Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to quit the royal family was prompted by racial ‘ignorance’ within the monarchy, the author of a new biography about the couple has claimed.
In an interview on Good Morning America, Omid Scobie, one of the co-authors of the hotly-anticipated book Finding Freedom, opened up about the couple’s move to the US, explaining that there was no sole reason for the decision – but that racism definitely ‘played a role’.
‘In terms of ticking those boxes that may ruffle feathers within an ancient institution such as that of the monarchy, she had really ticked all of them,’ he said, adding: ‘Race did play a role.’
Scobie suggests that Meghan never felt comfortable within the royal family – and that she was never made to feel as though she was entirely welcome.
The author went on to detail his own experiences with racial prejudice as a bi-racial man working closely with the monarchy in his role as a royal correspondent, recalling one particularly unpleasant interaction with a senior aide to the Queen.
‘I myself have also had moments as a bi-racial royal correspondent within the institution,’ he said.
‘I’ll never forget the moment an aide, or a senior aide close to the Queen, said to me, “I never would have expected you to speak like that,” and that level of ignorance I think perhaps made it very difficult for Meghan.’
Scobie’s remarks come just as Prince Harry addressed the desperate need for more diversity and inclusivity, insisting that it will take ‘every single person on the planet’ to defeat racism in a candid new virtual interview for a civil rights organisation.
Harry, 35, who is currently living in Tyler Perry’s $14 million mansion in Beverly Hills with Meghan, 38, and their son Archie, one, is set to speak about the topic in further detail in a new interview for the Color of Change initiative – however in a short clip released on Instagram, he praised the younger generation for ‘acting, rather than just saying’.
Speaking with US civil rights leader Rashad Robinson, the royal said: ‘As we’ve discussed before, it is going to take every single one of us, this is not just down to the black community, it’s going to take every single person on the planet right now.’
Harry’s decision to speak so publicly about the battle against racism is all part of what Scobie recently described as his ‘journey to workeness’, which, the author says, was guided by Meghan.
In a recent interview with the National Public Radio, Scobie noted that watching Meghan face racial bias was the first time that Harry had witnessed that kind of prejudice towards someone so close to him first-hand, explaining that this sparked the royal’s ‘journey to wokeness’.
Explosive new book about Harry and Meghan’s royal exit. @scobie, co-author of #FindingFreedom, gives our @DebRobertsABC an inside look at the couple’s side of the story. https://t.co/X8P82x9Dsv pic.twitter.com/L9fkvvAPGA
‘Harry’s journey to wokeness has been very public,’ he said.
‘We’ve seen him learning and educating himself along the way, but this experience of witnessing Meghan face racist remarks and commentary would have been the first time he’d seen someone in his life or someone he was particularly close to affected by it in a certain way.
‘We talk about some of the more obvious examples in some of the media coverage but I think that the things that have flown under the radar are some of the othering of Meghan we’ve seen.
‘We’ve sort of seen it repeatedly that she’s not one of us. And now, what do they mean by not one of us?
‘And I think there are things like that which Harry’s really had to become more attuned to and learn to see when it happens in front of him. And Meghan would have been the person that guided him on that journey. ‘
While Meghan and Harry’s decision to quit their roles as senior members of the royal family in favor of a more independent life in the US sparked serious controversy that continues to rage on – however Scobie insisted to GMA that the couple will come out on top in the history books.
He placed blame on the royal family for the couple’s move, saying that he believes Harry and Meghan were ‘failed by the monarchy’, and insisting that when historians examine the moment in years to come, it will be viewed as a missed opportunity for the centuries-old institution to evolve and diversify.
‘History will remember them as a couple that were perhaps failed by the institution of the monarchy, where there was this chance to have a woman of color, an American woman of color, in the house of Windsor representing the monarchy just as much as her husband,’ he explained.
‘That was a chance for the royal family to have diversity, inclusivity and representation in a way that no other moment in their lives could have brought and for them to not have harnessed that is something I’m sure historians will be looking at for years to come.’
Scobie believes that the couple were left with ‘no choice other than to leave’, insisting that things had reached breaking point for both Meghan and Harry.
‘They had no choice other than to leave because they both knew that it wasn’t going to continue should they just carry on as they were,’ he said.’
The royal correspondent also called out the ‘harsh British tabloids’ for the treatment of Meghan, insisting that this contributed, at least in part, to the couple’s departure, pointing back to November 2016 when Harry publicly blasted the media’s coverage of his then-girlfriend as a sign that the couple were already considering a move away from life within the monarchy.
‘I think we had a series of ups and downs with the couple,’ Scobie said when asked when things ‘took a turn’ for Harry and Meghan.
‘We only have to look back in the early days of Harry’s relationship with Meghan around November 2016 when he issued that statement lambasting sections of the media for racist and misogynistic reporting.’
Meghan and Harry’s move to the US also reignited rumors of a serious rift between the Duke of Sussex and his brother, Prince William, with many people suggesting that the Duchess of Sussex may have been to blame for any tension between the once-inseparable siblings.
However Scobie suggests that any falling out between William and Harry was entirely due to the behavior of the brothers, and had nothing to do with Meghan or Kate Middleton, or indeed any uneasiness that may have existed between the two women.
In fact, he believes that the change in the relationship between William and Harry actually came as a result of the younger sibling choosing to break out of the role of ‘subservient brother’ – which Scobie notes likely prompted a rift between the princes.
‘I felt it was important to really dive into this in the book because we had seen Meghan and Kate really blamed for almost driving a wedge between them,’ he said.
‘They are both men in their 30s and Harry not wanting to play that role of sort of the younger more subservient brother anymore.’
But while frosty relations between Meghan and Kate may not have been to blame for Harry and William’s falling out, Scobie does not deny that the two women were never close – and that there was at least some resentment on the Duchess of Sussex’s side over how the Duchess of Cambridge treated her when she first joined the royal family.
‘These are two women that really have very little in common,’ he said.
‘I think that being a newcomer and knowing that Kate was once a newcomer, I think there were times – speaking to sources – where Meghan felt she could have [had], or needed, a little bit more support from Kate and didn’t get it in some of those important moments.’
Still, he insists that much of the tension between the two women has been over-dramatized in the court of public opinion, addressing one particular report that Meghan had pushed Kate to ‘tears’ at her wedding to Prince Harry, claiming that it has been completely over-exaggerated.
‘When I spoke to the people who were actually there and involved, the first thing they all said, well, there were no tears,’ he said – although he did not deny that there was some tension between the two women on the day of the royal wedding.
But as far as Kate breaking down, Scobie insisted it ‘couldn’t be further from the truth’.
Scobie also address reports that Meghan and Harry ‘weighed in’ on Finding Freedom through ‘secret interviews’, insisting that the couple had nothing to do with the stories in the book.
‘I know there’s a lot of speculation about the couple having sort of given secret interviews for the book and having weighed in, but it really couldn’t be further from the truth,’ he said.