Meghan and Harry may release ‘racism proof’ says friend
In the first sign of the couple's anger at the Queen's statement that "recollections may vary" about the details in their interview with Oprah Winfrey, a friend warned they had proof.
The couple claimed a senior royal asked "how dark" baby Archie's skin would be, that the palace did nothing to help Meghan when she was on the verge of suicide and that Prince Charles stopped taking Prince Harry's calls.
Actor Janina Gavankar, a friend of Meghan's for 17 years, warned there was more to come from the couple.
But she denied that they were trying to "nuke" the Royal Family while Prince Philip, 99, remained in hospital with a heart problem.
When asked if there were more claims, she replied: "I didn't plan to say this much but I really do feel like we're in a new era.
"We get to tell the truth, things are different now."
The actor, who watched the interview with the couple, said she had been aware of Meghan and Harry's racism claims before they were aired in the Oprah tell-all.
The couple were not paid to participate in the chat, which was screened in more than 70 countries, and watched by 1.7 million Australians.
Ms Gavankar, who received permission from Meghan, 39, to speak with ITV, said that she was disappointed with the Queen's statement.
ROYAL FAMILY 'WERE WELL AWARE' OF RACISM
"One side I thought I'm so thankful that they are finally acknowledging the experience but on the other side I know that the family and the staff were well aware at the extent of it," she said.
"And though their recollections may vary ours don't because we lived through it with them and there are many emails and texts to support that."
The Queen's statement said the family would deal with the matter privately but was "concerned" about the racism claims and that they would be taken "very seriously".
It came a week after the Queen also raised concerns about claims in The Times that Meghan had bullied staff, which was now also being investigated in an internal probe which was unlikely to be released publicly.
Two staffers quit after claims Meghan was unreasonable and left them "shaking" and in tears.
Australian Samantha Cohen, who worked for the Queen for almost two decades, was also put under considerable pressure when seconded to help Prince Harry and Meghan, according to emails leaked to the newspaper.
Ms Gavankar, 40, dropped another bombshell, saying that one of the staffers was sacked for "gross misconduct" and denied that Meghan was a "bully".
"I have known her for 17 years and I have seen the way that she regards the people around her and the people she works with," she said.
"I can say she's not a bully but I can also say that I am personally glad that people are doing their due diligence because I also know why someone had to leave and it was for gross misconduct.
"The truth will come out, there's plenty of emails and texts about that.
"I'm just happy that it's actually getting looked into because the truth really does set you free."
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The identity of the royal how made the "how dark" comment has yet to be revealed.
The Queen, 94, and Prince Philip have been ruled out by Prince Harry, it has put the spotlight on Prince Charles, 72, and Prince William, 38.
It has also been confirmed that Meghan wrote a personal letter of complaint to ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall after he said he "did not believe a word" of her Oprah appearance.
The duchess, who revealed her serious mental health issues, said she was worried Morgan's comments would stop other people from speaking out about their problems.
Morgan quit Good Morning Britain because he was asked to apologise but refused.
DEFIANT PIERS DOUBLES DOWN
It has now emerged that Good Morning Britain TV host Piers Morgan was ordered to apologise to Meghan Markle after ITV bosses were contacted by the Duchess, but he refused.
According to The Sun, Meghan's complaint wasn't made over Piers' dismissal of racism allegations, or her claims that she wasn't supported by the Royal Family.
And her complaint wasn't over Morgan's longstanding criticism of her.
ITV's royal editor Chris Ship said: "The Duchess of Sussex formally filed a complaint to ITV on Monday.
"It's thought to have been sent to the broadcaster's CEO.
"Meghan raised concerns about how Piers Morgan's words affect the issue of mental health and what it might do to others contemplating suicide."
Defiant Morgan has doubled down on his attack on Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and vowed he would "re-emerge" on television.
Morgan, 55, was kicked out of the hosting chair of Good Morning Britain when he said he "did not believe" Meghan's claims she was on the verge of suicide when she was a working royal.
The Duchess made the emotional revelation in her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Morgan quit his ITV breakfast show when he refused producers' demands to apologise following 41,000 complaints, sparked by a Twitter campaign, over concerns he was making it harder for people to talk about their mental health.
The Duchess, who was once friends with Morgan but stopped talking to him when she met Prince Harry, has also made a personal complaint, according to reports.
But Morgan said outside his home in London on Wednesday that had no regrets, as speculation mounted he will return to television on a new station, GB News, about to be launched in the UK.
"I believe in freedom of speech, I believe in the right to have an opinion, if people want to believe Meghan Markle that's entirely their right," he said.
