Watch Alex Beresford's full interview with Peaches Golding OBE Lord-Lieutenant of Bristol
The Queen's representative in Bristol has spoken up for the Royal Family at the end of one of its most difficult weeks in modern times.
Bristol's Peaches Golding became the first Black woman to be appointed a Lord-Lieutenant. She said she has always been treated with the utmost respect in all her dealings with the family.
Mrs Golding has been speaking to Alex Beresford about Harry and Meghan's future, allegations of racism within the Royal Family, and the issue of mental health.
You can watch the interview above or read the full transcript below...
Alex Beresford: The experience that Meghan Markle felt and the way she expressed it to Oprah, how do we as a nation digest those claims? It seems to have perhaps split opinion and I guess in a way Meghan’s integrity has been pulled into question by many.
Peaches Golding: We as a nation need to learn how to talk about mental health and how it affects us, from just the very tiny things to the very large things.
I hope that we are in the process of having a discussion about that and I know that Prince William in particular, along with Prince Harry, worked on mental health issues.
I completely agree. You mentioned Prince William and he chose to speak out yesterday. Do you think that was the right thing to do?
I would not wish ever to be in a circumstance where people were throwing microphones at me and asking questions. It’s a very difficult thing and I think we all have to acknowledge the fact that he did say ‘yes we are not a racist family’.
And if I think about the context around that, which might be helpful, of course Her Majesty and the Commonwealth go right back to its very foundation. Colonies were granted their independence decided in and among themselves, as free and equal nations to come together, and form a Commonwealth and it has enabled Her Majesty and members of the Royal Family to develop very strong relationships - from the head of state right down to individuals in grassroots communities doing the type of work that they do on a whole range of agendas.
On the question of race and also more specifically about the colour or the darkness of Archie’s skin - that has been one of the biggest talking points that has come out of the interview. Is there always a way to ask a difficult question that could be perceived as being negative or racist?
All I can do is talk about my family because that’s what I know and I know that in my family we go from shades of very nearly white to very nearly the darkest chocolate browns that you can come from.
What I know is that in my family we love each other regardless of the colour of our skin or the texture of our hair.
When you go back to someone like Martin Luther King, he said some really, really important words on people being judged on the content of their character and not the colour of their skin.
That’s what I experience in my family and we always want to have a little conversation about the joy that babies bring - and it’s a conversation born of love I hope.
As someone who works for the Queen, you’ve met her on several occasions, what’s been your personal experience of working for the Queen and working with the Royal family.
One of the things that the Lord-Lieutenant does is we join communities to palaces and palaces to communities.
I can say that I have always been treated with the utmost respect and dignity and with people who are trying to get the best out of each other on every occasion.
Have you had any experiences with Harry and Meghan? Have you had the opportunity to meet with them? What was that like?
They visited us just over two years ago. There was a lovely walkabout in the snow outside of the Bristol Old Vic where they unveiled a plaque.
They then went on to One25 which is a charity that looks at women who work on the street and they went to Empire Fighting Chance, again to meet some lovely young people who were learning about mental health, how it is to manage their own feelings and emotions.
They can still be role models for many people and that’s very good, whether they do it as private citizens or within the royal family’s activities it doesn’t matter. As Her Majesty said, they will always be much-loved members of the family.
Oprah With Meghan and Harry is available to watch on demand on ITV Hub for viewers in the UK.
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