Prince Harry Was Told Not to Be Oversensitive After Royal Race Remark—Biographer

Prince Harry was told not to be oversensitive after complaining about comments on the complexion of his future children with Meghan Markle, a royal author says.

Christopher Andersen's biography Brothers and Wives triggered a front-page story in one of Britain's biggest selling newspapers when its account of the story behind Meghan's Oprah Winfrey race allegations was denied by the palace.

The U.S. journalist reported Prince Charles asked his wife Camilla what the couple's children would look like.

The book described how the Duchess of Cornwall replied "Well, absolutely gorgeous, I'm certain" before Charles said: "I mean, what do you think their children's complexion might be?"

A Clarence House spokesperson last week said: "This is fiction and not worth further comment."

Andersen, however, said Brothers and Wives was not intended as an attack on Charles, and told Newsweek the royal family was not racist.

He said: "Using sources that I completely trust, this traces back to a benign comment by Charles in which like every grandparent he speculates on what their children might look like.

"I'm a grandfather, it goes with the territory. What will the hair color be like, the eye color, the complexion. This was all warped into something more sinister sounding.

"By the time it got back to Harry the message was quite different. So Harry, the message he got in response to complaining about this was, 'well you're just oversensitive. You're just misinterpreting it.'"

However, after a story in The New York Post, Clarence House went on the record to deny the account in the book, prompting a story on the front page of The Sun with the headline: "Prince Charles 'is not royal racist.'"

The palace denial also made it into broadsheet newspapers including The Guardian.

However, Andersen stood by his story, telling Newsweek: "That [palace] statement is fiction.

"At the point at which they made that statement they could not have read the book. I think once they finally do look at what I say in the book they will see that this has been misconstrued.

"In terms of racism, is the royal family racist? I agree with William—no, I don't think so. I do believe there are racist elements in the palace bureaucracy and the aristocracy and throughout British society."

He added: "I think the spin that's been taken on it by certain tabloids is fascinating because in essence it absolves Charles and the royal family from allegations of racism."

Andersen said details of the incident were known about to "a close group of people" rather than being widespread gossip.

However, he said the facts became contorted as with a game of "Telephone."

Meghan told Oprah: "In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we have in tandem the conversation of 'he won't be given security, he's not going to be given a title' and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born."

She added: "There were several conversations about it."

Asked what the question was, Harry replied: "What will the kids look like?"

However, the prince gave a different time frame for the comment, saying: "But that was right at the beginning, when she wasn't going to get security, when members of my family were suggesting that she carries on acting, because there was not enough money to pay for her, and all this sort of stuff.

"Like, there was some real obvious signs before we even got married that this was going to be really hard."

Andersen said the comment made was whipped up by palace staff who gave it a racially charged inflection that went beyond what was actually said at the time.

However, he said Harry and Meghan were entitled to present the version of the story that they gave to Oprah.

He told Newsweek: "They genuinely, what they were hearing they responded to in a perfectly understandable way. They were perfectly right to say there was racism among the dreaded men in grey."

And he said there are issues with the palace and racism, adding: "Let's just say they are not as woke as they should be."

Harry and Meghan Markle talk to Oprah
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle talk to Oprah Winfrey during their CBS prime time special broadcast in America on March 7, 2021. They told the talk show host an unnamed royal expressed concern about how dark their child's skin might be. Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions