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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Meghan Markle accuses the royal family of racism: the controversy in 7 acts


On Oprah Winfrey in 2021, Meghan Markle publicly accused the Royal Family of racism. More than two years later, the controversy has been reignited following the revelations made by biographer and royal columnist Omid Scobie in his book Fin de règne.

A year after the “Megxit”, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, caused another global shockwave in March 2021. The actress, now 42, reported racist remarks made by people close to the Crown shortly before Archie was born. Since then, the controversy surrounding racist comments within the Crown has been regularly fuelled. In recent days, the name of one of the accused has even been revealed in the Dutch translation of Fin de règne, the new book by royal biographer and columnist Omid Scobie. If you haven’t kept up with everything, Gala.fr offers you a catch-up session in seven episodes.

  1. Meghan Markle denounces racist remarks to Oprah Winfrey
    The controversy began on 8 March 2021. That evening, an interview between Meghan Markle and Harry with the famous American journalist Oprah Winfrey was broadcast on television. In addition to her past suicidal thoughts, the actress also mentioned accusations of racism against the British royal family. She said that before the birth of her first child, Archie, she was told by her husband of “concerns and conversations about how black his skin would be when he was born”. Oprah Winfrey then asked her if the people in question were worried that the baby was going to be “too dark”. “If that’s the assumption you’re making, I don’t think you’re taking any chances,” replied Meghan Markle, whose father is white and whose mother is black.

The day after the interview, after the stir caused by the revelation, Oprah Winfrey clarified on CBS This Morning: “Prince Harry wanted to make sure I knew […] that it wasn’t his grandmother or his grandfather who had raised concerns about the colour of their baby’s skin”.

  1. Elizabeth II reacts to the controversy
    On 9 March 2021, the day after the shock interview was broadcast on British screens, an official statement from Buckingham Palace put an end to the Queen’s silence. “The whole family is saddened to hear how difficult the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” it read. “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are worrying. Although some memories differ, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family in private,” it was also added. Her Majesty Elizabeth II had also promised to keep the Sussexes close to her heart: “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved family members.”
  2. Prince William responds to accusations of racism
    On 11 March 2021, during an official appearance in east London, Prince William unexpectedly responded to the accusations of racism raised by Meghan Markle. “We are absolutely not a racist family,” he said, alongside Kate Middleton. The Duke of Cambridge also expressed his intention to speak with his brother Harry in the near future. This unexpected intervention was welcomed by Elizabeth II.
  3. Princess Anne at the heart of the first suspicions
    At the beginning of April 2021, Lady Colin Campbell, a British aristocrat and author of numerous books on the Crown, indicated that Princess Anne would be the Sussexes’ target, according to her information. But Prince Harry is said to have misinterpreted her words. “Harry got it into his head that any reference to culture was a reference to skin colour. Anne was concerned about the catastrophic consequences of bringing someone of that calibre, in terms of personality, into the family. For her, it would cause problems for everyone, but also for the child born of this union”, said the writer in a podcast.
  4. Charles III and Camilla also accused!
    At the end of 2021, Charles III, then prince, also saw his name attached to these accusations of racism within the Crown. “I wonder what the children will be like. (…) I mean, what do you think the complexion of their children will be?” Archie’s grandfather is said to have asked during a conversation with Camilla, reported in a book by Christopher Andersen. The name of Camilla Parker Bowles was also put forward by Tom Bower in his book Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War with the Windsors, published in July 2022. However, this information was quickly denied.
  5. Meghan and Harry persist on Netflix
    In one of the episodes of the series-documentary devoted to Meghan and Harry, available on Netflix in December 2022, the British press’s treatment of the actress, deemed “racist”, is mentioned. The couple also regretted the Royal Family’s lack of understanding when faced with a request for increased security around Meghan Markle because of her origins. According to Harry, there is “an unconscious [racist] bias” within the Windsor family, which prevents them from understanding why his fiancée, and then his wife, is in a particularly vulnerable position, especially with regard to the media”, wrote our colleagues in Le Monde. In addition, the resignation of a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William’s godmother, who was accused of racist behaviour during a reception at Buckingham Palace, has given the Sussexes food for thought.
  6. Meghan Markle accuses two people of racism
    According to Omid Scobie, in his book Fin de règne, published on Tuesday 28 November 2023, Meghan Markle sent several letters to her father-in-law, Charles III, then Prince of Wales. In these letters, Archie’s mother and Lilibet mention two members of the Royal Household, who are linked to the accusations of racist remarks she is said to have received. Although Omid Scobie did not explicitly reveal these names, they could have been members of the Windsor household as well as people working for them.Omid Scobie, a royal biographer close to Meghan Markle, also assures that he has more information about the Sussex accusations of racism. “I know who made the comments about Archie’s skin colour,” he boasted on US TV show Good Morning. But the writer chose not to reveal this name in Fin de règne. However, the Dutch translation of the book does feature it in black and white, according to The Sun. A new element that has not gone unnoticed by the British people.Photo credits: Backgrid USA / Bestimage
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