A royal commentator has called out the palace's long-delayed statement on Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview for "containing no outright condemnation of racism".
Buckingham Palace issued a statement on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen reacting to the bombshell interview between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey broadcast on ITV last night.
While it takes a firm line – stressing that “some recollections may vary” – the statement also seeks to rebuild bridges, ending on the line that “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved family members.”
Peter Hunt, the Spectator magazine’s expert on the monarchy and constitutional issues who was for a long time the BBC’s Royal and diplomatic correspondent, has slammed the Palace statement, calling it “predictable”, and saying that it leaves the Royal Family on the back foot.
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Writing on Twitter, he said: “A delayed statement designed to be last word. A tame statement, containing no outright condemnation of racism.”
Hunt, who conducted Prince William's first ever broadcast interview,and Prince Harry's first radio interview. added that it was “a predictable statement that means the advantage remains with Harry and Meghan.”
Public opinion has been sharply divided following the interview was broadcast.
While many feel that Harry was right to pull away from the life of a royal, given that the stresses and demands of the role had driven his mother into deep depression and indirectly led to her death, others claim that he has let the Queen down.
The furore has even led to GMB's Piers Morgan storming off the show, and apparently quitting his job.
Her Majesty has for the most part remained distant from the controversy, letting it be known that she didn’t plan to watch the Oprah interview and only breaking silence with a short statement.
The Royal communication in full 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," it continued, "they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately,” and it ended: “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved family members.”
Peter Hunt says that the revelation that one senior royal – who has yet to be named – asked pointed questions about baby Archie’s skin colour was “a stain on the royals that will endure.”
He added that “no amount of palace spin will erase” the shame of that single question.
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