The CNN journalist said after Harry and Meghan’s sit-down with Oprah Winfrey that he doesn’t believe “anyone who watched it, especially any person of colour, is surprised that the British family – that there is racism there”.
“That is what the monarchy is based on: heredity, hierarchy, a caste system, blood lines,” he added.
“The whole institution is built on a racist structure. So there should not be a ‘Oh my God, the British family is racist’ – of course they’re racist. That’s what the entire monarchy is built on – the racism, the family that is supposed to be in it only by birth. And so far by birth, it’s only been white royals on the British throne.”
Lemon went on: “We shouldn’t be like, ‘Oh my God, the British family’s racist.’ Yeah, the system is racist.”
He then mentioned those who have “built their reputations on criticising people”, saying: “They always have to rush to Twitter and criticise someone or get in on it because they want relevance. Well, you’re not relevant anymore. And stop trying to be relevant on the backs of Black people.”
During the interview with Oprah, Meghan said that while she was pregnant with her son Archie, there were “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born”.
The programme, which has been watched by millions of people around the world, has prompted a wave of support for the couple from other celebrities.