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Boris Johnson repeatedly refuses to comment on allegations of racism towards Meghan Markle and Archie

James Morris
·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read

Watch: PM refuses to comment on Harry and Meghan interview

Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to comment on allegations of racism towards Meghan Markle and her son Archie made during her interview with Oprah Winfrey.

During the interview, Meghan – who is mixed-race – said that when she was pregnant with Archie, an unnamed member of the Royal Family raised “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”.

At Monday's Downing Street press conference, the prime minister was twice asked to comment on this – but he refused.

Johnson said: "Perhaps the best thing I can say is that I've always had the highest admiration for the Queen and the unifying role that she plays in our country and across the Commonwealth.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street in central London on March 8, 2021, to give an update on the coronavirus covid-19 pandemic. - Millions of children returned to school in England on Monday for the first time in two months, with the government beginning to ease coronavirus restrictions as a mass vaccination drive ramps up. The resumption of classroom teaching was the first step on a path which the government hopes will see life return to normal by late June. (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP) (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Boris Johnson refused to comment on allegations of racism towards Meghan Markle and her son Archie at Monday's Downing Street press conference. (Hannah McKay/pool/AFP via Getty Images)

"As for all other matters to do with the Royal Family, I have spent a long time now not commenting on Royal Family matters and I don't intend to depart from that today."

Johnson was later asked if the claims have "damaged" Britain and if he thinks the Royal Family is racist. Again, he refused to answer.

"I really think that when it comes to matters to do with the Royal Family, the right thing for a prime minister to say is nothing, and 'nothing' is the thing I propose to say about that particular matter."

Earlier on Monday, Johnson's official spokesman had also refused to comment on the Duchess of Sussex’s suggestions of racism, and said the PM had not watched the interview.

Watch: The key revelations from Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview

Asked whether Johnson agreed with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer that the allegations needed to be taken seriously, the spokesman said: “It is a matter for the Palace but the prime minister hasn’t seen those interviews.”

Starmer had said: “It is a reminder that too many people experience racism in 21st-century Britain. We have to take that very, very seriously."

In the interview, Meghan said there were “several conversations” with her husband Prince Harry about Archie’s skin tone, and “what that would mean or look like”.

She was 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.”

Pushed by Winfrey on who had those conversations, Meghan refused to say, adding: “I think that would be very damaging to them.”

Harry refused to give further details, adding: “That conversation, I am never going to share. At the time it was awkward, I was a bit shocked.”