Prince William has spoken out following his brother Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s bombshell interview, becoming the first member of the Royal Family to address the allegations of racism lodged by the couple.
“We are very much not a racist family,” he said in response to a question from Sky News during a visit to an East London school on Thursday, which marked the future king’s first public appearance since the claims were made during a CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Asked whether he has spoken to his sibling, he said, “I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I will do.”
In the interview, when asked by Winfrey about the state of the brothers’ relationship, Prince Harry characterized it as “space.” The siblings have always been extremely close, but relations have soured in recent years, particularly as Prince Harry and Markle have come under intense media scrutiny, forcing them to flee to the U.S. and step back as working members of the Royal Family.
Breaking: Prince William has become the first member of the royal family to publicly address the race row sparked by Harry and Meghan’s interview. He says he hasn ‘t spoken to his brother yet but will do and royals very much not a racist family. pic.twitter.com/WPtjexzARN
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) March 11, 2021
The Royal Family held crisis talks earlier in the week, immediately following the interview. After much speculation as to what their response — if anything — might be, Buckingham Palace on Tuesday issued a terse statement on behalf of the Queen, noting that the “whole family” was “saddened” by the revelations.
“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. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members,” reads the statement.
The couple’s no-holds-barred interview with Oprah Winfrey aired on ITV Monday evening, during which Markle and Harry revealed that an unnamed member of the Royal Family had questioned “how dark” their firstborn child’s skin color might be.
Separately, Markle spoke very candidly about her feelings of isolation during her life as a working member of the “Firm,” and also admitted to having entertained suicidal thoughts. Though she had asked for help from the institution, said Markle, she had received none.
Prince Harry also spoke freely to Winfrey, revealing in the two-hour special that he felt he hadn’t blindsided the Queen with the shock announcement that the couple was stepping back as senior royals in January 2020. He alleges that he had tried to see his grandmother but was effectively blocked by her aides.
Pressed by Winfrey to reveal which family member had spoken out about Archie’s skin color, Prince Harry said he was “never going to share” that information, as it would be “very damaging” to the individual; however, he later communicated via Winfrey that the person in question wasn’t the Queen or Prince Philip.