Queen to privately quiz senior royals over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's race claims
SENIOR royals will be personally quizzed by the Queen over Meghan and Prince Harry’s damaging racism claims.
Her Majesty said in a statement yesterday the accusations will be “addressed privately”.
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The monarch is to have private conversations with Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and others to establish what may have been said.
The Sun told yesterday how the Duke and Duchess had already given differing accounts of the alleged racist remark — revealed in their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey which was seen around the world.
Meghan told Oprah a senior royal had quizzed her while she was pregnant on “how dark” their unborn son Archie would be.
But Harry later said the remarks came in conversations before the couple were married and were about what their future children might look like.
Yesterday — after 24 hours of silence — the Queen issued a short statement backing her family over the claims and insisting: “Recollections may vary.”
She 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.
“Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
Offering an olive branch after the interview, she added: “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”
Harry is expected to be spoken to by the Queen alongside Prince Charles and Prince William. But every family member — including Kate and Camilla — is now expected to be drawn into the investigation.
Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.
Harry and Meghan refused to name the alleged royal racist but Oprah said she was told it was not the Queen, 94, or Prince Philip, 99.
Her Majesty’s statement also suggested the Palace were unaware of the depths of Meghan’s mental health suffering after she revealed she had suicidal thoughts and was refused help by officials.
Palace officials are also likely to investigate what contact Meghan made over her mental health.
A senior royal source said Palace aides would be looking into Meghan’s claims she asked for mental health support but was refused it.
What the statement meant
THE Queen is acknowledging Harry and Meghan’s feelings of suffering and makes it clear that she and the rest of the Royal Family are “saddened”.
But she is also making it apparent that her grandson and his American wife never disclosed to her the extent of their problems.
HER Majesty knows any accusation of racism will be toxic across the globe.
But she is standing by her family and is suggesting that there are already different versions of the “dark skin” conversations.
Her Majesty stresses that the issue will receive close, and private, scrutiny.
DESPITE dragging the Royal Family through the mud, Meghan and Harry remain popular with some.
They enjoy sympathy among young millennials over their mental health struggles.
Here, the Queen is holding out an olive branch aimed at reconciliation.
But the source added: “One of the things that will be looked at is why on earth did Meghan go to the Palace HR department for help and not to senior members of the Family.
“They have medical households full of medical experts that could have helped with everything.”
Yesterday sources close to Prince Charles insisted he had not been racist towards the couple and was proud of Britain as a non- racist country.
A senior insider said: “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.
“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.”
Prince William was also said to be “livid” at having the finger of racism pointed at him after Meghan and Harry’s refusal to name the royal at the centre of their claims.
Wild speculation online has accused Wills, Kate, Charles, Camilla and Princess Anne of being behind the skin tone remarks.
A royal source said: “William and his father have long spoken about racism and mental health. For them to be accused of being racist is deeply upsetting and wrong.
“William is also concerned at the idea of Kate being dragged into this wholly unnecessarily.”
The Queen has already held several Zoom calls with Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39 and will do the same in the coming weeks to discuss their claims.
For William and Charles to be accused of being racist is deeply upsetting and wrong.
Another senior royal source said: “At the heart of all of this there is a family. They should be given the opportunity to discuss the issues raised privately, as a family.
“It has been important for us to carefully consider any response before issuing; and of course releasing something today meant viewers in the UK had the opportunity to watch the interview, if they wished to, first.
“Diversity, equality, inclusion and mental health are important issues and highlighting that has formed part of the work of members of the Royal Family for many years.”
The Queen’s statement came after she was involved in crisis talks at Buckingham Palace while husband Prince Philip remained in hospital as he recovered from heart surgery.
It is understood officials first drafted a response to the Oprah interview on Monday morning but waited to see the public reaction after it was screened in Britain on ITV that night.
Aides were also waiting to see the reaction to Prince Charles and Camilla who were both out on public engagements yesterday.
Royal author Penny Junor said: “The Queen’s response is a reply with dignity and left the Sussexes as a couple with dignity.”
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, said: “Whilst saying some recollections may vary the Queen could be pointing out that Harry and Meghan’s recollections vary in their story of their unborn child. But also that other royals have different recollections.”
Former Buckingham Palace spokesman Dickie Arbiter said: “The Queen has made it very clear to Harry and Meghan — hey we are going to deal with it in private.”
Meghan and Harry left the Palace reeling after including the racism accusation among a string of incendiary claims.
Meghan alleged there were “several conversations” including when she was pregnant with Archie when the family discussed if he would have a title.
The Duchess said: “In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we have in tandem the conversation of ‘He won’t be given security.
"He’s not going to be given a title’ and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
Harry told Oprah it was “at the beginning” of his relationship when a member of the family asked “what will the kids look like”.
The Sun says
SOME recollections may vary. You can say that again, Ma’am.
Indeed Harry and Meghan’s recollections of their most toxic and damaging anecdote vary fundamentally even between the two of them. But we digress.
Let’s focus instead on the calm, measured dignity of the Queen’s statement yesterday despite the hurricane of hate hurled at the institution she leads — and which the Sussexes so despise.
The Palace could so easily have hit back hard. But Her Majesty knows Britain is divided — with older Brits mainly considering Harry and Meghan entitled, self-obsessed brats while millennials suspect they WERE hard done by.
The Queen’s riposte was rightly calibrated to appeal to both.
It played a straight bat to all those venomous barbs. But it conceded that the worst allegation, of a racist remark by a senior Royal, will be taken seriously . . . while hinting it may not have been as sold by Harry.
And it expressed a moving and unqualified love for the couple and baby Archie, a telling contrast to the viciousness of that interview two nights ago.
The Queen kept it short — and won’t comment further.
Sadly, we doubt that’s true of California’s self-appointed champions of compassion.
He said: “That conversation I’m never going to share, but at the time it was awkward. I was a bit shocked.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who refused to be drawn into the royal crisis on Monday following the US screening, did watch the Harry and Meghan interview that night, it has emerged.
But his official spokesman said: “I’ve got nothing to add to what the PM said yesterday.”
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