Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday broke her silence on the accusations of racism made by her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle during their interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey and said that the British royal family was “saddened” to learn about the challenges faced by the couple.
However, the highly-anticipated statement, which came almost 48 hours since the interview aired, was sceptical of Prince Harry’s and Markle’s claims of racism.
Buckingham Palace have just released a statement: pic.twitter.com/JzlYvef4Wn
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) March 9, 2021
The statement comes after the couple revealed their struggles and disappointments they faced while being part active members of the British royal family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared as guests for the first time in an exclusive tell-all interview with Winfrey that aired on CBS on Monday.
In a highly-debated move, the couple stepped down from their royal responsibilities in 2020.
In the interview, Markle said that the British tabloids made harsh comments on her biracial roots despite her husband’s constant requests to refraining from do so. Prince Harry said that the lack of support from his family was one of the reasons why the couple decided to step down.
In the interview, Markle revealed that the palace raised concerns about her son Archie’s skin colour even before he was born. Choosing to keep the person’s identity anonymous, she had said: “You won’t be given security, not gonna be given a title and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
Winfrey, who later appeared on CBS This Morning to talk about the interview, clarified that it was neither Queen Elizabeth II nor her husband Prince Philip who were part of conversations regarding Archie’s skin colour.
“He [Prince Harry] did not share the identity with me but he made sure that I knew that if I had the opportunity to share, then it is not his grandmother [Queen Elizabeth II] or grandfather [Prince Philip] that were part of those conversations. As you can see, I tried to get that answer, on camera and off,” Winfrey said.
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, sat down with @Oprah in their first major interview since stepping away from royal duties.@Oprah joins us exclusively with her reaction on that revealing interview. #OprahMeghanHarry pic.twitter.com/M4oqmbKGfR
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 8, 2021
The Sussexes also spoke about Markle’s deteriorating mental health and called her time as a working royal “almost unsurvivable”. She also said that she battled “suicidal thoughts”, and was denied mental health support from the “the firm” or the Buckingham Palace.
Talking about his financial condition, Prince Harry had said that he was cut off financially by his family from the first half of 2020.
According to Variety, the interview was watched by 17.1 million viewers in the US and over 12 million people in the UK, making it the “biggest audience on any UK channel” apart from Covid-19 pandemic-related and government announcements.