'There is racism everywhere, so why not in Buckingham Palace?'
Shocking claims during Harry and Meghan’s bombshell TV interview of racism within Buckingham Palace are “believable” say two leaders from Preston’s black community.
But both have refused to point the finger at senior members of the Royal Family, choosing instead to lay the blame at the door of “The Firm” - the powerful aides who run the Palace.
Speaking to Oprah Winfrey, the Duchess of Sussex claimed someone within the Royal household had asked her husband about how dark the skin tone of their baby son Archie would be.
It was later clarified that the person was not The Queen nor the Duke of Edinburgh. But the couple refused to identify who had been in conversation with Prince Harry, leaving other members of the Royal Family under suspicion.
“There is racism everywhere, so why would we be naive to think there can’t be inside Buckingham Palace?” said Adrian Murrell the founder of Preston’s Windrush Festival.
“People are speculating about who Harry and Megan were talking about in the interview. People are saying a senior Royal. But it could just as easily be one or more senior figures in the Palace staff.”
Glenda Andrew, who helped set up the Preston Windrush Generation and Descendants group, added: “I’d prefer to think they were talking more about the establishment, the advisors who oversee the Royal Household.
“And anyway the comment may not have been racist, just plain ignorance. Sometimes we can mix the two things up.”
The interview, which was aired on British TV on Monday night - 20 hours after it had been shown in the United States - is said to have shocked the Royal Family to its core.
In it Harry said racism had been a large part of why the couple had left Britain and moved, first to Canada and then to California. He also said his father Prince Charles had refused to answer his calls and Meghan revealed she had even contemplated suicide.
The racism row was ignited by Meghan’s claim that her husband had had a conversation with someone senior within the Palace touching on the colour of their unborn son’s skin.
She claimed that person had “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when born.”
When asked if those concerns related to him being “too brown” Meghan said it was a “pretty safe” assumption to make.
Glenda Andrew, who watched the two-hour edited interview on ITV, said it ended with “lots of questions which need to be answered.”
“I got the impression they weren’t saying it was one person who was racist, it was more there were issues there which need to be looked at and learned from.
“I think they were saying “The Firm,” the establishment, the advisors to the Royal Household and there was an undercurrent of racism there. That’s what I was getting from what they said.
“If you’re not of colour or been with someone of colour then you can’t understand it.
“I can relate to Meghan and I can relate to Harry. I support both of them in all this. My children are of mixed race, so I can understand their situation.
“I’m supportive of them having a life of their own if they chose to, being able to do what they want.
“I think some of the things we see as racism are really ignorance. There is a very fine line between the two and it’s easy to confuse them.
“Why should it matter what colour the child is going to be? It’s been mentioned to me in my own situation about what tone of skin my child was going to have. That was out of ignorance, not racism.
“I don’t know if any member of the Royal Family is racist. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt.
“We don’t know the full conversation which Harry is supposed to have had and with whom. Until we do then we really can’t make a true judgement.
“The interview has left us with a lot of questions unanswered. It was edited and we’re not sure which bits were left out.
“I felt for Meghan and for Harry, I really did. To strip him of all his military roles was totally out of order and, if I’m honest, that was what really upset me most about the whole thing.”
Adrian Murrell said: “There has been a lot of racism in the last year and it’s because we have a generation of black people walking around with open wounds which have never healed because they have not been talked about openly.
“When you look at Meghan, she is in a different country, she is the only one in that family of colour and she has come from the United States where things haven’t really changed. With the racism thing in the interview people are now speculating who it could be. It could be anyone, although not The Queen and Prince Philip. But anyone else at Buckingham Palace.
“There is racism everywhere. And it is far different for people of mixed race - it’s a different experience. Do I believe that the Royal Family is racist? Well the world is racist, so why can’t there be racism in the Royal Family or at Buckingham Palace?
“But to me it is more likely to come from the so called Firm which runs the Royal Household, rather than the Royals themselves.”
Meanwhile, Buckingham palace last night issued a statement on behalf of the Queen, on the allegations made in the saying: “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan.
“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. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”
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