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Prince William defends UK monarchy against racism accusation

Published:Friday | March 12, 2021 | 12:21 AM
Prince William.
Prince William.

LONDON (AP):

Prince William insisted on Thursday that his family is not racist as he became the first British royal to speak out about accusations of bigotry made by Prince Harry and Meghan, his brother and sister-in-law.

William made the comments in response to questions shouted at him by reporters during a visit to an East London school. While members of the royal family often ignore such queries, William used the opportunity to address the explosive allegations that have rocked the monarchy.

“We’re very much not a racist family,” William, 38, said as his wife, Kate, walked by his side.

Buckingham Palace is struggling to quiet criticism after Harry and Meghan alleged that the duchess was the victim of racism and callous treatment during her time as a working member of the royal family. The palace tried to respond to the charges, made during an interview with US TV host Oprah Winfrey, with a 61-word statement that critics called “too little, too late.”

William, second in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles, made the comments during a visit to School21 to mark students’ return to classrooms following a national lockdown.

Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, walked away from royal duties last year and moved to California, saying they wanted to escape the intrusive British media and live a normal life.

Meghan, who is biracial, said in the interview that she was so isolated and miserable as a working member of the royal family that she had suicidal thoughts. She also said Harry told her that members of the royal family had expressed “concerns” about the colour of her baby’s skin before the birth of their son, Archie.