in December 2019 for a "pre-existing condition", which at the time was not disclosed but may also have been related to his heart.

Another hospital stay in 2017 was blamed on a similar vague "pre-existing condition".

St Bartholomew's is an internationally renowned hospital and Barts Heart Centre is Europe's largest specialised cardiovascular service and a centre of excellence for both cardiac and cancer care.

stephen.drill@news.co.uk

Originally published as Royals 'plead' with Harry as Prince Philip moves to new hospital