“We are very much not a racist family,” he said during a visit to an East London school with his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge. William was responding to a question from a Sky News reporter who was covering the visit to School21, a new, state-funded school in Stratford, East London.
Responding to a further question from the news organization, the prince said he has not yet spoken to his brother Harry, “but I plan to.” Markle and Harry had made the allegations of racism during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired on Sunday night.
It is highly unusual for a working member of the royal family to make a public comment about anything other than their official engagement. Usually, the royals make anodyne comments about the place or charity that they are visiting.
William’s statement comes 48 hours after Buckingham Palace responded to allegations made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their interview.
As reported, one of the main points to come out of the interview were Markle’s allegations of a racist comment made to Harry by a member of the royal family regarding their then-unborn child’s skin color.
The couple did not reveal which member of the family made the comment, and Winfrey later clarified that it did not come from Harry’s grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
On Tuesday, the palace said the royal family was “saddened” to hear about the couple’s challenging experiences over the past few years, and vowed to address accusations of racism by a member of the royal family.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the palace said in a short statement.
“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
The statement went on to say that Prince Harry, Markle and their son, Archie, will “always be much loved family members.”