Prince William defends UK royal family against racism claims

Associated Press

London — Prince William on Thursday defended Britain's royal family against accusations of racism made by his brother Prince Harry and sister-in-law Meghan, saying the royals are “very much not a racist family.”

In comments made during a visit to an east London school, William became the first royal to directly address the explosive interview broadcast Sunday in the U.S. that his brother and the Duchess of Sussex gave to Oprah Winfrey.

Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a visit to a secondary school in east London, Thursday March 11, 2021.

Buckingham Palace’s sought to respond to Harry and Meghan’s allegations of racism and mistreatment in a 61-word statement that critics called “too little, too late.”

William, second in line to the throne after his father Prince Charles, says he hadn’t yet spoken to Harry in the aftermath of the interview, “but I will do.’’

Harry and Meghan's comments have rocked the royal family — and touched off conversations around the world about racism, mental health and even the relationship between Britain and its former colonies.

Britain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge talks with a child in a playground during a visit with Prince William Thursday March 11, 2021.

Those tensions have only built as the public waited to see how the royal family would respond.

Meghan, who is biracial, said in the interview she was so isolated and miserable as a working member of the royal family that she had suicidal thoughts. She also said Harry told her there were “concerns and conversations” by a royal family member about the color of her baby’s skin when she was pregnant with their son, Archie.

Britain's Prince William watches a child in the playground during a visit to a school in east London, Thursday March 11, 2021.

William and Kate toured School 21 in Stratford, east London as children returned to classes. The visit was also meant to mark the rollout to secondary schools of a mental health project Kate launched in primary schools in 2018.