Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sent white powder with malicious message investigated as 'racist hate crime'

Substance was claimed to be anthrax but found harmless by police following terror alert 

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
Thursday 22 February 2018 12:25 GMT
The couple are to be married in May of this year
The couple are to be married in May of this year (Getty)

Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle have been sent white powder claimed to be anthrax in a malicious hoax that is being treated as a racist hate crime.

The package was intercepted by officials at and found to be harmless by police, who have launched an investigation.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism command were called to the alert earlier this month, according to London’s Evening Standard newspaper, which originally reported the story.

“Police are investigating after a package containing a substance was delivered to St James’s Palace on 12 February," a spokesperson for Scotland Yard said.

“The substance was tested and confirmed as non-suspicious. Officers are also investigating an allegation of malicious communications which relates to the same package, and it is being treated as a racist hate crime."

There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.

It came the day before white powder was sent to Amber Rudd’s office in the Houses of Parliament alongside a rambling letter on the issue of radicalisation.

Police are investigating if there is a link between the two incidents, which came after a series of hoaxes involving white powder across the UK.

Targets have included mosques and Islamic centres, sparking an investigation into a potential far-right hate campaign last year.

The latest scare came three months before Prince Harry and Ms Markle, an American actress known for her humanitarian work, are to marry.

Ms Markle has become the target of racist and sexist abuse since their relationship became public, sparking a strongly worded statement on behalf of Prince Harry in 2016.

"Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments," it said.

“Some of it has been hidden from the public - the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.”

The couple live at Nottingham Cottage, in the grounds of Kensington Palace, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children reside when they are in London.

St James’s Palace, in the heart of Westminster, is home to other members of the royal family including princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and is used as a ceremonial meeting place.

A Palace spokesperson declined to comment on the incident.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in