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I have always had the highest admiration for the Queen, says Johnson

Written by on 08/03/2021

Boris Johnson says he has always had the “highest admiration” for the Queen but he would not comment on other Royal Family matters.

Speaking at a Downing Street news conference, the prime minister was asked about allegations made during Meghan and Prince Harry’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired in the US overnight.

In the two-hour broadcast, reportedly watched by more than 17 million Americans, the Duchess of Sussex said “concerns” were raised by an unnamed member of the royal household about baby Archie’s skin colour before he was born.

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Meghan claims Archie’s skin colour was discussed

Latest updates after Sussexes’ Oprah interview

She also revealed she had suicidal thoughts during her time in the Royal Family. The duchess said she asked to go somewhere to get help, and approached a senior person in the institution, but was told it would not look good.

The prime minister was asked by a reporter at the news briefing whether the allegation about Archie, and the accusation that the family failed to look after Meghan’s mental health, should be investigated by Buckingham Palace.

Mr Johnson responded by saying: “I have always had the highest admiration for the Queen and the unifying role that she plays in our country and across the Commonwealth.

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“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.”

When asked later whether he believed the Royal Family was racist, he told the news conference: “I really think that when it comes to matters to do with the Royal Family, the right thing for prime ministers to say is nothing and nothing is the thing that I propose to say today about that particular matter.”

Sir Keir Starmer said Labour have been 'very critical' and 'very concerned' about the impact of the chancellor's budget.
Image: Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says Meghan’s allegations should be taken ‘very, very seriously’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said allegations made by Meghan in the interview should be taken seriously.

Earlier today, when asked if Mr Johnson agreed with Sir Keir, the PM’s spokesman said: “It is a matter for the Palace but the prime minister hasn’t seen those interviews.”

Pressed on whether allegations of racism should be taken seriously, the spokesman replied: “Neither he nor I have seen the interview.”

When asked if it was unacceptable to ask questions about the skin colour of an unborn child, Mr Johnson’s spokesman said the PM had said in the past that there was “no place in society” for racism.

Sir Keir said Meghan’s claims should be taken “very, very seriously”.

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Meghan: ‘I just didn’t want to be alive anymore’

Speaking during a visit to a school in Dagenham in east London, he said: “It is really sad to see the family in turmoil like this.

“The issues that Meghan has raised of racism and mental health are really serious issues.

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

“Nobody, but nobody, should be prejudiced (against) because of the colour of their skin or because of their mental health issues.

“This is bigger than the Royal Family. For too many years we have been too dismissive and too willing to put these issues to one side.”

The party’s shadow education secretary told Sky News that Buckingham Palace should investigate the claims.

Kate Green said the allegations were “really distressing, shocking”, adding: “And if there are allegations of racism, I would expect them to be treated by the palace with the utmost seriousness and fully investigated.”

Analysis: Johnson was not afraid to speak out when he was a newspaper columnist

By Jon Craig, chief political correspondent

The prime minister gives a bland answer about his highest admiration for the Queen and her unifying role, but claims he has spent a long time not commenting on royal matters and isn’t going to depart from that.

Really? He was never afraid to speak out in his days as a newspaper columnist.

However, his strong backing for the Queen in the war of the Windsors will not doubt be interpreted by some as a coded slapdown for Meghan and Harry.

 Sky News

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