Meghan and Harry sparked an extraordinary guessing game yesterday after accusing an unnamed member of the Royal Family of racism.
In one of the most shocking sections of the Oprah Winfrey interview, the duchess claimed that Harry was asked by a close relative ‘how dark’ their unborn baby would be.
She added that the unnamed Royal had raised ‘concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born’.
The couple refused to identify the person concerned as it would be ‘too damaging to them’.
Speaking yesterday after the interview had aired in the US, Miss Winfrey revealed that Harry had asked her to make clear it wasn’t the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh – leaving only a handful of people it could be, including the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as the Duchess of Cornwall.
Meghan and Harry accused an unnamed member of the Royal Family of racism during their interview with Oprah Winfrey
Palace insiders reacted with horror at the accusation last night, saying it was deeply unfair to throw around such a damaging accusation, potentially libelling a number of senior royals who are unable to defend themselves.
It was also pointed out that there was no context to the alleged comment, which might shed more light on why it was said. And there appeared to be a contradiction about when it was said, with Meghan saying it was while she was pregnant, while Harry said it had happened before their wedding.
The bombshell claim came as the duchess was asked about why she believed the Royal Family were trying to stop her unborn son being made a prince and prevent him from receiving official security.
Miss Winfrey remarked that Meghan and Harry must have had their own ‘suspicions’, asking flatly: ‘Do you think it’s because of his race?’
Meghan said she would answer ‘honestly’, before going on to claim there were ‘concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born’.
Reacting with exaggerated horror, Miss Winfrey asked who said that. Meghan sighed and said there were ‘several’ conversations about it with Harry.
‘About how dark your baby is going to be?’ asked Miss Winfrey.
Meghan replied: ‘Potentially, and what that would mean or look like.’ When pushed to reveal that person’s identity, Meghan refused.
Significantly, she revealed that the question was asked during conversations ‘family had with him’.
When Harry joined the conversation, Miss Winfrey quickly took up the issue with him, saying Meghan had revealed there was a ‘conversation about Archie’s skin tone’.
He nodded, clearly uncomfortable, admitted that it was ‘awkward’ and he was ‘a bit shocked’, but said he did not want to discuss it further.
The couple refused to identify the person concerned as it would be ‘too damaging to them’. Pictured: Prince Charles poses for an official portrait to mark his 70th birthday in 2018 with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis
The claim came as the duchess was asked about why she believed the Royal Family were trying to stop her unborn son being made a prince
The Duchess of Sussex said she would answer ‘honestly’ before going on to claim there were ‘concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born’
Miss Winfrey said yesterday she had been ‘shocked’ at the alleged comment regarding Archie’s skin tone, but although she had tried to ask Harry for more information, both on and off-camera, he had refused to divest more.
However, he told her he wanted it made clear that the person concerned was ‘not his grandmother nor his grandfather’.
There was no comment from Buckingham Palace, but Charles’s biographer, Jonathan Dimbleby, told BBC Radio 4 he could not believe it would have been the heir to the throne.
‘He is someone whose professional personal life has been dedicated to bringing people together, not pulling them apart,’ he said. As predicted, race was a defining feature of the interview, threading through much of the interview.
Harry claimed that a ‘large part’ of the reason he and his family quit the UK was down to racism.
In an extra interview clip, posted on Twitter by US broadcaster CBS yesterday, the couple were asked by Miss Winfrey: ‘Did you leave the country because of racism?’
After a pause, Harry admitted it was a ‘large part’ of their reasoning, before launching an attack on the ‘bigoted’ press in the UK. The duke said it would have made a ‘huge difference’ if the Royal Family had acknowledged the couple’s concerns.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex outside Windsor Castle on their wedding day in 2018
‘There’s a lot of people that have seen it for what it was,’ he said. ‘A lot of people. Like, it’s talked about across the world.
‘Yet, the very people that don’t want to see it or can’t see it choose not to see it.’
He said he has tried to ‘help them’ see what was happening to his wife and warned them that it was ‘not going to end well’.
Harry failed to reference his own indiscretions, including dressing up in a Nazi uniform and being filmed as a Sandhurst cadet using offensive and racist language to describe a colleague.
Instead, he obliquely referred to ‘doing my own learning’, blaming ‘the system of which I was brought up in’ for his ignorance.
He added: ‘One of the most telling parts and the saddest parts, I guess, was over 70 Members of Parliament… came out and called out the colonial undertones of articles and headlines written about Meghan.
‘Yet no one from my family ever said anything over those three years. That hurts.’
The duchess claimed the situation was made worse because royal press teams failed to come to their defence and correct inaccurate reports – as they had done for other family members.