Queen urged to publicly condemn racism by Labour MP following Meghan Markle's allegations

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·4-min read
WIDNESS, ENGLAND - JUNE 14:  Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in Widness, England.  (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The Queen has been urged to publicly condemn racism following claims by Meghan Markle. (Getty)

The Queen has been urged to publicly condemn racism following allegations by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in their interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex painted the Royal Family as an uncaring, racist institution that failed to support the couple, especially as Meghan struggled with her mental health.

In an attempt to start to heal the divisions, Buckingham Palace released a statement on Tuesday in which the Queen publicly acknowledged the “challenging” period the couple experienced as working royals.

However, Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy said the Queen should go further and publicly condemn racism.

Ribeiro-Addy told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There should be a public condemnation of racism. They did it with bullying, why would they not do it with racism?

“The Queen’s response was the least that could happen.”

Watch: Palace releases statement following Meghan and Harry interview

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During the interview, Winfrey was left open-mouthed when Meghan and Harry recounted how a family member – not the Queen or Duke of Edinburgh – raised concerns about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone might be before he was born.

Ribeiro-Addy noted that the couple “went to great lengths to make the point that the Queen was not the issue” and said there now “needs to be a response from the institution”.

She added: “The monarchy is a public institution that receives public money and any criticism of the institution should really be met with a forceful response from the institution about what they are going to do.

“We expect [that] of any institution. Why not the monarchy, why not the Palace?”

Watch: The key revelations from Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview

Accusations of racism against the Palace have been rejected by some commentators, including Daily Mail columnist Sarah Vine, who said of the Queen: “There is not a head of state today, or at any time, who has done more to foster love and understanding between people of different races and cultures than the Queen, with Prince Philip (still in hospital, lest we forget) by her side.”

She described the Buckingham Palace statement as “a model of restrained elegance”.

Conservative frontbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg also rushed to the defence of the Queen, who he said is “held in enormous affection”.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 10: An arrangement of UK daily newspapers shows front page headlines reporting Queen Elizabeth's respond over the interview given by the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and her husband Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, to media mogul Oprah Winfrey about their experiences with Buckingham Palace, in London, United Kingdom on March 10, 2021. (Photo by Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
UK newspapers show front-page headlines reporting the Queen's response to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Oprah interview. (Getty)

Speaking on his MoggCast podcast for the ConservativeHome website, Rees-Mogg said: “She has been a model of duty since she made that statement in South Africa aged 21 about how her whole life, whether it be long or short, would be spent in the service of the whole imperial family.

“That is what she has done. She has done her duty. I think she is loved across her realms for that.

“And I don't think interviews with chatshow hosts in the United States makes a great deal of difference to that.”

The prime minister’s official spokesman refused to comment on the interview after being asked whether Boris Johnson believed the allegations surrounding racism were concerning.

MARCH 7th 2021: Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle The Duchess of Sussex.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle painted the Royal Family as an uncaring, racist institution that failed to support the couple. (AP)

He said: “The prime minister was asked about the documentary on Monday and I’ve got nothing to add to what the prime minister said on Monday.”

The spokesman declined to be drawn on whether Johnson supports the decision by the Palace to investigate the claims within the family.

The highly anticipated Palace statement on the claims made in the interview – issued on behalf of the Queen on Tuesday – said that “some recollections may vary”, but that “they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately”.

Watch: The questions that remain after Harry and Meghan’s Oprah appearance