Two trailers for the two hour special special, promising ‘shocking’ revelations, were released hours before the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, was moved to another hospital for checks on a pre-existing heart condition.
Senior royal sources claim the family is ‘pretty appalled’ by the idea of the ‘tell-all’ interview being broadcast while Philip is so unwell.
In a teaser aired on Sunday night Oprah suggested 39-year-old Meghan’s time in the Royal family was ‘almost unsurvivable’ and took the couple to a ‘breaking point’ amid a war with the British press.
Referring to the death of his mother Princess Diana, Harry, 36, says he had to take his family to LA because he feared ‘history repeating itself’.
With the royals praying for Prince Phillip after he was transferred to another hospital by ambulance, experts on the family are calling for the Oprah interview to be delayed.
Author of Prince Harry, Brother, Soldier, Son, Penny Junor, told the Sun: ‘It’s bad timing when they’re going to be saying “poor us”.’
Harry and Meghan are expected to make ‘shocking’ revelations about their life as senior royals
Prince Phillip, 99, was transferred by ambulance from King Edward VII Hospital
He told MailOnline: ‘Oprah is their friend and neighbour and would undoubtedly comply if asked and the gesture would I am sure be appreciated by the royal family. If an interview has been extended, as this recently has, it can also be postponed, as this undoubtedly should be’.
Royal biographer Robert Jobson added: ‘With the Duke of Edinburgh clearly very unwell, the fact that the couple plan to go ahead with airing their self-indulgent, no holds barred interview with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey makes them appear heartless, thoughtless and supremely selfish.
‘For US broadcast network CBS this interview is a coup, all about securing big viewing figures and big advert sales around the airing of their exclusive interview. So even if they wanted to Harry and Meghan probably couldn’t dictate terms to Oprah Winfrey and the network now. Too much has been invested.’
A TV industry insider told the Mirror: ‘CBS has sold millions of dollars worth of advertising around the interview, but bosses are aware of the delicacy of the Duke’s heath.”
‘They have no loyalty to the Royal Family, although some feel as though they do to Harry and Meghan.
‘For it to run if Philip’s condition worsened would be like setting off a diplomatic bomb. It would be grossly insensitive and hugely disrespectful.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted CBS for comment.
Public relations and crisis consultant Mark Borkowski warned that Harry and Meghan are at risk of a ‘real reputational mess’ if they go ahead with the broadcast.
He said: ‘The timing is just horrendous. Anybody who looks at this through the optics of a caring family, even a family who are estranged from one another, it’s very uncomfortable as you edge towards Sunday.’
ITV has reportedly won the bidding war to screen the interview in a deal said to be worth around £1million, according to MailOnline.
After airing in the US on Sunday, the interview is expected to be shown in the UK on Monday, March 8.
Mr Borkowski added: ‘Harry and Meghan are supposed to be a sensitive, caring and empathetic brand… but they’re going ahead with this juggernaut.’
If Philip’s health were to worsen, Mr Borkowski said Harry and Meghan’s fate would be ‘in the lap of the gods’.
He added: ‘If you were strategically giving advice about mitigating reputational damage, you would show huge empathy by postponing.’
Mr Borkowski said a deterioration in Philip’s health would also raise serious issues for ITV as to whether the screening should go ahead in the UK.
He added: ‘I think brands have to take a considered view about whether they want their advertising anywhere near this.’
ITV has yet to comment.