On Monday 13th January, the Home Secretary dismissed claims that the Duchess of Sussex faced racism in the media.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Priti Patel stated that people of any background “can get on in life” in the UK and that she had not seen any media reports which had painted Meghan Markle in a negative light. Denying that media had been in any way racist towards Meghan, Patel an immigrant herself said:
“I’m not in that category at all where I believe there’s racism at all. I think we live in a great country, a great society, full of opportunity where people of any background can get on in life.
“I certainly haven’t seen that [racism] through any debates or commentary or things of that nature.”
In November 2016, shortly after Prince Harry and Meghan started dating, the royals issued a statement in which he called out the “wave of abuse and harassment” that his then-girlfriend had faced in the press. Prince Harry’s statement also referenced his concern at the “racial undertones of comment pieces” he’d seen in the media.
The Home Secretary is likely to oversee the future security arrangements for Meghan and Prince Harry following their decision to step away from the royal family and split their time between Canada and the UK. However, she refused to provide any further insight into the security arrangements that will be devised for the couple once they are “financially independent”.
“I’m not going to provide any detailed information on the security arrangements for either them or any members of the royal family or for any protected individuals,” she replied, describing it as “thoroughly inappropriate” for her to comment.
“At this moment in time, right now, the royal family themselves need some time and space for them to work through the current issues that they’re dealing with.”
On Monday evening, Buckingham Palace released a statement on behalf of the Queen, announcing there would be a “period of transition” for Meghan and Harry.
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” the monarch said.
“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more.