Less than 48 hours after the interview that changed everything, the Queen has released a statement in response to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's tell-all with Oprah Winfrey. The interview aired on CBS in the States Sunday night, and on British televisions Monday night. In the disturbing and heartbreaking interview, Meghan and Harry said that "concerns" were raised about how dark Archie Harrison's skin color might be when he was born, and Meghan opened up about her struggle with thoughts about dying by suicide when she was at her lowest.
The Queen's statement reads: "The whole family is saddened to learn the full extend 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."
The statement, which comes from the Queen on behalf of the entire royal family, can be read as the equivalent of a white flag. In essence, it's saying: We don't agree, but we love them and we don't want to fight through the press any longer. For the past week, Buckingham Palace and the Sussexes have been engaged in a bitter back-and-forth of allegations through the media. British newspaper The Times, citing royal sources, accused Meghan Markle of "bullying" staff when she was working in London; in response, Harry and Meghan's lawyers called the piece a "smear campaign" by Buckingham Palace.
During the interview, the Sussexes were candid about the strained relationship between their family and the rest of "The Firm," with Harry saying that his father stopped returning his calls, and his grandmother the Queen was advised not to meet with him.
The new statement, while short, focuses mainly on the affection that the rest of the royal family have for Meghan and Harry. That's important—during the interview, through their use of terms like "The Firm" and "The Institution," Meghan and Harry suggested that the royal family is a brand of sorts, and one that will go to lengths to make sure it remains stable and financially viable. This response, in contrast, rebrands the royal family as just that—a family, who are "saddened" to hear of the pain of two of their own, and who consider their love for Meghan and Harry to be the most important thing.
Importantly, the statement doesn't allow much room for Meghan and Harry to respond, which is another reason it can be read as a call for peace. Alternately, and more cynically, it can be read as a means of "silencing" the couple—to use the term Oprah used, and Meghan agreed with.