Meghan Markle 'surprised' host Oprah when she dropped bombshell claims during the explosive interview that later went viral.

The US host sat down with the Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry about royal life, with Meghan, 39, making allegations of racism and speaking up about suicidal thoughts.

The American TV star claims it was "powerful" as Harry, 46, and wife Meghan, "wanted to be able to tell their story and tell it such a way that allowed them to be as truthful as possible."

Oprah said she sent the couple a text before the tell-all chat, and from her understanding, the royal couple were going to share the 'truth'.

Oprah spoke out about the interview on Nancy O'Dell's Channel on talkshoplive, where she said she had 'no idea' it would have the impact that it has had across the world.

She said: "I had no idea that it would have the reverberating impact it has had and continues to have. I did a lot of preparation for that."

The author admitted she was 'surprised' that the Sussexes were open during the chat.

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In particular around the former Suits actress' comment that members of the royal family had 'conversations with Harry about how dark [Archie's] skin might be when he's born'

She added: "I'm like, 'What? You're going there? You're going all the way there'", about her thoughts at the time.

Oprah said: "Whenever I'm doing interviews with anybody for anything that is significant, I have a conversation with them before.

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"I didn't see Harry and Meghan before but I did text them and say intention is very important to me, tell me what your intention is, so that we can be aligned in our goal. And our shared intention was the truth. They wanted to be able to tell their story and tell it in such a way that allowed them to be as truthful as possible."

She then said: "The reason why it was such a powerful interview — first of all, I know how to ask questions, and you [Nancy] know how to ask questions, we all know how to do our jobs, but what makes it powerful is when you have someone else who is willing to be as open, as vulnerable, as truthful, as they were.

"So, I don't give myself credit for that, I give myself credit for asking the questions, but the reason the interview was what it was, was because they answered the way they did."

Oprah explained: "It was really important to me that what we put out there in the world was put out at the time everyone could see it and that things didn't leak, and things weren't misconstrued before the actual interview happened.

"So I remember when we finished doing the interview and that interview was 3 hours and 20 minutes I think, and I stood up and said to the crew, we all know what was said here, and how important it is to have the trust of the people who just shared that, and so I'm hoping you all will not go out into the world and share what has happened here. And nobody did.

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"And so, as we were releasing clips to CBS, we were releasing them in such a way that whatever was being put out there could not be exploited. So a lot of time and effort and energy went into it on my part."

The Royal Family released a statement in the following days after the interview, stating issues raised would be dealt with 'as a family'. Prince William told reporters that the Royal Family were 'very much not racists' when asked about the chat while visiting a school.

Meghan Markle was praised by mental health charities for opening up about her suicidal thoughts, with Mind UK stating people are more inclined to seek help if a celebrity shares their story.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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