Prince Philip is starting his 23rd day under the care of heart doctors today – as the Queen is set to personally grill fellow Royals on claims of racism.
The Duke of Edinburgh, 99, remains at London‘s private King Edward VII’s Hospital, where he was moved back to on Friday after a procedure on a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London on Wednesday.
The monarchy is now facing ‘its worst crisis since the abdication in 1936’ after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ‘went nuclear’ in their interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey – which was watched by tens of millions of people around the world.
It is understood the Queen waited until Tuesday to comment on the devastating interview so Britons could watch it first – but ‘the Firm’ is not expected to make any additional comments.
Breaking her silence, the Queen has now said that, ‘while some recollections may vary’, the ‘whole family is saddened’ to hear of the couple’s ‘challenging few years’.
Her Majesty said an alleged racist comment made about what colour Harry and Meghan’s baby Archie would be was ‘concerning’ and will be ‘addressed by the family privately’.
The monarch is now reportedly set to speak to senior royals – including Charles, Camilla, William and Kate – behind closed doors over the couple’s allegations.
The Duke of Edinburgh , 99, remains at London ‘s private King Edward VII’s Hospital, where he was moved back to on Friday after a procedure on a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London on Wednesday (pictured: Philip in July 2020)
Prince William seen driving through London a day after Meghan and Harry gave their shattering interview to Oprah Winfrey
The Royal Family are said to be concerned that Harry and Meghan could out the royal accused of commenting on Archie’s skin colour if it denies the Royal Family is institutionally racist. Pictured is the Duchess of Cambridge driving through London today
Her statement added that Harry and Meghan – using their names rather than titles – and their son ‘will always be much loved family members’.
The Queen said: ‘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. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.’
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said her response assures Harry and Meghan and the public that the concerns raised in the interview will be addressed.
He told MailOnline: ‘This is a short statement which, in the Queen’s inimitable way, has a healing touch.
‘Let us hope that, after yesterday’s shock interview, it begins a process where the royal family and the Sussexes, who are part of it, can realise their undoubtedly unique potential together and solve their differences away from the public gaze.’
Harry – through back-stage comments to Oprah – has ruled out the Queen and Prince Philip as having made the comments about Archie but left other royals under suspicion.
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Charles visiting Skipton House in Elephant and Castle yesterday afternoon
Prince Charles wore a face mask as he toured Jesus House in Brent Cross, meeting NHS and church staff working on the vaccination pop-up clinic as well as community members due to receive their jab, March 9
Charles is said to be ‘deeply’ concerned over the racism claims, with a source saying: ‘It goes against everything the Prince of Wales believes in. He believes diversity is the strength of our society.’
Yesterday’s visit is understood to have been in the palace diary for some time, although the royals may have had a suspicion about what could be discussed in the Oprah interview in advance of it airing.
Charles seemed at ease as he chatted with people waiting for their vaccinations, including one woman who said she was from Nigeria.
The prince – who previously visited the church in 2007 – replied: ‘Oh fantastic, yes, I’ve been there. Lots of different ethnic groups. Do give them my kind regards next time you speak to them.’
As Charles left the church, a reporter asked, ‘Sir, what did you think of the interview?’, and after turning to see who had called out, he smiled and carried on walking.
The Prince of Wales re-adjusts his face mask after visiting Jesus House church near Brent Cross yesterday morning – in the first royal engagement since the Oprah interview
In the Oprah interview, Charles was personally referenced by Prince Harry, who said he felt ‘really let down’ by his father after he allegedly refused to answer his calls during his time in Canada.
Harry also claimed his family had cut him off financially and suggested the Queen had been badly advised and had cancelled a meeting scheduled at Sandringham.
Discussing his father, Harry said: ‘I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like. I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.’
Royal insiders have rubbished the claims and said Charles feels ‘let down’ by his son’s comments.
‘The Prince of Wales went out of his way to make sure his son and daughter in law were financially supported,’ a senior source told the Standard.
Harry’s remarks raised eyebrows as the couple had themselves made clear their express wish to be ‘financially independent’ when announcing their decision to quit in January 2020.
Meanwhile, another source close to the heir to the throne told the Telegraph Charles will be left ‘absolutely devastated’ by what his youngest son had said about him.