Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has said there was concern within the royal family about her baby’s skin tone, and her husband Prince Harry condemned his relatives for failing to criticize colonial undertones in media coverage, in a series of damning and disturbing claims that threaten to spark a racism scandal around Buckingham Palace.
Meghan told Oprah Winfrey during her highly anticipated interview Sunday that an unnamed member of the family raised the issue of how dark their unborn baby Archie’s skin would be while she was pregnant.
There were several “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born,” she said, in one of the most stunning revelations from an explosive confessional that will pose problems for the palace.
“That was relayed to me from Harry. Those were conversations that family had with him,” Meghan added, declining to reveal who was involved in those conversations. “That would be very damaging to them,” she said.
The Duchess said the concerns were raised around the same time as the couple were told Archie wouldn’t have security or an official title.
Harry was asked about the matter when he joined his wife for part of the TV special, which was shown on Sunday evening on CBS and dominated headlines in the UK on Monday morning.
“That conversation, I am never going to share,” Harry said. “At the time, it was awkward, I was a bit shocked.”
When Winfrey asked if he could share the questions posed during the conversation, he declined, saying “I’m not comfortable with sharing that.”
“But it was right at the beginning,” he added. “What will the kids look like? That was at the beginning when she wasn’t going to get security, when my family suggested that she might continue acting (because there wasn’t going to be money for her).”
In another part of the broadcast, Harry also criticized the royals for failing to support them when lawmakers pointed out “colonial undertones” in the way that Meghan was covered in the British press.
“For us, for this union and the specifics around her race, there was an opportunity — many opportunities — for my family to show some public support,” Harry said. The couple have themselves frequently criticized parts of the media for racist elements to their coverage.
“One of the most telling parts and the saddest parts, I guess, was over 70 female members of Parliament, both Conservative and Labour, came out and called out the colonial undertones of articles and headlines written about Meghan. Yet no one from my family ever said anything. That hurts,” Harry told Winfrey.
“It takes living in her shoes, in this instance, for a day or those first eight days to see where it was going to go and how far they were going to take it, and get away with it,” he said of the British media’s coverage of the Duchess, adding that he hadn’t been aware of that element of the media until he met Meghan.
The interview will air on British TV on Monday evening, but Meghan’s accusations of racism were already heavily featured in UK headlines on Monday morning.
Asked about the claims on Monday, the UK’s Minister for Children, Vicky Ford, said there was “no place” for racism.
Meghan, the wife of Prince Harry, accused Britain’s royal family of raising concerns about how dark their son’s skin might be and pushing her to the brink of suicide, in a tell-all television interview that will send shockwaves through the monarchy.
The 39-year-old, whose mother is Black and father is white, said she had been naive before she married into royalty in 2018, but that she ended up having suicidal thoughts and considering self harm after pleading for help but getting none.
Meghan said that her son Archie, now aged one, had been denied the title of prince because there were concerns within the royal family “about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”.
“That was relayed to me from Harry, those were conversations that family had with him,” Meghan recounted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey aired on CBS late on Sunday.
Meghan declined to say who had aired such concerns, as did Harry. He said his family had cut them off financially and that his father Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, had let him down and refused to take his calls at one point.
Buckingham Palace was not expected to give an immediate response to the interview, which aired in the early hours of Monday morning in Britain.
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