Prince William photographed in Peterborough, England, on July 16, 2020.
Kirsty Wigglesworth – WPA Pool | Getty Images News | Getty Images
LONDON — Prince William has issued his first comments since the explosive interview given by his brother Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, saying the royal family are not racist.
“We are very much not a racist family,” William, the Duke of Cambridge, said after a question from Sky News Thursday about the interview. Harry and Meghan had made allegations of racism within the palace, and said that they felt unsupported by the rest of the royal family.
Asked if he had spoken to his brother yet, William replied: “I haven’t spoken to him yet but I plan to.”
The comments, made during a visit to an east London school on Thursday, come after the interview with Harry and Meghan by Oprah Winfrey which was first aired on Sunday night. The couple, who now live in the U.S., alleged that a member of the royal family had questioned what skin tone their then-unborn child might have.
Meghan, the first mixed-race member of the modern British royal family, would not reveal who had made the comment, saying, “I think that would be very damaging for them.”
Winfrey later clarified that the comment had not been made by the queen or Prince Philip.
The two-hour interview, which was watched by millions of viewers on both sides of the Atlantic, contained other damaging claims including that the palace had failed to provide support for Meghan when she experienced mental health issues that left her feeling suicidal.
The Sussexes spoke of the pressures of royal life and also said they had been prompted to leave the U.K., and to step back from their roles as working royals early last year, because of hostility from the British tabloid press that they said the palace had failed to defend them from.
The interview, aired Monday night in Britain, reportedly prompted crisis talks among senior members of the royal family. Later on Tuesday, Buckingham Palace issued a statement on behalf of the queen in which it was stated that the family would deal with the matter in private.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the queen said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately,” she added.