News & Politics

Queen Elizabeth II Responds to Meghan Markle's Racism Accusations

Toby Melville/Pool via AP

On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth II responded to Meghan Markle’s accusations of racism and heartlessness by the royal family. The queen expressed her sympathy with Markle and Harry and insisted that the royal family takes the accusations seriously and will investigate the matter privately. She hid a very subtle rebuke in the statement, however.

“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the queen said in a statement released by Buckingham Palace.

“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” the queen added. “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,” Queen Elizabeth II concluded.

Meghan Markle had savaged the British royal family in an interview with Oprah Winfrey on CBS News this past weekend. She said her life with the royal family left her suicidal.

“I just didn’t want to be alive anymore, and that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought,” Markle told Oprah. “I went to the institution, and I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help… and I was told that I couldn’t, that it wouldn’t be good for the institution.”

“In those months when I was pregnant [with son Archie]… we had, in tandem, the conversation of he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” Markle said.

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While the claim that the royal family may have rejected Archie due to his skin color is disturbing, Meghan Markle did not back up her claim with any evidence, nor did she name any member of the royal family who expressed “concerns” about his skin color.

Journalist Megyn Kelly exposed Markle’s extreme disingenuousness.

“What I saw tonight was somebody who is totally un-self-aware, I mean completely unaware of how she sounded. ‘I wasn’t planning on saying anything shocking, except for my husband’s racist family almost drove me to suicidal thoughts while I was pregnant with my baby. And, by the way, I had no idea what the internet said about Harry.’ — Nobody believes that,” Kelly said.

Megyn Kelly also mocked Markle for complaining about her struggles while living in a castle with the most famous royal family in the world.

“And then while she’s spinning this tale about how tough she had it, in the castle, how lonely she was, in the castle, she’s painting herself in sort of these adorations, like, ‘It was incredibly courageous of me to come forward about my depression, and I just love saving things.’ It was just peppered with these compliments of herself while she was making these complaints that will be totally unrelatable to 99 percent of the people out there,” Kelly concluded.

Kelly also noted that Markle and her husband pretended that “no royal has had it worse in the press than they have,” ostensibly because of racism. “Give me a break. Have you ever seen such privileged people wallowing in their own (perceived) victimhood like this?”

Yet it would not be fitting for the queen to excoriate Meghan Markle in this way. Rather, Elizabeth II responded gracefully, expressing sympathy with Markle and Harry, promising to investigate the claims, and subtly suggesting that Markle’s accusations of racism may be overblown by noting that “some recollections may vary.”

Claims of racism in the royal family should be handled privately, if that is at all possible. The queen’s statement suggests that Meghan Markle did not voice these concerns privately before going to the media and tarnishing the royal family publicly.

This statement suggests Markle betrayed the royal family’s trust in order to gain attention — but it did not explicitly condemn Harry or Meghan. The queen is far too subtle and dignified to do that.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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