Buckingham Palace ends silence on Harry, Meghan racism allegations

n this file photo taken on June 26, 2018 (L-R) Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II pose for a picture during the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London   | Photo Credit: AFP

Buckingham Palace issued a statement on Tuesday, saying the family was “saddened” to learn of the struggles that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed this week — and that they would be taken very seriously.

The statement is the first comment by the palace following Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s two-hour television interview with Oprah Winfrey in which they alleged that Ms. Markle had experienced racism and callous treatment during her time in the royal family.

Also read: Don’t think the royals are racist, says Meghan’s father

“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,’’ the palace said in a statement issued on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.’’

The statement also said that “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members."

The palace often tries to stay above controversy by remaining silent and riding out the storm, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s charges were so damaging that the family had to respond.

Earlier, some observers had said that Buckingham Palace’s silence on the topic has only added to the furor surrounding the TV interview.

The interview, which aired Sunday night in the U.S. and a day later in Britain, has rocked the royal family and divided people around the world. While many say the allegations demonstrate the need for change inside a palace that hasn’t kept pace with the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, others have criticized Harry and Ms. Markle for dropping their bombshell while Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather, Prince Philip, remains hospitalized in London after a heart procedure.

During the two-hour interview, Ms. Markle described feeling so isolated and miserable inside the royal family that she had suicidal thoughts, yet when she asked for mental health help from the palace’s human resources staff she was told she was not a paid employee. She also said a member of the royal family had expressed “concerns” to Prince Harry about the colour of her unborn child’s skin.

Ms. Winfrey later said Prince Harry told her off camera that the family member wasn't Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Philip, sparking a flurry of speculation about who it could be.

Prince Harry also revealed the stresses the couple endured had ruptured relations with his father, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his brother, Prince William, illuminating the depth of the family divisions that led the couple to step away from royal duties and move to California last year.

Prince Charles didn’t comment on the interview on Tuesday during a visit to a vaccine clinic in London.

Prince Harry’s father visited a church to see a temporary vaccine clinic in action and met with health care workers, church staff and people due to receive their vaccine jab. The visit was his first public appearance since the interview aired in the U.S. on Sunday night.

Maziya Marzook, a patient at the event, said 'private matters didn’t come up at all during Charles’ visit.

“He didn’t bring up anything,″ Ms. Marzook said. “He was more interested in how the vaccine was and how we feel.”

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 7:15:56 PM |

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