Queen Elizabeth Reportedly Wanted to "Sleep On" Her Response to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Oprah Interview

"She was not going to be rushed into saying anything."

When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey dropped last year, the entire royal family was shook — most of all, Queen Elizabeth. But despite the harmful allegations — including racism — made by the couple, the Queen wasn't in a rush to release an official statement. 

More than 24-hours went by with nothing said, and according to a new book Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown written by royal expert Valentine Low, there was a reason behind the wait. Per Low, the Queen wanted to take her time in coming up with a response to avoid saying anything in haste, and even took a night to "sleep on it."

“There had been so many allegations made by the couple—about racism, about security, about Meghan’s mental health—that it was hard to know where to start," wrote Low. He continued, "The private secretaries and communications secretaries had long debates about how to deal with the issue, especially what one of them awkwardly called ‘the R word.'" By 2 p.m. the day after the interview aired in the United States, staffers had a statement ready, but the Palace still chose to stay quiet. 

Queen Elizabeth Meghan Markle Prince Harry


“And then precisely nothing happened,” Low explained. “The Palace stayed completely silent because the Queen decided that she wanted to sleep on it. She was not going to be rushed into saying anything precipitate. It was a reminder that, while the courtiers might do all the groundwork, the final decisions are made by the royal family.”

The next day, as many royal followers remember, Buckingham Palace responded with four carefully-crafted sentences just before 5:30 p.m. 

In full, the statement read, "The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. 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. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members." 

Following the interview, and subsequent statement, Harry's dad Charles laughed off the claims made by his son, while his older brother William denied the allegations outright, telling reporters that the royals "are not a racist family." 

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