Prince William said on Thursday that Britain’s royals were not racist after Meghan, wife of his younger brother Harry, said one unnamed member of the family had asked how dark their son Archie’s skin might be.
The revelation emerged during an explosive tell-all interview Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, gave to Oprah Winfrey which was aired on Sunday, plunging the British monarchy into its biggest crisis since the 1997 death of Princess Diana, William and Harry’s mother.
On a visit to a school in east London, William said he had not talked to Harry since the interview was broadcast just over three days ago.
“I haven’t spoken to him yet but I will do,” William, 38, said.
Asked by a reporter if the royal family was racist, William said: “We’re very much not a racist family.”
In the two-hour show, Meghan also said the royals had ignored her pleas for help while she felt suicidal, while Harry said his father, heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, had let him down and that he had felt trapped.
On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace issued a statement on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, the princes’ grandmother, in which she said the family were saddened by how challenging the couple had found the last few years.
The statement added the issues of race were concerning and would be treated very seriously, but pointedly stated “some recollections may vary”.
The Palace have said that it was a family matter that should be dealt with privately.
During the interview, Harry laid bare how distant he had come from the other members of his family, saying his father had stopped taking his calls at one point, and saying there was “space” in his relationship with William.
“Much will continue to be said about that … as I said before, you know, I love William to bits, he’s my brother, we’ve been through hell together and we have a shared experience,” he said. “But we’re on different paths.”
The interview was watched by 12.4 million viewers in Britain and 17.1 million in the United States.
It has proved divisive among the British public: some believe it showed how outdated and intolerant the institution was, while others decried it as a self-serving assault that neither Elizabeth nor her family deserved.