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Royal family ‘saddened’ by Harry and Meghan interview, takes racism claims ‘very seriously’


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LONDON — Buckingham Palace issued a statement Tuesday addressing Prince Harry and Meghan’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, saying the issues the couple raised, particularly around race, are “concerning.”

“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” said the palace’s statement, released more than 36 hours after the bombshell interview, which first aired in the U.S. on Sunday night.

“While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately,” the statement added. “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”

The statement on what royal experts have described as a very damaging interview marked a notable departure for the palace, which usually refrains from commenting on reports and articles in the media.

The couple spoke with the media mogul Oprah Winfrey for a two-hour interview that aired on CBS in prime time on Sunday night in the United States and on Monday night in the United Kingdom.

The wide-ranging interview focused on what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex described as a lack of support offered to the couple after their 2018 marriage, Meghan’s experience with suicidal thoughts and British tabloids’ harsh scrutiny of her, which she said veered into racist undertones.

In a clip released by CBS on Monday, Harry said racism played “a large part” in the reason the couple left the country.

Among the allegations, Meghan said that in the months leading up to Archie’s birth, a member of the royal family expressed “concerns” and there were “conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”

That has led to furious speculation in the British media and among members of the public over the source of the comment.

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Several local politicians and royal experts have put pressure on Buckingham Palace to launch an internal investigation over the alleged remark, placing more scrutiny on family business usually carried out behind closed doors. Last week, the palace said it had launched an internal investigation into bullying allegations lobbied against Meghan.

When asked about the couple’s allegations at a press conference Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson affirmed his “highest admiration for the queen.”He added that he had long declined to comment on “royal family matters,” and would not “depart on that today.”

Harry told Oprah his brother, Prince William, and father, Prince Charles, “are trapped” within the confines of the institution.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge sit inside Westminster Abbey as they attend the annual Commonwealth Service in London last year. After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, confirmed their split with the royal family last month, a public rift has triggered scrutiny on the palace’s tight-lipped communication strategy.Phil Harris / AFP – Getty Images file

After the interview, the #AbolishTheMonarchy hashtag was trending on Twitter in the U.K., and 45 percent of respondents said they had little to no sympathy for members of the royal family over the situation with the Sussexes, according to a YouGov poll March 8 that surveyed more than 4,600 Britons. The royal family is still pulling in more support than the Sussexes, according to the poll — 56 percent of respondents said they had little or no support for Harry and Meghan.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.


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