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How Meghan used Prince Philip's nickname for the royals 'The Firm' in bombshell Oprah interview

When Prince Philip first coined 'The Firm' as a nickname for the Royal Family, he could have no idea 74 years later it would still be used - let alone in an interview criticising the monarchy.

But in the latest clip from Meghan Markle's upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey the two-word moniker is used again for that purpose.

The Duchess of Sussex is asked by the US chat show queen how she thinks the Palace might feel about her 'speaking her truth'.

She responds: 'I don't know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.' 

Sources close to the couple claim she was referring to institution of Buckingham Palace, which includes senior courtiers and advisers, headed by the Queen, rather than individual royals. 

But Meghan's choice of words may not have been deliberately chosen to do so, but channels the Duke's own remarks when he wed into the House of Windsor. 

Meghan used the phrase 'The Firm' to describe the Royal Family in the upcoming interview

The Duke of Edinburgh coined the nickname The Firm when he married into the family in 1947

It was Philip who first uttered the phrase when he tied the knot with the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947, describing the wedding affectionately as 'marrying into The Firm'.

But since then members of the Royal Family have appeared to have avoided repeating the term in public, even if they may have in private.

Newsweek had recently claimed that the Queen uses it herself behind closed doors.  

In fact the term is actually more frequently used by commentators than actual members of the family themselves.

The reluctance may be due to the fact the simple two-word description can also be used to refer specifically to the key personnel within the Crown.

Eight senior royals are said to be within the 'firm of eight' chosen to represent the family.

The modern Firm now: Edward, Sophie, Kate, William, The Queen, Charles, Camilla and Anne

They are William and Kate, Prince Edward, the Countess of Wessex, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, The Queen herself and Princess Anne.

A photo of the group before Christmas left little doubt of their significance within the household.

But despite their own hesitancy in using the label to describe themselves, the easy identifier for the royals has endured through the decades.

Roya Nikkhah, Royal Correspondent at The Sunday Times, told Radio 4 this morning: 'The extraordinary phrase in that clip is that she is saying The Firm were actively perpetuating falsehoods about her and Harry.

'I think the use of that phrase The Firm, it can include both the principals, members of the Royal Family, and members of the household so it remains to be seen who she is going to aim her fire at.'

Penny Juror, the royal biographer, even named her 2005 book The Firm: The Troubled Life of the House of Windsor.

The description of the book says: 'The House of Windsor is a big business, though one with more ups and downs than the stock market.

'Prince Philip calls it 'The Firm' and all the royal executives and their powerful associates are supposed to make every effort to avoid even a hint of scandal that could diminish the reputation of the family business.'

And the name has even retrospectively placed into the Royals' fictionalised accounts of history.

Colin Firth in the King's Speech declares 'We're not a family, we're a firm.'

With its high-profile debut on Oprah's primetime interview this Sunday, it looks sure to remain in use for much longer. 

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