Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday finally broke her silence over the allegations Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leveled in their Sunday TV sit-down, saying that “the whole family is saddened” and that the “issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning” — although “recollections may vary.”
The queen — addressing the pair’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey — said in a statement, “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan.
“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately,” the queen said.
“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members,” she added.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on CBS
Harry and Meghan shattered royal protocol by sitting down with Winfrey and dishing on everything from Kate Middleton once making Markle cry, to the prince’s extremely strained relationship with dad Prince Charles and brother Prince Harry, to their most troubling claim — that someone in the royal family expressed “concerns” to Harry about “how dark” their son Archie’s skin would be. Markle is biracial.
Harry said racism was a “large part” of why he and Meghan fled the UK.
But neither he nor Markle would publicly name the alleged racist royal — leaving it to Winfrey to say Harry only told her it wasn’t the queen or her husband, Prince Philip.
The Palace, under the queen’s directive, took its time issuing a statement in response to the damning interview because it has been terrified that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will name the person if it makes one wrong move, insiders told the Evening Standard.
In her carefully worded statement, the queen appeared to be delicately walking the line between not challenging her grandson and his wife’s accusations — while at the same time suggesting there may have been a misinterpretation of the intent of the unnamed royal’s comment.
“A denial [of Harry and Meghan’s claims] could lead the Sussexes [to] breaking their vow and naming the member of the royal family who discussed their son’s skin color. There is a lack of trust,” a senior Palace source told the Standard before the queen issued her statement.
“It could lead to the Sussexes naming names, and it blowing up again,” the source said, referring to the royal scandal.
A royal household source said of Charles, “You could say the boss feels let down by what the Sussexes have said.
“The prince is proud of the diversity of this country and believes the diversity of Britain’s modern society is its greatest strength,” the source said.
“He wholeheartedly believes that our country owes a huge debt of gratitude to the rich diversity of cultures that make up our society and going forward is at the heart of what we can be as a nation He truly believes the diversity of our society gives us so much to celebrate.”
Harry said during the blistering sit-down that he felt his father, the heir to the British throne, “really let him down” and griped about being cut off financially. Body-language experts have said Prince Harry was clearly displaying “suppressed anger” at his royal pop while talking.
Charles was said to be left in a “state of despair’‘ over his youngest son’s comments.
The senior palace source told the Standard that Charles has “supported the duke and duchess more than he would care to say.
“The feeling is it will be better to try to build bridges with the couple and to embrace them,” the source added of the crown prince’s stance at the moment.
“However, this incendiary interview has caused pain and division. Trust is an issue,” the source said.