The Queen has said that issues of racism at Buckingham Palace that were raised during an explosive interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were taken very seriously but would be "addressed privately" by Britain's Royal family.
In a statement issued by the palace on Tuesday, a day after the interview was aired on British TV and two days after it went out in the US, where the couple is now based, the Queen said: "The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been" for them.
"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."
Pressure had been mounting on Buckingham Palace to respond following Meghan and Harry's two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey, during which Meghan spoke openly about the racism she had suffered after her marriage to Harry - the sixth in line to the British throne - in 2018.
The couple revealed that Harry was even asked about the skin colour of children that he and Meghan would have and speculation that a decision to strip their son, Archie, of royal titles was due to the fact that he was mixed race.
Neither Harry nor Meghan would reveal which family member asked the question.
Winfrey later said that Prince Harry had clarified the remarks did not come from either of his grandparents, the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Charles, Harry's father, did not mention the interview on a visit to London earlier on Monday.
Meghan also said that she was driven to suicidal thoughts due to her treatment by sections of the British media and the reluctance of the palace to protect her. The couple said it was this lack of protection that led to their decision to step away from their royal duties in January 2020.
The interview, which was shown in Britain a day after it aired in the US, has divided people around the world.
It netted an average of 11.1 million viewers on the Monday night UK broadcast.
Many say the allegations demonstrate the need for change inside a palace that hasn’t kept pace with the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements.
But others have criticised Harry and Meghan for dropping their bombshell while Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather remains hospitalised in London after a heart procedure.
Buckingham Palace confirmed in February that the couple would not be returning to royal duties, and Harry would give up his honorary military titles — a decision that made formal, and final, the couple's split from the royal family.
When Harry and Meghan stepped away from full-time royal life in March 2020, unhappy at media scrutiny and the strictures of their roles, it was agreed the situation would be reviewed after a year.
Now it has, and the palace said in a statement that the couple, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have verified "they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family."