Buckingham Palace has officially broken its silence on Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s CBS special with Oprah Winfrey which aired this past Sunday.
In the interview, which garnered more than 17 million viewers in the U.S. alone, Markle disclosed her mental health struggles — particularly suicidal ideation — as a result of treatment by the Royal family and British press. Markle went on to say those issues were exacerbated when she was silenced by the royal family and denied assistance. She went on to disclose that in the wake of her pregnancy an unnamed member of the family spurred “concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie’s] skin might be when he’s born.” While the couple chose to not name the family member and Prince Harry promised that he was “never going to share,” Winfrey clarified to CBS This Morning that it wasn’t Queen Elizabeth nor Prince Philip.
The statement, issued on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, states, “The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan.” It goes on to say, “The issues raised, particularly of race, are concerning. While some recollections vary, they are taken seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
During Sunday night’s interview, Prince Harry shared how his royal exit in January of last year left his relationship with his father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince William, in disarray. He shared at one point Prince Charles had stopped taking his calls but the two are now attempting to repair their relationship.
The claims of negligence on the palace’s behalf in regards to mental health and creating an inclusive environment have reportedly put the royal institution in a state of turmoil. In a statement to PEOPLE, a source said, “Diversity, equality, inclusion and mental health are important issues, and highlighting them has formed part of the work of members of the Royal Family for many years.”