Queen ‘refused to sign off first draft of response to Meghan and Harry claims’

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made a number of bombshell allegations against the Royal Family in their explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The Duchess of Sussex revealed she struggled with suicidal thoughts and claimed there were "concerns" about whether son Archie would have dark skin. Harry, meanwhile, said his family didn't protect him.

The Queen has faced pressure to respond to the couple's statements since it premiered in the US on Sunday night, but Buckingham Palace held off until tonight to have their say, the Mirror reports.

Some 56 hours after the interview ended, a statement issued by Buckingham Palace on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen said: "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. Whilst 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."

After the statement was issued, a senior source explained why the Queen and the senior members of the family waited until it had been aired in the UK.

  • Moment Prince Charles is asked about Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview – and rushed out

There were reports last night that the Queen had refused to sign off a statement aimed at 'de-escalating tensions' yesterday.

It is believed the monarch wanted more time to consider her response before penning any direct statement.

The source said: "At the heart of all of this there is a family.

"They should be given the opportunity to discuss the issues raised privately, as a family.

  • Meghan Markle ready to 'name and shame royal who made race remark palace fears'

"It has been important for us to carefully consider any response before issuing; and of course releasing something today meant viewers in the UK had the opportunity to watch the interview, if they wished to, first.

"Diversity, equality, inclusion and mental health are important issues and highlighting that has formed part of the work of Members of the Royal Family for many years."

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