“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” she said. “The issues, particularly that of race, are concerning. 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.”
People quickly latched onto one phrase from this paragraph—“some recollections may vary”—and they were right to. According to a royal insider who spoke to People, that line was an “underlying jab.” The outlet writes this comment reportedly “indicates dissent among the family at some of the claims made in the interview.” But it’s unclear what specific claims the family may be referring to.
Shortly after Queen Elizabeth gave a statement, Prince William broke his silence. “We are very much not a racist family,” the Duke of Cambridge told a Sky News reporter on March 11, according to People.
Presumably this was in response to Markle telling Winfrey there were “concerns and conversations” from within the royal family “about how dark” Archie’s skin might be while she was pregnant with him. When Winfrey asked Markle who was having those discussions, the duchess declined to identify the person, saying, “I think that would be very damaging to them.”
Besides the queen and Prince William, no other royals have commented publicly on the Winfrey interview. But royals author Sarah Gristwood told Vanity Fair Prince Charles is in “a state of despair” over the entire thing: “Just at a time when by and large Charles had started to look like a more popular king than one would have guessed, here’s a major blow to his reputation. That his son felt let down by him. It’s hard to know if Harry is aware of the damage this has done. Did he actually intend to cast this damaging light on his father and his family? We don’t know.”