Queen and Prince Charles back Prince William after he spoke out to insist the royals are ‘very much not a racist family’ as fallout from Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview grows
- Prince William became first senior Windsor to address Harry and Meghan claims
- William admitted he had not even spoken to his brother Harry about the TV show
- He also insisted the royals were ‘very much not a racist family’ when asked by a Sky News reporter: ‘Can you just let me know, is the Royal Family a racist family?’
- The prince’s comments were praised by insiders, who said the 38-year-old did ‘very well given the emotion and enormity of it all’
The Queen and Prince Charles backed Prince William last night after he insisted the royals were ‘very much not a racist family’.
William yesterday became the first senior Windsor to address directly the string of allegations made by Harry and Meghan in their explosive Oprah Winfrey interview.
He also confirmed the depth of the rift between him and his brother.
William admitted he had not even spoken to Harry about the TV show – four days after it aired. His reaction laid bare his clear hurt over the claims made by his brother and sister-in-law.
The prince’s comments were praised by insiders, who said the 38-year-old did ‘very well given the emotion and enormity of it all’.
The Queen and Prince Charles (pictured together in 2019) have backed Prince William after he spoke out to insist the Royal Family are ‘very much not a racist family’ as the fallout from Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview continues to grow
Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, the official homes of the Queen and the Prince of Wales, were both said to be supportive of William’s solo intervention.
The prince was speaking as he and his wife Kate visited a school in east London to support a youth mental health support service.
Aides had initially insisted the couple would not answer questions about the interview because it would ‘not be appropriate’ in a school setting.
This is not unusual on official engagements because royals like to keep the focus on the issue and the individuals they are supporting. But it is understood the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also determined not to amend their programme to avoid the subject.
When Sky News reporter Inzamam Rashid shouted out two questions on their departure William did not blink. ‘Sir, have you spoken to your brother since the interview?’ he asked.
The prince replied tersely: ‘I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I will do.’
Terse: William yesterday answered questions called out by Sky reporter on London school visit with Kate and an unnamed woman on whether the Royal Family was racist. ‘We’re very much NOT a racist family,’ William replied to the question
The Daily Mail understands that the once-inseparable brothers have not spoken for months. As William and Kate walked on, the reporter persisted: ‘Can you just let me know, is the Royal Family a racist family?’
William turned so his voice could be heard and said, clearly and firmly, despite his mask: ‘We’re very much not a racist family.’
The frustration in his voice, and on his face, was clear. Kensington Palace declined to comment, saying the duke had said all he wished to say.
But sources confirmed that the questions were entirely spontaneous and the prince – although expecting a reporter might try to ask him something – had no idea what that might be.
His firm rebuttal came after Buckingham Palace issued a statement on Tuesday on behalf of the Queen expressing the family’s sadness at learning the ‘full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan’.
The statement said the issues they raised, particularly that of race, were very ‘concerning’.
Pictured: Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gesture during a visit to School21 following its re-opening after the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in east London on March 11, 2021
But it made clear that the Queen and other senior royals were keen to stand their ground, adding: ‘While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.’
It is obvious from his comments yesterday that William is one of the family members whose recollections are markedly different to those of the Sussexes.
In their two-hour conversation with US chat show host Miss Winfrey, Harry and Meghan attacked the Royal Family from all sides.
The claimed they had experienced open racism from family members and staff, and alleged a member of Harry’s family even expressed ‘concern’ about ‘how dark’ their unborn son would be.
They also said the family had been uniquely unsupportive of the pressures they were going through, leaving Meghan feeling suicidal and fuelling their decision to quit the UK.
Harry said he felt let down by his father, who, he claimed, refused to take his calls at one point, and admitted there was still a gulf between him and his brother.
Prince William speaks with a child during a visit to School 21 following its re-opening after the easing of coronavirus disease lockdown restrictions in east London, March 11, 2021
Their accusations have left the Royal Family reeling and prompted a huge debate about the racism both within the monarchy and the UK more generally.
The fact that William was asked about the row on an official engagement shows what unprecedented territory the Royal Family has found itself in.
Buckingham Palace has seen its every word and action under scrutiny, with the claims prompting debate about the future of the monarchy in Commonwealth realms such as Australia, where the Queen is still head of state.
While it was clear yesterday that William had not wanted to be put in the position of discussing the falling-out with his brother and sister-in-law, neither had he wanted to be seen dodging the question.
He may even have wanted to get his personal rebuttal off his chest.
William and Kate were yesterday visiting School 21 in Stratford to mark the return to classes and the rollout to secondary schools of a mental health project for pupils that Kate launched in primary schools in 2018.
The course materials have been accessed a million times since the launch three years ago.
Pictured: Call of duty: Child offers a high five to Kate, who wore a pink coat and matching mask on the visit to School 21 in east London
Race claims and a battle of Wills
Pictured: Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on A CBS Primetime Special premiering on CBS on March 7
These are the bombshell race allegations the Sussexes made in their Oprah Winfrey interview – triggering William’s frustrated reply to a reporter yesterday.
- Discussing why baby Archie is not a prince, Meghan spoke of ‘concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born’.
- Asked if there were concerns her child would be ‘too brown’ and it would be a problem, Meghan told Miss Winfrey: ‘If that is the assumption you are making, that is a pretty safe one.’
- Harry said none of his relatives spoke out in support of Meghan after stories with ‘colonial undertones’ were published, adding: ‘That hurts.’
- In an extra clip that did not make the final two-hour cut, Miss Winfrey asked Harry if they left the UK due to racism and he said: ‘It was a large part of it.’
- In additional footage, Meghan said the Press treated her worse than Kate, saying: ‘If a member of [Harry’s] family would comfortably say “we’ve all had to deal with things that are rude”…rude and racist are not the same.’
During the visit William and Kate talked to teachers about the benefits for pupils. They were welcomed by co-head teachers, Stephanie Shaldas and Edmund Coogan, and were introduced to some of the youngest pupils at a play session.
Kate, in a pink Max & Co coat, knelt down to talk to children in a pop-up cafe, while William helped a girl building a wall in the playground’s construction area.
Later he sat on a raised floor talking to a little boy who was brandishing a clipboard as Kate went to a water play area and then joined children in a sand pit hunting for treasure.
‘Is it fun to be back with all your friends?’ she asked them.
Kate and William then joined teachers and staff involved in the Mentally Healthy Schools project to talk about its aims and impact on children.
They sat in a circle outside the school because of Covid restrictions. After the television reporter’s questions were fired at William, it looked as though he may have apologised to Miss Shaldas for bringing his family’s traumas into the playground.
Andrea Silvain, a deputy head at the 1,200-pupil free school, said the last year of lockdowns had brought teachers and parents closer together and families had appreciated the help that the mental health website had given.
‘We’ve had some very positive feedback from parents,’ she said.
‘People have been through this lockdown together,’ William replied.
Children at School 21, which educates around 1,200 pupils aged from four to 18, will be given access to lessons on issues such as anxiety and depression.
Ironically, the lessons are on a website financed from an initial £800,000 grant from the then royal foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Kate has championed the idea of early intervention by experts to help children struggling with mental health problems.
Research shows that one in ten youngsters suffers from some kind of mental health issue, often because of problems in the family such as abuse, addiction, neglect or marital breakdown.
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