Meghan Markle and King Charles Allegedly Corresponded About Unconscious Bias, Which Member of the Royal Family Made Comments About Prince Archie’s Skin Tone

While the personal letters were “warm,” tensions remain.

Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

In a personal letter to King Charles, Meghan Markle shared her concerns about unconscious bias within the royal family, The Telegraph reports—and in doing so named the member of the family who allegedly made comments about “how dark [Archie’s] skin might be when he’s born,” allegations made by Meghan and husband Prince Harry during their bombshell March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey. The letter, People reports, was sent soon after the Oprah interview to Charles, who was then still the Prince of Wales.

Meghan’s correspondence was allegedly sent in response to a letter she received from Charles, in which he “expressed his sadness over tension within the family,” People reports. “Charles is believed to be the only senior royal to have made contact with Meghan following the Oprah interview.”

The letters name the individual who allegedly said the comments, and both Charles and Meghan agreed, per The Telegraph, that the comment was said with no malice intended.

Meghan also allegedly told Charles that “she didn’t intend to accuse the royal family member of racism, but instead wanted to discuss unconscious bias,” People reports. Meghan also thanked Charles for his letter and, while the tone of the exchange was “warm,” tension within the family remains.

As to whether the skin tone comment was Meghan’s reason for declining the invitation to the King’s Coronation, a representative of the Duchess of Sussex, speaking to People, said that speculation was “ridiculous.”

“The Duchess of Sussex is going about her life in the present, not thinking about correspondence from two years ago related to conversations from four years ago,” the spokesperson said. “Any suggestion otherwise is false and, frankly, ridiculous. We encourage tabloid media and various royal correspondents to stop the exhausting circus that they alone are creating.”

Harry himself acknowledged in an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby that there is a difference between racism and unconscious bias, saying “Once it’s been acknowledged or pointed out to you as an individual, otherwise an institution, that you have unconscious bias, you, therefore, have an opportunity to learn and grow from that…otherwise, unconscious bias then moves into the category of racism.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.