THE Queen today revealed she was "saddened" as she finally responded to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's race claims, saying: "Some recollections may vary".
Her Majesty, 94, released a statement almost two days after the couple's bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview and said the Royal Family took the allegations "very seriously".
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The Queen said the incendiary claims a member of the family raised concerns over the colour of Archie's skin would be investigated and "addressed privately".
Her unprecedented response came after the tell-all Oprah chat that saw Meghan, 39, break down in tears as she and Harry, 36, revealed the pressures they faced within the Firm.
A statement from the palace said: "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
Senior members of the Royal Family – including the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William – were said to be locked in crisis talks after it aired in the US.
The Queen had initially refused to sign off a prepared statement that officials hoped would ease tensions and show the royal's love for the couple.
The monarch was understood to have wanted more time to consider her response.
A royal insider says Harry pressed the "nuclear button on his own family" with the sensational two-hour interview.
They claimed there was a sense of "intense personal shock and sadness" – with the palace said to be paralysed with "horror and dismay".
One 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.
Meghan, 39, broke down in tears during the explosive interview with Oprah – revealing she had been left suicidal after joining the Royal Family.
Recounting how she sobbed in her husband Prince Harry's arms, she said: "I just didn't see a solution. I didn't want to be alive anymore."
Oprah was also left shocked by revelations made by Meghan surrounding Archie and her 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."
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.
Oprah revealed it was not the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh who made the comment about Archie's skin.
The US chat-show queen quizzed Meghan over the decision that son Archie would not be a prince.
However, Meghan said of the lack of title: “It was not our decision to make.”
Meghan – who is now pregnant with a little girl – added: "That was when they were saying they didn't want him to be a prince or a princess."
Under rules brought in by George V in 1917, only the children and grandchildren of a sovereign have the automatic right to be a prince or princess, and use the HRH title.
Archie is the great-grandchild of the Queen, but will be a grandchild of the ruling sovereign when Charles becomes King, and thus would then be entitled to the titles.
Under George V's declaration, of the Queen's great-grandchildren only Prince George is actually entitled to be a prince because he is in the direct line of succession to the throne as the eldest son of Prince William, the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.
However, ahead of George's birth, the Queen stepped in to issue letters patent, ensuring that Kate and William's children would have the prince and princess titles.
They are the children of a future monarch, but Archie is not.
Prince Harry insisted he would never blindside his grandmother with an interview – saying he had too much respect for the Queen.
However Meghan and Harry claimed the 94-year-old did snub them by cancelling an overnight stay at Sandringham amid Megxit.
Other bombshells revealed by the couple in the two-hour special on CBS included confirmation of a falling out between Meghan and Kate Middleton.
Meghan claimed she had been the one left in tears after a confrontation over the bridesmaid's dresses with the Duchess of Cambridge.
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