The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have said the institution of the Royal Family failed to care for them while their mental health suffered or protect them from racism in the tabloid press.
Harry and Meghan made a series of shocking statements during their interview with Oprah Winfrey broadcast on STV on Monday night.
Meghan said she had suicidal thoughts and was refused help by senior staff in the Royal household.
She also told Ms Winfrey that Harry had been asked about “how dark” their son’s skin would be. The Duke said he would never reveal the details of the conversation had with an unamed family member, but Ms Winfrey later said that it was not the Queen or Prince Philip.
During the two hour interview, which was first aired in the US overnight on Sunday, the couple revealed their second child, due in the summer, is a girl.
Harry and Meghan moved to the US in 2019 after deciding to “step-back” as working royals. Meghan said that the Royal Family institution failed to protect her and Harry from false stories in the tabloid press.
In a previously unseen section of the interview, Harry said the British tabloid media is “bigoted” and that this filtered out to the rest of society.
Asked about the Royal Family, Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to comment beyond praising the Queen.
At the Downing Street press conference on Monday, he said: “I have always had the highest admiration for the Queen and the unifying role that she plays in our country and across the Commonwealth.”
But on “all other matters to do with the royal family, I have spent a long time now not commenting on royal family matters and I don’t intend to depart from that today”.
Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour party, said: “The issues that Meghan has raised of race and mental health are really serious issues.
“It’s a reminder that there’s a lot more to do. Nobody but nobody should be prejudiced because of the colour of their skin or mental health issues.
“Well they’re serious allegations, and we’ll have to see how the institution reacts to this.
“It’s bigger in a sense than just the Royal Family, because that experience of racism, I’m sad to say, is too prevalent still in the 21st century. We have to take that very, very seriously.”
The Society of Editors said the UK media “is not bigoted and will not be swayed from its vital role holding the rich and powerful to account”.
Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors, said: “It is not acceptable for the Duke and Duchess to make such claims without providing any supporting evidence.”
Buckingham Palace is yet to publicly respond to the interview.
If you or someone you know needs help, Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, by calling 116 123. Or, if you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org
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