Buckingham Palace remains silent on claims made in Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah

Video report by ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship


Buckingham Palace has remained silent after explosive claims made in Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Millions of UK viewers tuned in to watch the interview aired on ITV on Monday night, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spoke about their lives in the Royal Family.

Among the claims made in the interview were that a member of the family - not the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh - raised concerns about their unborn son's potential skin colour.

The Duchess of Sussex also said she got to a stage where she was having suicidal thoughts but was refused help by people working for the "institution".

She also alleged that the Royal Family failed to protect her from damaging press reports. She pointed to tabloid reports that she had made Kate Middleton cry before her wedding, saying the reverse happened. But she clarified it was not a "confrontation" and the Duchess of Cambridge had apologised.

The duke and duchess during their interview with Oprah Winfrey Credit: ITV Hub/Harpo Productions/CBS

And the duchess expressed her shock at the idea that her son Archie would not be titled in the same way as other grandchildren, and that he would not be offered security by the Royal Family.

Prince Harry claimed he never blindsided the Queen when the couple announced they wanted to step down as senior royals in January last year. He alleged that at around the time, his father Prince Charles stopped taking his calls.

Andrew Pierce, consultant editor at the Daily Mail, told ITV's Good Morning Britain he was "pretty sure" the palace would make a statement on Tuesday about the allegations surrounding Archie's skin colour.

The Times has also reported that the Queen last night refused to sign off a prepared statement that officials had hoped would deescalate tensions by highlighting the family's love and concern for the couple. She was believed to want more time to consider her response.


Meghan tells Oprah Winfrey she 'just didn’t want to be alive anymore'

Royal biographer Andrew Morton said the fallout from the interview will “shudder down through the generations in the same way that Diana’s did”.

In her Panorama interview in 1995, Harry’s mother, Diana, the Princess of Wales, called royal officials “the enemy” and questioned the Prince of Wales’ suitability to be King.

Mr Morton, who wrote Diana: Her True Story in 1992 – a book the princess secretly collaborated on – told ITV: “We are having a re-run of so many things, that Harry’s concerned about Meghan, that she would suffer the same fate as his mother.

“We have forgotten nothing, remembered nothing.

“Make no mistake, the fall out from this will shudder down through the generations, in the same way that Diana’s did.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki showed his support for Harry and Meghan. Ms Psaki told journalists on Monday: “For anyone to come forward and speak about their own struggles with mental health and tell their own personal story, that takes courage.

“That’s certainly something the president believes.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the allegations made by the duchess must be taken seriously.

He said: “Nobody, but nobody, should be prejudiced (against) because of the colour of their skin or because of their mental health issues.”

In the bombshell interview, Oprah asked of Archie’s lack of title: “Do you think it’s because of his race? I know that’s a loaded question.”

Meghan replied: “I can give you an honest answer. In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we (had) 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.”

The chat show host was told it had been raised by a member of the royal family with Harry.

The duchess said: “That was relayed to me from Harry, those were conversations the family had with him, and I think it was really hard to be able to see those as compartmentalised conversations.”

Meghan and Harry would not say who the family member was. The duke said: “That conversation, I am never going to share. At the time it was awkward, I was a bit shocked.”

The duke also added that none of his relatives spoke out in support of Meghan following the racism he said she faced in the media.

“No one from my family ever said anything over those three years. That hurts,” Harry said.

Commenting on her mental health crisis, when she felt she did not “want to be alive anymore”, the duchess said: “I went to the institution, and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that, ‘I’ve never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere.’

“And I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

Meghan described how nothing was done when she contacted other unnamed individuals and she “had to find a solution”.

When Winfrey suggested if the answer was “I don’t want to be alive anymore,” Meghan replied “Well, I thought it would have solved everything for everyone, right?”


Meghan tells Oprah about “concerns and conversations' about Archie's skin colour

Harry was equally cutting about the financial support he received from his family, saying they “literally cut me off financially” in the first quarter of 2020, and he went for the Netflix and Spotify deals to pay for his security.

He said he had what Diana left him and “without that we would not have been able to do this”.

In the wake of the interview, a touching family photograph of the Sussexes and their young son Archie was released.

The black and white image taken and shared by photographer Misan Harriman captures a smiling, pregnant Meghan stood by a tree cuddling her son as Harry stands behind her, embracing his wife.


Oprah With Meghan and Harry is available to watch on demand on ITV Hub for viewers in the UK.