The author of a new book about the British royal family said in an exclusive interview on TODAY Monday that Prince Charles made a "benign" comment speculating about his future grandchildren's skin tone that was later "weaponized" against the royal family by palace insiders.
Author Christopher Andersen, who has covered the British royal family for half a century, details the relationship between brothers Prince Harry and Prince William in his new book, "Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan."
The new book claims Prince Charles once asked about the potential skin color of Harry and Meghan’s future children. Andersen writes that Charles allegedly asked his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, over breakfast, "What do you suppose their children's complexion might be?"
Andersen writes that the conversation took place on the day Harry and Meghan announced their engagement. The author says it was an innocent conversation twisted into something negative by royal advisors and shared with Harry and Meghan.
"What I'm saying is that on the morning the engagement of Harry and Meghan was announced, in a very kind of benign way, Prince Charles started to muse on what their future grandchildren might look like," Andersen told Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.
"Here's this beautiful, biracial American woman and the world's most famous redhead. I'm a grandfather, of course we all do this, speculate on that. But it was turned into something very toxic, it was weaponized really, by the men in gray who run the palace organization."
A spokesman for Prince Charles told the New York Post that "this is fiction and not worth further comment."
Meghan and Harry spoke about an alleged conversation about Archie’s skin tone in their bombshell interview in March with Oprah Winfrey.
Meghan, who is biracial, told Winfrey there were “concerns and conversations” among the royal family about “how dark his skin might be when he’s born."
The couple would not reveal who allegedly said it, but later clarified that it was not Queen Elizabeth II or her husband, the late Prince Philip.
William defended the royals after the interview, telling a reporter, "We are very much not a racist family."
Andersen, who said on TODAY that he has multiple sources for all his reporting, also writes in the book about William's alleged concerns about Harry marrying Meghan after a whirlwind romance.
William told Harry to "take whatever time you need to really get to know this girl," to which Harry angrily by allegedly saying, "Who the hell do you think you are, brother?", the book says.
Andersen writes the relationship between the Sussexes and the royal family grew even more strained in December 2019 after Harry and Meghan chose to spend Christmas in Canada instead of with the family.
In the book, he details a scene in which Queen Elizabeth asked that a portrait of Harry, Meghan and Archie be removed before she recorded her traditional Christmas message.
"She loves all of her children and grandchildren, there's no doubt about that, but when it comes to 'The Firm,' as they call the royal family, she is all business," Andersen said. "That's why she wouldn't allow Harry and Meghan to remain as kind of part-time royals on the terms they wanted."
"That was the quite the signal the queen was sending," Andersen said.
A spokesperson for the queen told the New York Post that "we don't comment on books of this kind as to do so risks giving it some form of authority or credibility."
Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and representatives for Charles and Camilla have not responded to NBC News’ requests for comment on the book. Representatives for Harry and Meghan declined to comment on the record.