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Meghan denies coronation absence linked to Archie royal racism row

The Duchess of Sussex says she isn’t ‘thinking about correspondence from two years ago’

Maanya Sachdeva
Monday 24 April 2023 07:21 BST
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Coronation: What will happen inside Westminster Abbey?

Meghan Markle has denied reports claiming that her decision not to attend Charles’s coronation was influenced by correspondence between herself and the then-Prince of Wales.

On Friday (21 April), it was reported that the Duchess of Sussex had written to Charles about unconscious bias within the royal family.

The letter was allegedly sent in the aftermath of Harry and Meghan’s appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in March 2021, per a report by the Daily Telegraph.

During the interview with Winfrey, Meghan claimed a senior member of the royal family had speculated about the skin colour of their son, Archie, while she was pregnant.

A source reportedly told the publication that Meghan did not feel the concerns she highlighted to Charles, including the way in which bullying allegations against her were handled by the palace, received a “satisfactory response”.

Responding to the reports, the Sussexes have issued a statement that was shared via royal commentator Omid Scobie’s Twitter account.

“The Duchess of Sussex is going about her life in the present, not thinking about correspondence from two years ago related to conversations from four years ago,” their statement read. “Any suggestion otherwise is false and frankly ridiculous.

“We encourage tabloid media and various royal commentators to stop the exhausting circus that they alone are creating.”

According to reports, Charles expressed his sadness over the rift between the royal family in a letter to Meghan at the time. He also said he was disappointed that Harry and Meghan had made such damning allegations during the interview with Winfrey.

The letters reportedly identifed the senior member who made the comment about Archie’s skin colour.

Both Meghan and Charles acknowledged that their comment wasn’t made maliciously, it was reported, and that the duchess clarified she never intended to accuse them of racism. Instead, she said she was raising concerns about unconscious bias.

Prince Harry also spoke about unconscious bias during an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby while promoting his memoir Spare, which was released in January this year.

While speaking to Bradby, the duke denied accusing the royals of racism during the bombshell interview with Winfrey.

Harry added that “the British press said that” and he wouldn’t describe the comment about Archie’s skin colour as racist “having lived in that family”.

“Going back to the difference between what my understanding is because of my own experience, the difference between racism and unconscious bias, the two things are different,” Harry told Bradby.

After months of speculation over whether Harry and Meghan would attend the King’s coronation next month, Buckingham Palace announced on 12 April that the Duke of Sussex would fly to the UK for the ceremony.

Meghan and the couple’s children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, will remain at their residence in California, the palace said.

At the time, Harry and Meghan’s biographer Scobie tweeted that Archie’s fourth birthday, which coincides with the coronation on 6 May, “played a factor in the couple’s decision”.

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