LONDON – Queen Elizabeth expressed concern Tuesday over allegations of racism in the royal ranks by Prince Harry and the justice minister.

Meghan Markle

this week, but said the royal family would address them privately.

In an interview with

Oprah Winfrey

The Duchess of Sussex, of mixed race, said Sunday that she felt suicidal while at the palace because a member of the royal family had become concerned about the skin color of her unborn child.

On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace issued a four-line statement on behalf of the Queen, saying the issues raised, particularly race, were of concern. Although the memories are different, they are taken very seriously by the family and considered private. The statement added that the Duke and Duchess will always be very beloved family members.

The statement appears to rule out a full investigation into allegations of racism in royal circles and instead seeks to draw a line under the simmering crisis that has gripped the monarch since Sunday.

In the two-hour interview, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told us they faced racism before and during their 2018 wedding. Prince Harry said discrimination in the UK played a major role in the couple’s decision to leave the UK for the United States last year.

Allegations that racism is central to the family are among the problems facing the House of Windsor as it enters a new generation. Queen Elizabeth, 94, has scaled back her public activities and Prince Charles is laying the groundwork for a more orderly monarchy.

In a statement, Queen Elizabeth said the Duke and Duchess will always be valued members of the family.


Frank Ogstein/Associated Press

The Sussex interview did not have a major impact on public opinion about kingship in Britain. A YouGov poll conducted after the interviews found that 36 per cent of British adults said their sympathies lay mainly with senior members of the royal family, while 22 per cent went back to Sussex. (A third of people said they had no sympathy for either party.)

But the polls also showed that the country is divided along age lines, with the under-50s supporting subsexuals and the over-50s supporting queens and older relatives.

It’s too early to say whether this will have a long-term effect on the royal brand or the institution itself, said Air Nolso, a researcher at YouGov.

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Buckingham Palace and the British government had remained silent on the issue.

Boris Johnson

refused to be weighed. Prince Charles visited a vaccination center during his first public tour after his interview to promote vaccinations in communities of color. When asked what he thought of the interview, he paused for a moment and then walked away.

In her speech, the Queen said she was not aware of Mrs Markle’s problems, adding that the family was saddened to learn of the extent of the problems the couple had faced in recent years.

Some royal observers have questioned whether the queen’s statement would end the accusations of racism, especially if people from Sassex continue to speak out on the issue. Last week, the palace announced a full internal investigation into allegations that the Duchess of Sussex was bullying royal staff. The Duchess denies harassment. It is unclear why a similar investigation has not been launched into allegations of racism.

Queen Elizabeth, left, has scaled back her public appearances and Prince Charles is laying the groundwork for a more orderly monarchy.


Dominik Lipinski/Press pool

The decision to close ranks when problems arise has sometimes led to additional anger among staff. Following the death of Princess Diana in 1997, the Queen took five days to come to terms with the loss of the princess. The popularity of the monarchy declined, but the family managed to regain its support and modernize. It culminated in 2018 in the marriage of Ms Markle, a divorced American actress, to Prince Harry.

Accusations of racism are one of the many headaches currently plaguing Buckingham Palace. Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son, faces questions about his past relationship with a now deceased sex offender.

Jeffrey Epstein.

In 2019, Prince Andrew appeared before the British Broadcasting Corporation to declare his friendship with Mr Epstein and refute the claims of Virginia Roberts Juffre, one of Mr Epstein’s accusers, that she was forced to have sex with him. Following public criticism of the interview, Prince Andrew was ordered to resign from his royal post.

The family is also struggling with more mundane issues, such as expenses that have nearly doubled in seven years, and criticism of the country’s top leaders is forcing them to consider British bills that affect their assets or land holdings.

Oprah’s interview evoked strong emotions. On Tuesday, the British Broadcasting Corporation


PLC reported that Piers Morgan quit his flagship breakfast show, Good Morning Britain, following comments about the Duchess of Sussex’s appearance. Mr. Morgan said Tuesday morning that he didn’t believe a word of what the Duchess said in her interview with Ms. Morgan. Winfrey, and then walked away for 10 minutes. The incident prompted the UK telecoms regulator to investigate the matter after receiving thousands of complaints.

Email Max Colchester at [email protected]

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