Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday responded to explosive racism claims from grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, voicing deep concern and sympathising with their troubles with royal life.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” she said in a statement.
Buckingham Palace has come under mounting pressure to respond to the claims made in an Oprah Winfrey interview first broadcast on Sunday, which triggered a crisis unseen since the 1990s.
It set off a whirl of speculation about the identity of the senior royal who asked how dark their child’s skin would be before he was born.
Meghan, whose mother is black and father is white, also spoke about how she had suicidal thoughts but failed to receive any support during her time in the royal family.
The explosive racism claim has reportedly left the palace in turmoil and scrambling how best to address it.
Prince Charles, Harry’s father and the heir to the throne, earlier ignored a question about what he made of the interview during a public appearance.
A YouGov poll of 4,656 people after the interview aired on British television on Monday indicated almost a third (32 percent) felt the couple was unfairly treated, the same proportion as those who thought the opposite.
Harry and Meghan’s claims have brought global attention on one of Britain’s most prominent families.
Attempts have been made to draw in Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has himself been accused of racism.
The crisis engulfing the royals has for many brought back memories of the very public collapse of the marriage of Harry’s parents.
His mother, princess Diana, collaborated with the author Andrew Morton in a revealing 1992 biography and gave a bombshell BBC television interview in 1995.
In it, she said both she and Prince Charles had been unfaithful, that he was unfit to be king, and that she struggled with self-harm and bulimia.
Meghan’s estranged father Thomas Markle has defended the royals, saying he hoped the skin tone comment was “just a dumb question”.
(Inputs: Asian Age)