Oprah Winfrey’s candid interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aired Sunday night in the U.S., and the subject matter covered in that tell-all made headline news around the world moments later.
The attention the televised event garnered wasn’t surprising considering the rare nature of two members of the British royal family opening up about claims of racism, suicidal ideation, a lack of support and security, and so much more.
It was bound to be a public talker. But it wasn’t until midday Tuesday that Buckingham Palace added an official royal voice to that chatter with a statement issued on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II herself.
“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 read. “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
Stressing support for the couple at the center of the claims, the message ended with a note that “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”
Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle expressed their love and respect for the queen during their sit down with Winfrey, but they also noted that they didn’t feel support from the royal establishment, known as The Firm, when it came to battling misinformation about them in the media or assisting a then-pregnant Meghan when she was overwhelmed by depression and sought mental health help.
They also didn’t feel love and support from the unnamed family member they claimed spoke them with “concerns” about “how dark” their son’s skin would be when he was born.
Tuesday’s statement from Buckingham Palace didn’t go into the specifics of those claims, nor did it reveal whether an official investigation into the allegations will be launched.
Just one week earlier, Buckingham Palace announced a formal investigation after a British newspaper published an allegation that Meghan bullied a former aide.
"We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex," the palace noted at the time. "Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.”