This week, US and UK audiences have been glued to their television screens to hear what Meghan and Harry, Duchess and Duke of Sussex, had to say about their departure from the royal family. The revelations were shocking, leading to many, many questions. Who was the member of the royal family who expressed concern about the colour of Archie’s skin? Why could Archie not be given a title if it would mean keeping him safe from harm? How is The Firm handling the family’s public lives behind the scenes? But there was another question that we couldn’t wait to be answered: how is the royal family going to play things from here? Now, we know: Prince William has been the first to personally discuss it.
‘We are very much not a racist family,’ Prince William told journalists while on a visit to a school in Stratford today.
Asked if he has spoken to his brother, he said: ‘No, I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I will do.’
Buckingham Palace has previously released a statement, on behalf of the Queen, earlier this week.
‘The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,’ the statement reads. ‘The issues raised, particularly of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.’
‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.’
It’s a short statement, but it is unsurprising that the family felt the need to speak out following the many allegations made against them in the last few days.
Naturally, these official posts and comments are not the only way in which the palace is speaking out. Aides and royal sources are having their say too, insisting that Meghan’s side of the story is not necessarily the correct one. ‘The institution just protected Meghan constantly,’ a source told The Times. ‘All the men in grey suits who she hates have a lot to answer for, because they did absolutely nothing to protect people. Palace aides also state that Meghan ‘wanted to be the victim.’
‘Everyone knew that the institution would be judged by her happiness,’ the source said. ‘The mistake they made was thinking she wanted to be happy. She wanted to be rejected because she was obsessed with that narrative from day one.’
‘She wanted to be the victim,’ another source added. ‘Because then she could convince Harry that it was an unbearable experience and they had no choice but to move to America.’
What must be kept in mind, however, is that these comments are not official or authorised by the royal press office. Arguably, they simply confirm what Meghan expressed: that there are people working within the institution who brief the press against her.
We will have to wait and see what happens next. Whatever the answer, the point remains: this family is on a precipice. They will have to tread very carefully.