Queen's surprising decision about Meghan and Harry's Oprah interview after 'massive challenge' revealed

Queen Elizabeth II did not want to 'rush' the response to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's allegations of racism against Buckingham Palace

Queen's surprising decision about Meghan and Harry's Oprah interview revealed
(Image credit: Getty)

Queen Elizabeth II made a surprising decision about the Royal Family's response to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's bombshell interview with Oprah, according to a royal insider. 

Queen Elizabeth II delayed the release of the Royal Family's official statement on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah Winfrey last year so that she could "sleep on it", according to a royal insider. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex hit headlines in March 2021 with their appearance on the CBS special, in which they shared multiple shocking revelations about their experience as senior members of the British monarchy.

Perhaps one of the most notable charges made by the A-list couple against the Royal Family in the 90-minute program was the accusations of racism against Buckingham Palace. Harry and Meghan stunned both Oprah and audiences with their allegations that an unnamed member of the Firm had raised 'concerns' about 'how dark' the skin color of their first child, Archie Mountbatten Windsor, would be when he was born. 


(Image credit: Getty)

The interview posed a "massive challenge" for the PR team at Buckingham Palace, Valentine Low has now revealed in his new book, Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown.

"The courtiers faced another massive challenge: how to deal with the Oprah interview. There had been so many allegations made by the couple – about racism, about security, about Meghan's mental health – that it was hard to know where to start," the Sunday Times correspondent writes. 

"The private secretaries and communications secretaries had long debates about how to deal with the issue, especially what one of them awkwardly called 'the R word'. That had come up because of remarks that a member of the royal family supposedly made about the color of Harry and Meghan’s future baby’s skin." 

The Royal Family's courtiers had an official statement responding to the Sussexes' claims ready by 2 pm the day after the interview had aired in the US but had to wait several more hours to release it. 

Queen Elizabeth II reads the Queen's Speech from the throne during State Opening of Parliament

(Image credit: Photo by Alastair Grant - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

"The Palace stayed completely silent because the Queen decided that she wanted to sleep on it," Low writes. "She was not going to be rushed into saying anything precipitate. It was a reminder that, while the courtiers might do all the groundwork, the final decisions are made by the royal family." 

Buckingham Palace finally issued its statement on March 9, two days after it had premiered to US audiences. 

"The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan," the short message 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." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.