FILE – In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018 file photo, members of the royal family gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, with from left, Britain’s Prince Charles, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan the Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate the Duchess of Cambridge, as they watch a flypast of Royal Air Force aircraft pass over Buckingham Palace in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

FILE – In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018 file photo, members of the royal family gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, with from left, Britain’s Prince Charles, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan the Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate the Duchess of Cambridge, as they watch a flypast of Royal Air Force aircraft pass over Buckingham Palace in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

Buckingham Palace issues statement on Harry, Meghan racism allegations

Royal Family says they will address the issues privately

Buckingham Palace issued a statement Tuesday, saying the family was saddened to learn of the challenges Harry and Meghan had faced in the past few years — and that they would address the issues privately.

The palace said the “issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,’’ and are taken very seriously.

“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members,’’ the statement said.

The statement is the first comment by the palace following Harry and Meghan’s two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey in which they alleged that Meghan had experienced racism and callous treatment during her time in the royal family.

Earlier, some observers had said that Buckingham Palace’s silence on the topic has only added to the furor surrounding the TV interview.

READ MORE: Buckingham Palace’s silence on Harry, Meghan allegations adds to furor

The interview, which aired Sunday night in the U.S. and a day later in Britain, has rocked the royal family and divided people around the world. While many say the allegations demonstrate the need for change inside a palace that hasn’t kept pace with the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, others have criticized Harry and Meghan for dropping their bombshell while Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather, Prince Philip, remains hospitalized in London after a heart procedure.

During the two-hour interview, Meghan described feeling so isolated and miserable inside the royal family that she had suicidal thoughts, yet when she asked for mental health help from the palace’s human resources staff she was told she was not a paid employee. She also said a member of the royal family had expressed “concerns” to Harry about the colour of her unborn child’s skin.

READ MORE: Race, title and anguish: Meghan and Harry explain royal rift

Winfrey later said Harry told her off camera that the family member wasn’t Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Philip, sparking a flurry of speculation about who it could be.

Harry also revealed the stresses the couple endured had ruptured relations with his father, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his brother, Prince William, illuminating the depth of the family divisions that led the couple to step away from royal duties and move to California last year.

Prince Charles didn’t comment on the interview Tuesday during a visit to a vaccine clinic in London.

Harry’s father visited a church to see a temporary vaccine clinic in action and met with health care workers, church staff and people due to receive their vaccine jab. The visit was his first public appearance since the interview aired in the U.S. on Sunday night.

Maziya Marzook, a patient at the event, said “private matters didn’t come up at all” during Charles’ visit.

“He didn’t bring up anything,? Marzook said. “He was more interested in how the vaccine was and how we feel.”

VIDEO: Revealing Harry, Meghan interview reverberates across U.K.

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Sylvia Hui contributed to this report.

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Danica Kirka, The Associated Press


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