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Harry finally admits Royal Family is not racist

Prince Harry on seeing Diana in his dreams after her death

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Twenty-two months after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex created an international controversy by telling US chat show host Oprah Winfrey that an unidentified family member had made worrying remarks about their son Archie’s skin colour, Harry insisted that did not mean they thought it was racism.

Instead, he suggested they believed it was concerning because it demonstrated unconscious bias, a stereotyped way of thinking about black people, that needed to be addressed.

But asked by ITV News anchor Tom Bradby if he would describe that as racist, Harry said: “I wouldn’t, not having lived within that family.”

In an interview that proved more conciliatory than many had expected, he held out the prospect of coming to the Coronation in May and reconciling with his family. He even opened the door to one day working again for the monarchy in Commonwealth countries.

But he only wanted it on his and Meghan’s terms, those rejected by Queen Elizabeth in January 2020 when at the Sandringham summit she, supported by the then Prince Charles and Prince William, ruled that you could not be half in and half out of the Firm.

Harry said the conversation about Archie’s skin colour had been troubling but added: “But you speak to any other couple, mixed race couple around the world, and you will probably find that the white side of the family have either openly discussed it, or secretly discussed, you know, ‘What are the kids gonna look like?’ And that is part of a, you know, bigger conversation that needs to be had.”

But, to say that that doesn’t happen around the rest of the world, but it just happened there, is – that’s not true, but again for me the difference is unconscious bias and racism, but if that – if you are called out for unconscious bias you need to make that right.”

Royal insiders were astonished last night that he had waited since March 2021 to make the couple’s view clear, blaming the media for misinterpreting the remarks.

His brother Prince William was forced to defend the family four days after the Oprah interview aired, responding to a shouted question from a television reporter four days later that the royals were “very much not a racist family”.

It has dogged him and Kate and the rest of the Windosr ever since. The Sussex’s interview led to a barrage of criticism from political activists and academics across the Commonwealth and in the United States who have accused the Royal Famiy of racism in the light of their remarks.

The Royal Household has since enhanced diversity training and set annual targets to increase the proportion of people from ethnic minorities it employs.

Yet in a wide-ranging interview with Bradby last night ahead of the publication tomorrow (Tuesday ) of his memoir, Spare, Harry, 38, criticised the palace for failing to fulfil a pledge to appoint a Diversity Tsar to help educate staff and the family about racial bias and discrimination.

But he also defended Lady Susan Hussey, the senior courtier forced to quit in December after offending Ngozi Fulani, a black British domestic violence campaigner, by repeatedly questioning her about where in the world she really came from during a Buckingham Palace reception.

He said: “I’m very happy for Ngozi Fulani to be invited into the palace to sit down with Lady Susan Hussey and to reconcile, because Meghan and I love Susan Hussey. She thinks she’s great. And I also know that what she meant – she never meant any harm at all.”

The fifth in line to the throne, who quit official royal duties in March 2020 and subsequently set up home in California, criticised his family for failing to support him and Meghan and accused them – without providing any evidence – of repeatedly briefing against the couple.

But he insisted he meant no harm to the British people or his family while at the same time condemning them.

“I love my mother country, and I love my family, and I always will. I just wish in the second darkest moment of my life, they’d both been there for me. And I believe they’ll look back one day and wish they had too,” he said.

He told how William and Kate had never really hit it off with Meghan from the moment they first met, even though he discovered that his brother and sister-in-law were fans of Suits, the television legal drama in which she starred.

Harry said: “I had put a lot of hope in the idea that it’d be William and Kate and me and whoever.

“I thought the four of us would bring me and William closer together, we could go out and do work together,which I did a lot as the third wheel to them, which was fun at times but also, I guess slightly awkward at times as well.”

But he added: “I don’t think they were ever expecting me to get – or to become – to get into a relationship with – with someone like Meghan who had, you know, a very successful career.”

He added: “I always hoped that the four of us would get on. But, very quickly it became Meghan versus Kate. And that, when it plays out so publicly, you can’t hide from that.”

At one point during a meeting between the four to try to clear the air, Kate was so tense she was gripping a leather chair so tightly her fingers went white, he describes in the book.

Harry said William had warned him about Meghan early on in their relationship.

“He never tried to dissuade me from marrying Meghan but he aired some concerns very early, and said you know, ‘This is gonna be really hard for you’ and I still to this day don’t truly understand which part of what he was talking about.”

The book charts his resentment of William’s favoured status as the heir but Harry disclosed last night that William too was upset that the Queen had allowed him to keep a beard for his wedding but had told William he had to shave his off when he had a beard for a while.

But he insisted he still believed in the monarchy and held out the prospect of attending the Coronation and perhaps serving it again in future, while insisting he was happier than ever with his new life living in the US.

“If my father asks us for support across the Commonwealth then that is certainly an open discussion,” he said.

”But I’m here now Tom and my family’s now here. You know, we’re doing the same thing, the same job over there, no taxpayer funding, right. It’s not the way that I wanted it to happen, but I have now created a life for my family where I feel safer. Right? So, who knows what’s going to happen?”

  • Harry: The Interview is available to view on ITVX

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