Britain’s royal family said in a statement on Tuesday it was saddened to learn of the challenges the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had faced in the past few years, and that the issues raised would be addressed privately.
Breaking its silence on explosive claims made by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Buckingham Palace said the “issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning” and are being taken very seriously.
“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved family members,’’ the statement said.
The statement follows Harry and Meghan’s two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey in which they alleged that Meghan had experienced racism and callous treatment during her time in the royal family.
Earlier, some observers had said that Buckingham Palace’s silence on the topic has only added to the furore.
The interview, which aired Sunday night in the US and a day later in Britain, has rocked the royal family and divided people around the world.
While many say the allegations demonstrate the need for change inside a palace that hasn’t kept pace with the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, others have criticised Harry and Meghan for dropping their bombshell while Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather, Prince Philip, remains hospitalised in London after a heart procedure.
During the interview, Meghan described feeling so isolated and miserable inside the royal family that she had suicidal thoughts, yet when she asked for mental health help from the palace’s human resources staff she was told she was not a paid employee.
She also said a member of the royal family had expressed “concerns” to Harry about the colour of her unborn child’s skin, sparking a flurry of speculation as to who it might be. Winfrey later said Harry told her off-camera that the family member in question wasn’t Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Philip.
Harry also revealed that the stresses the couple endured had ruptured relations with his father, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his brother, Prince William, shedding new light on the family divisions that led the couple to step away from royal duties and move to California last year.
Prince Charles didn’t comment on the interview Tuesday during a visit to a vaccine clinic in London.
(FRANCE 24 with AP)