In his first public comments on the claims of racism recently made by his brother Prince Harry and sister-in-law Meghan Markle, the Duke of Cambridge said the British monarchy are "very much not a racist family."
- During a visit to east London on Thursday, Prince William said he has not yet spoken to his brother Harry about the explosive interview he and his wife Meghan Markle gave U.S. talk show host Oprah Winfrey last weekend.
- In that interview, Harry and Meghan, who is biracial, claimed someone in the royal family expressed concerns about what the skin color of their unborn baby (Archie) would be.
- Harry later stated to Oprah that the unidentified royal making the comment was not the Queen nor Prince Phillip.
- On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace stated the claims made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were "concerning" and that the issues would be discussed privately.
- The palace also stated "recollections may vary" but that Harry and Meghan would "always be much loved family members".
During a widely watched interview with Winfrey broadcast last weekend, Harry and Meghan discussed the difficulties of being senior members of the British royal family and dealing with the aggressive tabloid press in Britain. Markle said the discussions about her baby’s skin color marked a low point. While Harry clarified that neither the Queen nor Prince Philip (who has been hospitalized for more than three weeks) made the offending comment, he would not reveal the speaker’s identity to Oprah. Harry also confirmed that racism "was a large part of” why he and his wife left the UK and stepped back from serving as working members of the monarchy, and that no one in the royal family apologized to the couple over alleged acts of racism they encountered. "The feeling is that this [desire to leave the UK] was our decision therefore the consequences are on us," he added. During the interview, Markle also said the pressures she faced as a royal made her feel suicidal. Earlier this week, in her first response to the Winfrey interview, Queen Elizabeth stated the royal family were “saddened” to learn of “the full extent” of the difficulties Meghan and Harry encountered. “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” the statement added. The interview has led to commentary from some political figures around the world — former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his country should consider breaking off ties with the British royal family and the Commonwealth. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said it took “courage” for the couple to speak out about Markle’s struggles with mental health. The interview even cost the job of UK TV presenter Piers Morgan who quit his position at the ‘Good Morning Britain’ news show after a colleague confronted him about his negative coverage of Markle.
"He [Harry] did not share the identity [of the royal family member who wondered about the baby’s skin color] with me but he wanted to make sure I knew, and if I had an opportunity to share it, that it was not his grandmother [Elizabeth] or grandfather [Prince Philip] that were part of those conversations," said Winfrey.
While Harry said his grandfather Prince Philip did not make the offending remark about his baby’s skin color, the Duke of Edinburgh has a long history of making offensive comments.