'We're not racist': Prince William breaks silence after Harry and Meghan's interview

Reuters
·3-min read

Prince William has insisted that Britain's royals are not racist after Meghan Markle claimed one unnamed member of the family had asked how dark their son Archie's skin might be.

Meghan, 39, made the allegation during an explosive tell-all interview that she and Harry, 36, gave to Oprah Winfrey and which was aired on Sunday, plunging the British monarchy into its biggest crisis since the 1997 death of Princess Diana, William and Harry's mother.

On a visit to a school in east London, William said he had not talked to Harry since the interview was broadcast just over three days ago.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn as part of the NHS birthday celebrations.. Picture date: Sunday July 5, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Prince William has made his first public comments about Meghan Markle's claims of racism within the royal family. Source: CBS/PA

"I haven't spoken to him yet but I will do," William, 38, said.

Asked by a reporter if the royal family was racist, William said: "We're very much not a racist family."

In the two-hour show, nearly three years after their star-studded wedding in Windsor Castle, Meghan said the royals had ignored her pleas for help while she felt suicidal, while Harry said his father, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, had let him down and that he had felt trapped.

On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace issued a statement on behalf of 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth, the princes' grandmother, in which she said the family were saddened by how challenging the couple had found the last few years.

But it was the couple's accusation that one of the royals had made a racist comment which has dominated coverage and has the potential to cause lasting damage to the 1,000-year-old monarchy.

Secrecy over who asked 'that' question

Meghan, whose mother is Black and father is white, said while she was pregnant with Archie there were "concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born."

Neither she nor Harry said who had made the remark, although Winfrey later clarified that Harry had said it was not the queen or her 99-year-old husband Philip, who has been in hospital for three weeks while the crisis unfolds.

"That conversation, I'm never going to share," Harry said during the interview. "But at the time, it was awkward. I was a bit shocked."

In the statement from the queen, the palace said issues of race were concerning and would be treated very seriously, but pointedly stated "some recollections may vary".

The Palace has said that it was a family matter that should be dealt with privately.

Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a visit to School21, a secondary schools in east London, Thursday March 11, 2021. Prince William has defended Britain’s monarchy against accusations of bigotry made by his brother, Prince Harry, and his sister-in-law, Meghan, insisting the family is not racist. In comments made during a visit Thursday to an east London school, William became the first royal to directly address the explosive interview his brother and Meghan gave to Oprah Winfrey. Buckingham Palace sought to respond to Harry and Meghan’s allegations of racism and mistreatment in a 61-word statement, but it has failed to quell the controversy. (Justin Tallis/Pool via AP)
Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, were visiting a school in east London when William was questioned about his brother's interview. Source: AP

During the interview, Harry also laid bare how distant he had become from the other members of his family, saying his father had stopped taking his calls at one point, and that there was "space" in his relationship with William.

"Much will continue to be said about that ... as I said before, you know, I love William to bits, he's my brother, we've been through hell together and we have a shared experience," he said. "But we're on different paths."

The interview, watched by 12.4 million viewers in Britain and 17.1 million in the United States, has proved divisive among the British public.

Some believe it showed how outdated and intolerant the institution was, while others decried it as a self-serving assault that neither Elizabeth nor her family deserved.

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