MEGHAN Markle, Prince Harry and their son Archie will always be "much loved" members of the Royal Family, the Queen has said after their bombshell interview.
Her Majesty finally responded to the ex-royals' tell-all chat with Oprah Winfrey that saw Meghan break down in tears as she and Harry revealed the pressures they faced within the Firm.
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The Duchess of Sussex had claimed there were conversations with Harry and a "family" member about their unborn son Archie and what colour his skin would be – and "what that would mean or look like".
Buckingham Palace had not commented on the revelations until today, but in a statement this afternoon, the Queen made clear that Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be a part of the family.
A statement from the palace read: "The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan.
"The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. Whilst 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."
It comes as…
- Prince Harry hit the 'nuclear button' on his family in the interview, insiders claimed
- Thomas Markle hung up on 'snotty' Prince Harry
- Meghan Markle is reported to have slammed the door in Kate Middleton's face when the duchess tried to apologise over an incident over flower girl dresses
- ITV Hub crashed as the interview was broadcast on the UK screens
- Oprah revealed Prince Harry insisted the Queen and Prince Philip were not the Royals who expressed concerns about Archie's skin colour
- A new photograph of the couple with Archie was released
- Thomas Markle will be interviewed on GMB
- Harry and Meghan held a private 'exchange of vows' before their wedding
- The full transcript of the interview can be read here
It comes after Meghan told Oprah she has maintained a good relationship with the Queen since she and her husband stepped down from their royal duties.
The mum-to-be said: “I just pick up the phone and I call the Queen – just to check in.
"That's what we do, it's like being able to default to not having to every moment go 'Is that appropriate?'."
Meghan also revealed the monarch gave her "some beautiful pearl earrings and a matching necklace" for the pair's first joint engagement together in Cheshire, just weeks before her wedding.
Of their bond, Meghan said: "I mean, we had one of our first joint engagements together. She asked me to join her, and I was on the train.
"And we have breakfast together that morning and she gave me a beautiful gift and I just really loved being in her company, and I remember we were in the car and she gave me some beautiful pearl earrings and a matching necklace, and we were in the car going between engagements.
"And she has a blanket that sits across her, her knees, for warmth and it was chilly and she was like, 'Meghan, come on.'
“And put it over my knees as well. And it made me think of my grandmother, where she's always been warm and inviting and really welcoming.”
But alongside her compliments to the Queen, Meghan, 39, broke down in tears during the explosive Oprah chat – revealing she had been left suicidal after joining the Royal Family.
Recounting how she cried in Prince Harry's arms, Meghan said: "I just didn't see a solution. I didn't want to be alive anymore."
Oprah was left shocked by the revelations – even more so when Meghan spoke of conversations around Archie and his race, with the Duchess claiming the Firm had not wanted her son to be a prince and that he would not receive security.
Meghan said: "In those months when I was pregnant, all around same time: we have in tandem he won’t be given security, a title and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born."
Oprah was left stunned and replied: "What? There is a conversation… hold on. Hold up. Hold up. Stop right now.
Asked whether there were concerns that her child would be “too brown” and that would be a problem, Meghan said: “If that is the assumption you are making, that is a pretty safe one.”
Prince Harry confirmed he had been involved in the conversations but said he would never share the details.
He said: "At the time it was awkward but I was a bit shocked."
The couple have declined to say who had started the alleged racist conversations, saying it would be "damaging" for them.
One royal insider claimed there was a sense of "intense personal shock and sadness" after the interview – with the palace said to be paralysed with "horror and dismay".
An insider said: "There’s a lot people want to say but no one wins with a tit-for-tat battle."
Concerns have now been raised that this week, all senior members of the Royal Family are expected to carry out public engagements – where they could face questions about the Oprah interview.
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