When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down with Oprah earlier this year to discuss life since leaving their royal duties behind, one of the biggest bombshells they dropped was that some unnamed members of the royal family had directed racist comments in their direction. In particular, that a member of the royal family asked what skin tone Harry and Meghan’s future children might have.
While they refused to name names then—though it’s been speculated that Prince Harry’s forthcoming memoir might spill the tea—a new book quotes a source who says that it was Prince Charles who raised the offensive question.
According to Page Six, in journalist Christopher Andersen’s new book, Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan, which hits shelves Tuesday (opens in new tab), a “well-placed source” in the royal family set the scene for how Prince Charles broached the question that ended up indirectly leading to Meghan and Harry’s departure for the States.
Here’s how the book claimed it happened: The morning of November 17, 2017—the day Harry and Meghan announced their engagement—Prince Charles and Camilla were discussing the couple when Charles reportedly asked, “I wonder what the children will look like?” The book says the insider say Camilla look “somewhat taken aback” when she responded, “Well, absolutely gorgeous, I’m certain.” Then, reportedly “lowering his voice,” per Page Six, Prince Charles clarified: “I mean, what do you think the children’s complexion might be?”
Prince Charles, through a spokesperson, has flat-out denied the book’s depiction of the reported events, calling it “fiction and not worth further comment.” And for any royal watchers, there are definitely some red flags that may go up as you read the account: Mainly, what kind of source would be close enough in proximity that they could hear Prince Charles lowering his voice to talk to his wife, but still be willing to go public with such incendiary information? Second, in the Oprah interview, Prince Harry claimed that a royal asked him personally about any future children’s skin tone.
However, Prince Harry did clarify after the Oprah interview that it was neither the Queen nor Prince Philip who asked him, which leaves only a few senior royals that it could have been. Further, Omid Scobie, co-author of the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle book Finding Freedom—which, it was recently revealed, the couple cooperated on—has said that there were actually numerous conversations, of varying degrees of terribly racist, that affected the couple greatly. So if the book’s version of events is confirmed, it could also be just one of the conversations in question.
Again, this is all unconfirmed. But Prince Harry’s thought-to-be-explosive memoir, which comes out sometime next year, may shine a more direct light on the scandal.
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