The Queen was “saddened” to hear the full extent of the challenges faced by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the issues raised around race are “concerning”, Buckingham Palace has said in response to the shocking interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The palace added that while “some recollections may vary” they are taken “very seriously”, and would be addressed by the family privately.
Harry, Meghan and Archie will “always be much-loved family members”, the statement added.
The monarchy was left in crisis after Harry and Meghan delivered their dramatic revelations on primetime television.
The Sussexes laid bare their brief lives as a working royal couple, alleging a member of the family – not the Queen or Duke of Edinburgh – made a racist comment about their son, and saying Meghan had suicidal thoughts, but her approaches to the monarchy for help were turned down.
The statement on behalf of the Queen said: “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.”
Pressure had been mounting on the palace to respond to accusations of racism in the royal family following the explosive interview.
The statement came a day and a half after the two-hour conversation was aired in the US.
It is understood the response was timed to allow for a carefully considered reaction, but also to allow the British public to watch the interview first when it aired on ITV on Monday evening.
The Queen and the rest of the royal family are said to consider this a family matter, and believe they should be given the opportunity to raise the issues privately.
The monarch and aides from all royal households will have been in crisis summits working out how to respond to the damaging allegations.
Chat show queen Winfrey was left opened-mouthed when Meghan – the first mixed-race person to marry into the modern monarchy – said a fellow royal was worried about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone might be before he was born.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had warned the allegations made by the duchess must be taken seriously.
Sir Keir said: “Nobody, but nobody, should be prejudiced (against) because of the colour of their skin or because of their mental health issues.”
Meghan said she begged the institution for help and told Harry she did not “want to be alive any more” when she was five months pregnant.
She also suggested her son was not made a prince because of his race – although rules set by George V meant he was not entitled to be one.
Other revelations included Harry’s admission he has become estranged from his father, the Prince of Wales, saying “I feel really let down”, but added that he would make it one of his priorities “to try and heal that relationship”.
Charles was asked by the media if had seen Meghan and Harry’s interview, during a visit to a pop-up Covid vaccine clinic in a London church.
His response was to chuckle nervously as he walked away.