London – Prince William became the first British royal on Thursday to directly defend his family against accusations of racism made by his sister-in-law Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and her husband, Prince Harry in their interview with Oprah Winfrey. William told reporters that the royals “are not a racist family.”
Commenting during a visit to a school in East London, Prince William added that he had not spoken to his brother Harry since the interview, but said he would.
In the explosive interview, which aired Sunday in the United States and Monday in the United Kingdom, Meghan said that she had felt so isolated in the royal family that she had faced serious mental health difficulties, even contemplating suicide. She and Harry also said that an anonymous family member had expressed concern about their unborn child’s skin color.
Buckingham Palace issued its first response to the interview on Tuesday, with a 61 word statement on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.
“The entire family is saddened to learn to the full how challenging the past few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the statement read. “The issues raised, particularly race, are troubling. While some memories may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed in private by the family. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be very dear family members.”
But before the interview aired, the royal family released a statement saying they were investigating allegations of the harassment committed by Meghan’s staff against her during her time as royalty.
Oprah’s interview has ignited a fierce debate around the world about the royal family and race, and Dawn Butler, a British Member of Parliament from London, told CBS News’ Holly Williams on Wednesday that the royal family has existed. “wrapped in a bubble of whiteness. “
“It’s a well-established racist trope against black women to call them stalkers or call them angry,” Butler said. “What Meghan faced is what black women face every day in the workplace.”
In response to the barrage of negative stories about Meghan in the UK tabloids, Butler said the royal family had to answer for the racism that happened during their surveillance.
“When an institution meets another institution like the tabloid press, and they decide to amplify that racist trope, it’s a problem. That’s structural racism, and that’s what we have to come to terms with in this country, and that’s what What we have to do. “The institution surrounding the royal family has to grapple with the fact that they were complicit in amplifying a racist trope against a black woman,” Butler said.