Following the airing of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s two-hour-long interview with Oprah this past Sunday, Buckingham Palace has now issued a statement in an effort to address the revealing claims made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex about what life was like for them and their son Archie as “senior members” of the monarchy.
Back in January 2020, Harry and Meghan announced that they would be stepping down from their high standing status’ within the royal family — but it wasn’t until their recent interview with Oprah that the world got some insight as to why. Amidst what viewers saw of their long sit down with the legendary interviewer, the Duke and Duchess discussed a wide range of topics surrounding their time as formal members of the royal family — which included problematic conversations about their son’s skin tone, no protection being offered for their family as the British paparazzi increasingly scrutinized them, and Meghan’s struggle with suicidal thoughts.
With the official Royal Communications letterhead at the top, the Palace chose to address the things Meghan and Harry said in the interview today. Prefaced with a bolded introduction that emphasized, “The following statement is issued by Buckingham Palace on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen,” their 50-word long statement read:
The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. 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.
If you recall, after the interview aired on Sunday night — and all day yesterday — the hashtag #AbolishTheMonarchy was trending online. To say that viewers across the globe have been disappointed and even outraged over the treatment Harry and Meghan claimed to have received at the hands of the British monarchy — their family — is an understatement. Knowing that, it becomes really hard to understand why the royal family couldn’t bother to issue a statement that did more than the absolute bare minimum of acknowledging the claims that two of its members made on Sunday.
For how short it was, it’s actually even more offensive that the address included, “While some recollections may vary…” Despite what may or may not have actually happened, Meghan and Harry are the ones who courageously chose to speak their respective truths about the things they said allegedly happened — and that’s important enough. Buckingham Palace did not need to bother with releasing a statement just to diminish their experiences or gaslight them. It’s just plain wrong, printed in black and white.
While it would be a far reach to expect their response to admit any fault or hold themselves accountable for any of the things Harry and Meghan told Oprah — the issues of race in the monarchy and at Buckingham Palace should be far more than “saddening” and “concerning.” Genuinely speaking — Meghan, Harry, their kids, and the whole world deserve much more than that from a monarchy that’s been responsible for so much colonial damage done across the globe.
At this point in our current cultural climate — with public figures, celebrities, and everyday people alike being “canceled” every day — it was only a matter of time before the monarchy was called out to this extent for their deeply rooted issues. While they might not have thought it would have been spurred by two of its own members, Meghan and Harry’s move to share their truths — despite the inevitable gaslighting — proves that they are ones who won’t be broken.