The drama continues. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s response to the Queen’s Archie skin color statement shows that there’s still a lot of work to be done before they’re cool with the royals again.
During their CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, Meghan claimed that there were multiple royal family members who had “conversations” with Harry over how dark Archie’s skin tone would be and how that would look to the royals before he was born. “There [were] conversations with Harry about how dark your baby is going to be and what that would mean or look like,” Meghan said at the time. Oprah then followed up by asking, “They were concerned that if he were too brown that that would be a problem?” to which Meghan responded, “I wasn’t able to follow up. If that’s the assumption you’re making…that would be a safe one.”
When Oprah asked Meghan which royal family members had concerns about Archie‘s skin tone, the Duchess of Sussex declined to name the person, telling Oprah that it would be too “damaging” for them. When Oprah asked Harry about the skin tone comment later in the interview, the Duke of Sussex revealed that he would “never” share details about the conversation. He did, however, reveal that the conversation happened “early on” in his relationship with Meghan. “That conversation I’m never going to share. It was awkward. I was a bit shocked,” he said. “That was right at the beginning: ‘What will the kids look like?'”
Oprah later confirmed on CBS This Morning that Meghan and Harry never shared the identity of the royals who had concerns over Archie’s skin color but they did confirm that it wasn’t Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Philip. After Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview, the Queen issued a statement with Buckingham Palace, where she stated that “recollections may vary” over Meghan and Harry’s claims.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the statement read. “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. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”
According to a new chapter in a re-issue of Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s 2020 book, Finding Freedom, Harry and Meghan had an issue with the Queen’s “recollections may vary” comment but weren’t surprised that she didn’t take “full ownership” over other royals’ racism.
“The queen’s ‘recollections may vary’ comment did not go unnoticed by the couple, who, a close source said, were ‘not surprised’ that full ownership was not taken. ‘Months later and little accountability has been taken,’ a pal of Meghan added. ‘How can you move forward with that?’” an excerpt of the new chapter shared by People reads.
Scobie and Durand also described how long it took for Buckingham Palace to respond to Meghan and Harry’s claims. “It took 36 hours for the palace to weigh in. when Queen Elizabeth issued a statement saying they were ‘saddened to learn’ of the challenges Harry and Meghan had faced but adding that ‘some recollections may vary,'” the authors write. Scobie and Durand also noted that “Buckingham Palace had no further comment on the updated book.”
For more about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, read Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s New York Times bestseller, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family. The book tells all on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s relationship—from their wedding and how they met, to the birth of their first son, Archie. Finding Freedom also dives into the “true story” of why Harry and Meghan left the royals at the end of 2019 and moved to the United States amid their drama with their family. Consisting of interviews and accounts with Harry and Meghan’s closest confidants, Finding Freedom is a must-read for any royal follower.
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