Queen Elizabeth has broken her silence following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey. On Tuesday, just two days after the tell-all interview sent social media into a storm, the queen released a statement saying she was "saddened" to learn of the "challenges" the royal couple faced. The statement marked the first public remark from a British royal family member. It came just hours after her son, Prince Charles, declined to answer reporters' questions about the interview.
Released via Buckingham Palace on behalf of the queen and first shared by Global News reporter Travis Dhanraj, the queen said the entire royal family "is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been" for the royal couple, who officially retired as working royals in February. The statement added that "the issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning," with the queen noting that "while some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately." The Queen ended her statement by adding, "Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved family members." At this time, no other members of the royal family have publicly addressed the interview, which some experts have said to be "damaging."
Spanning a total of 90 minutes, cut back from what was initially a more than three-hour-long conversation, the couple's discussion with Winfrey covered a range of topics and brought forth troubling accusations. Alluded to in the queen's statement was the couple's claim that while Markle was expecting their first child, there were "concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born." Neither Harry nor Markle revealed who raised those concerns, with Markle saying that it would be "very damaging to them." Markle revealed that these concerns and conversations occurred in tandem with The Firm's decision not to title Archie.
Both Markle and Harry also opened up about their tumultuous relationship with the press, with Markle revealing that at one point, she "didn't want to be alive anymore." She said that she attempted to seek help from the "institution" but was declined help.
During the interview, Harry also revealed that he was cut off financially at the start of 2020. His father stopped taking his calls and instead requested he "put this all in writing what your plan is" regarding his and Markle's departure from the royal family when Harry decided to take "matters into my own hands." He admitted that his relationship with both his father and his brother, Prince William, was strained. Both he and Markle, however, indicated that they were still on good terms with the queen.
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