Prince Harry denies he and Meghan said royals were racist in Oprah interview

9 January 2023, 08:43 | Updated: 9 January 2023, 08:51

Harry said he did not accuse his family of racism but unconscious bias
Harry said he did not accuse his family of racism but unconscious bias. Picture: ITV/Getty

By Emma Soteriou

Prince Harry has denied accusing members of the royal family of being racist, claiming instead that it was "unconscious bias".

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Harry said Meghan's claims that a family member made "troubling" comments about the skin colour of his son, Archie, related to "unconscious bias" not racism.

It comes amid days of allegations emerging from the duke, whose tell-all memoir was released early in Spain last week.

In an exchange with Tom Bradby on ITV, in which the presenter said "in the Oprah interview you accused members of your family of racism", Harry responded by saying "no I didn't", adding "the British press said that".

He continued: "Did Meghan ever mention that they're racist?"

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Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview
Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview. Picture: Getty

After Bradby said Meghan claimed troubling comments were made about Archie's skin colour, Harry said: "There was - there was concern about his skin colour."

Asked if he would describe that as racist, Harry said: "I wouldn't, not having lived within that family."

"The difference between racism and unconscious bias, the two things are different,' he continued.

"But once it's been acknowledged, or pointed out to you as an individual, or as an institution, that you have unconscious bias, you therefore have an opportunity to learn and grow from that in order so that you are part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

"Otherwise unconscious bias then moves into the category of racism."

Harry's memoir
Harry's memoir. Picture: Penguin

After saying he would never talk about which family members had made the comments, Harry continued: "I mean what happened to Ngozi Fulani is a very good example of the environment within the institution, and why after our Oprah interview, they said that they were going to bring in a diversity tsar.

"That hasn't happened.

"Everything they said was going to happen hasn't happened.

"I've always been open to wanting to help them understand their part in it, and especially when you are the monarchy - you have a responsibility, and quite rightly people hold you to a higher standard than others.

"So, the way that I've learnt it through my own experience and for what I've seen and what I've heard, yes, you're right the key word is concern, which was troubling.

"But you speak to any other mixed-race couple around the world, and you will probably find that the white side of the family have either openly discussed it, or secretly discussed, you know, 'What are the kids gonna look like?'

"And that is part of a bigger conversation that needs to be had."

The duke added: "But, to say that that doesn't happen around the rest of the world, but it just happened there - that's not true.

"But again for me the difference is unconscious bias and racism, but if you are called out for unconscious bias you need to make that right, and you have the opportunity and the choice to.

"But if you choose not to, then that rapidly becomes something much more serious."