LONDON – Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with media mogul Oprah Winfrey has provided more than just a glimpse into the royal family’s internal drama. Your comments on the race and inner workings of the royal family could potentially have an impact on the monarchy and its work both domestically and abroad.
In a clip of the interview that wasn’t on Sunday’s broadcast, Harry said racism was “a big part” of the reason the couple left the country. He and Meghan, whose mother is Black, also said in the interview that an unidentified royal insider spoke to Harry about how dark their children’s skin would be.
The palace did not respond to requests for comment.
According to historian and royal expert Andrew Roberts, Harry and Meghan’s remarks can seriously damage the royal family and their influence.
“They have made very serious allegations, mainly of racism in the royal family, which will be very damaging to Britain’s reputation abroad because of its so-called soft power,” he said.
In the UK, there is a strong possibility the interview will result in a decline in support for the royal family, but their personal popularity needs to be separated from the constitutional function of the monarchy, according to Sarah Richardson, professor of modern British history at the University of Warwick .
“You have had these incidents in the past and I am sure that this interview will have an impact on public opinion and reduce the popularity of certain members or certain elements of the institution, but I do not see this leading to a reassessment of whether monarchies exist should or not, “she said.
“There doesn’t seem to be an appetite in political parties, or even broader public opinion, to support a republic.”
The queen is the head of state and also acts as the “focus for national identity, unity and pride” according to the monarchy’s website.
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Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan’s interview has raised questions for senior politicians about the royal family and race in Britain.
“It’s really sad to see the family in such an uproar,” he said. Keir Starmer, the leader the opposition Labor Party, the BBC said on Monday.
“For too many years, and this is bigger than the royal family, we have been fired and too ready to put these issues aside,” he added.
Other Labor politicians were more devastating of the royal family’s ability to respond to Meghan and Harry’s claims.
“When Meghan Markle was accused of bullying, Buckingham Palace immediately announced an investigation. Now that Meghan has posted comments on her child’s skin color, will they investigate racism in the palace? I will not hold my breath.” Legislator Nadia Whittome tweeted .
Not only in Great Britain were politicians facing questions about the couple’s allegations. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was asked by a reporter if the flattering picture of the British royal family the couple had painted had given them a break on the country’s constitutional relationship with Britain.
“I have already said that I have felt no appetite from New Zealanders for major changes to our constitutional rules, and I don’t expect this to change anytime soon,” she said.
Racing in the UK was usually not an issue that the royal family looked at, and they may have viewed it as a political issue to stay away from Halima Begum, executive director of the Runnymede Trust, a think tank on racial equality. If they don’t address it now, it could hurt and undermine the monarchy, she added.
“The UK has come a long way in the race but this clearly poses problems that need to be addressed,” she said. “If it can take place within the walls and confines of Buckingham Palace, it will remind us that racism is still ubiquitous in our society.”
Although the allegations could be damaging at the moment, experts have said the couple’s comments about race have the potential to change the institution forever.
“This is a time when the royal family can heal us,” Begum said. “It’s a tragedy, but tragedies can be turned around to promote unity.”
Keir Simmons contributed.