The pair had spoken on the phone when Oprah rang her after CBS anchor Gayle King had made the initial introduction.
By March 2018 when Oprah was in London they met for the first time face-to-face, with Meghan inviting her to their marriage shortly afterwards.
Now the trio will sit down for a controversial tell-all interview as the unusual courtship between Royal and broadcaster is set to make them all millions of pounds.
‘Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special’ will be filmed over the next few days.
Meghan and Harry will be interviewed by Oprah on March 7 in a glittering TV special
Oprah Winfrey’s appearance at Meghan and Harry’s 2019 wedding revealed their friendship
It is a long way from their first meeting, reported by The Times, which happened when Oprah ‘found herself in London’ and was invited by Meghan to meet her at Kensington Palace in March.
Their only face-to-face encounter happened so far under the radar that by the time of Duke and Duchess of Sussex tied the knot St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle some were surprised when she arrived.
As Oprah took her seat on May 19, 2018, on the row alongside the likes of Serena Williams and George Clooney some Royal watchers wondered how she knew Megan and Harry.
And her brief report on the day – published of course in her own Oprah Magazine – gave little insight into any friendship.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in Windsor
Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mother, had enjoyed a yoga session with Oprah before the wedding
The layout of the chapel shows where Oprah was sat among other guests at the wedding
CBS broadcaster Gayle King introduced Oprah Winfrey to Meghan by phone in 2018
From me to woo: Meghan and Oprah’s friendship by years
March, 2018: Oprah ‘finds herself in London’ and was invited by Meghan to meet her at Kensington Palace.
April, 2018: Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland visits Oprah’s Promised Land mansion in Montecito, California, to eat kumquats and do yoga.
May 19, 2018: Oprah stuns Royal watchers after turning up to Harry and Meghan’s wedding with fans of uncertain how they know each other.
April, 2019: Oprah announces she would be sending Meghan and Harry’s unborn son a ‘welcome to the world’ gift of books.
April 10, 2019: Prince Harry and Meghan announce he and Oprah are to produce a mental-health series for Apple TV.
January, 2020: Oprah and Gayle King publicly back the couple after they break away from the Royal Family
May 6, 2020: A video of Meghan and Archie reading a book from Oprah is released online for Save the Children’s Save With Stories intitiative.
August, 2020: The couple move to an £11million mansion in Montecito, California, down the road from Oprah. It is denied she helped find them the home.
December 14, 2020: Oprah plugs a coffee company Meghan had invested in on her 19.3million-follower Instagram page, thanking her neighbour ‘M’.
February 15: CBS announces the Royal couple are to conduct an interview with Oprah.
She said ‘It gave us hope, that wedding’ after declaring ‘All mature beings recognised it as the beginning it was’.
Meghan was reported to have been delighted when Oprah texted her after the ceremony to offer her congratulations.
By now pictures of the veteran interviewer at the wedding had cemented them as friends in the eyes of the public.
Rumours immediately emerged they would be doing an interview, but nothing materialised with the topic never mentioned by either party.
It later emerged Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland had visited Oprah’s Promised Land mansion in Montecito, California, just three weeks earlier.
The pair spent six hours together eating kumquats and doing yoga in her garden.
What followed over the next three years was a love-in between Oprah and the Sussexes that all-but confirmed the journalist as an unofficial mentor to Meghan.
In April, 2019, and before Archie was even born, the chat show host announced she would be sending him some ‘welcome to the world’ gifts.
They were a huge collection of books, including one that would later become thrust into the public arena.
Oprah said at the time ‘I don’t know the baby’s name or the baby’s gender, but this baby will have enough books to last a lifetime.’
The same month she tapped up Prince Harry to produce a mental-health series for Apple TV
They are said to have had a number of meetings in London and was heralded by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s official Instagram account.
Some watchers believed the gesture was further evidence of Oprah’s drive to woo the couple.
Then in January last year she and King publicly backed the pair’s breakaway from the Royal family.
Out in New York one night, they told TMZ: ‘I support them 1,000 percent.
A coffee company Meghan had invested in was plugged by Oprah on her Instagram page
Royal interviews that shook the Palace
In late 2019 Prince Andrew gave a ‘no holds barred’ interview with the BBC ‘s Emily Maitlis about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, along with claims the royal had sex with one of the billionaire paedophile’s young ‘slaves’.
‘Prince Andrew & the Epstein Scandal’ was filmed at Buckingham Palace – a sign it had Her Majesty’s approval – and was the first time the duke was grilled on his friendship with the American sexual abuser, who was found dead in his New York prison cell while awaiting trial for sex-trafficking.
Andrew – the Queen’s second son – stepped down from public life on November 20 2019, following the fallout from his disastrous Newsnight interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein.
The duke was criticised for showing a lack of empathy towards the paedophile’s victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with the pervert.
In the interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, the duke denied claims that he slept with Virginia Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by Epstein, on three separate occasions, including when she was 17, still a minor under US law.
Decades earlier, in a sensational 1995 Panorama interview, Princess Diana said there were ‘three people in my marriage’, a reference to her estranged husband’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, now Duchess of Cornwall.
No one and nothing was off limits; Diana didn’t even spare her own reputation. In one gripping exchange with Mr Bashir, she admitted she had been unfaithful with Army officer James Hewitt.
‘Yes, I adored him,’ she said. ‘Yes, I was in love with him.’
For Prince Charles the examination was excoriating as his estranged, but not yet divorced, wife questioned his credentials to be king, while publicly placing Camilla Parker Bowles front and centre as the reason their marriage broke down.
‘You know why I support them? I support them because I believe, when you have thought about this as long as they have — and even in the Queen’s statement says, “This has been going on for months,” these discussions have been going on for months — and when Harry said in that charity statement the other day that he had to make the decision to move forward in peace with his new family.
‘Who doesn’t feel what that takes to make that decision to give up everything you’ve known your whole life to say I’m going to choose this new life or what I believe to be the truest vision for myself?’
Five months later Oprah’s world was featured in a video released to celebrate Archie’s birthday.
A video showing Meghan reading him Duck! Rabbit! by by Amy Krouse Rosenthal had a plug to one of her brands.
Oprah Magazine described it as ‘A subtle nod to one of the family’s biggest champions’ and confirmed the broadcaster had gifted it to them.
The book had a label on the front saying ‘Archie’s Book Club’ a version of ‘Oprah’s Book Club’ branding.
In August the couple moved to an £11million mansion in Montecito, California, down the road from her.
Then in December last year a coffee company Meghan had invested in was plugged by Oprah on her 19.3million-follower Instagram page.
She said her ‘neighbor M’ had given her a basket of the Clevr Brands goods ‘for Christmas’.
Oprah added: ‘On the first day of Christmas my neighbor “M” sent to me…a basket of deliciousness! (Yes that M) My new drink of choice for the morning and night.
‘Wish I had Clevr Blends sooner cause I would’ve added it to my Favorite Things list.’
By February 15 the conclusion of the dance between Oprah and Meghan appeared to have reached a conclusion.
It brought to an end suggestions King – who had attended the duchesses’ baby shower – would be grilling the royal pair.
Instead, her station revealed the news it would be Oprah who had scored the interview.
Details suggest a carefully chorographed chat with just Meghan about her life as a Royal and life under the public spotlight.
Harry will join later to talk about their future hopes and expanding their family, after the news they are expecting their second child.
With a running time of 90 minutes, it promises to be a lot longer than Meghan and Oprah’s first phone call three years ago.