"I don't believe almost anything that comes out of her mouth and I think the damage she's done to the British monarchy and to the Queen at a time when Prince Philip is lying in hospital is enormous and frankly contemptible.
"If I have to fall on my sword for expressing an honestly-held opinion about Meghan Markle and that diatribe of bilge that she came out with in that interview, so be it."
Morgan's Twitter following increased by 100,000 overnight to 7.8 million.
He tweeted that Good Morning Britain had beaten the BBC Breakfast Show in the ratings for the first time yesterday and also a photograph of Winston Churchill defending free speech.
"BREAKING NEWS: Good Morning Britain beat BBC Breakfast in the ratings yesterday for the first time. My work is done," he said on Twitter.
The last show included an interview with Meghan's father Thomas Markle.
Morgan stormed out after that interview when he was criticised for his comments about Meghan by his co-host Alex Beresford.
Other colleagues, including respected ITV royal reporter Chris Ship, questioned whether Morgan should be able to take criticism when he had dished so much out.
It was understood there were also concerns about Morgan's comments from junior staffers on the show.
Morgan, however, said that he would be back.
"I think it's fair to say, although the woke crowd will think that they've cancelled me, I think they will be rather disappointed when I re-emerge," he said outside his home.
"I would call it a temporary hibernation."
He added that he was "always in talks with people."
GB News, which has more than $100 million in start-up funding, is being run by former Sky News Australia boss Angelos Frangopolous.
He has been hiring a string of high-profile British journalists, including former executive editor of The Sun, Dan Wootton, who broke the Megxit story.
Mr Frangopolous told News Corp Australia: "Piers is a terrific broadcaster."
Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was a guest on Good Morning Britain in the first show without Morgan, as the republican debate in Australia fires up following Prince Harry and Meghan's interview.
Morgan's co-host Susanna Reid said when opening the first show without Morgan: "It is certainly going to be very different but shows go on and so on we go."
QUEEN 'WANTS TO HEAL RIFT'
The Queen is planning to get a direct line to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to rebuild bridges behind closed doors after they revealed claims of racism at the top of the Royal Family.
The 94-year-old consulted with Prince Charles, 72, and Prince William, 38, before releasing a statement about the couple's interview with Oprah Winfrey that has rocked the Firm.
The Queen walked a careful tightrope with her comments, which showed love and care for Prince Harry and Meghan, who revealed in the sit-down she had suicidal thoughts because of the pressure of being a royal.
The Queen was "concerned" about Prince Harry and Meghan's claims of racism in the royal family but said "some recollections may vary".
It has been suggested that the royal family had identified who made the "racist" remark about "how dark" baby Archie would be when he was born, but that the person had disputed how it was portrayed in the interview.
The Queen said she did not know the full extent of the couple's pain before the interview.
In a carefully written 61-word statement a day after the interview first aired in Britain, the Queen attempted to calm the racism storm engulfing the Firm.
The Royal Family will investigate Prince Harry's racism claims, which were taken "very seriously", but the outcome will be kept "private".
However, the suggestions there may be different accounts of what was said has the potential to spark further claims from Prince Harry and Meghan.
There are still questions about which royal asked "how dark" baby Archie's skin would be, with Prince Charles, Prince William and Camilla and Kate under suspicion of making the comments.
"The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan," a statement issued by Buckingham Palace on behalf of the Queen said.
"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."
The statement also made an attempt to keep the door open for Prince Harry, 36, Meghan, 39, Archie, 1, and the couple's expected baby girl due in the American summer.
"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members," the Queen added.
Omid Scobie, a Harper's Bazaar journalist close to Meghan who wrote the flattering book Finding Freedom, said the statement was too little, too late.
He said it did not compare favourably with the statement the palace put out following bullying claims against Meghan last week.
"A statement that took two days to put together, lacking the vim and vigour showcased last week when the Palace announced to every media organisation in the world that they would be conducting an HR investigation into bullying claims," Mr Scobie said on Twitter.
Buckingham Palace had a statement ready to be released shortly after the program aired in the UK on Monday night, but the Queen held it back while she considered her response.
Prince Harry's anger at the racist remark, which he indicated was said when Meghan was pregnant with Archie, was still palpable in the interview.
The comment was made to him and then he relayed it to Meghan, who let it slip in her chat with her Californian neighbour and master interviewer Winfrey.
It underscored the couple's continuing claims that Meghan was subjected to racist attacks by the British Press.
PALACE IN CRISIS OVER RACISM CLAIMS
Prince Harry did not reveal who made the comment, but clarified that it was not the Queen, nor Prince Philip, 99, who remains in hospital after three weeks of treatment.
Prince Philip has previously made questionable comments.
In 1986 he told a group of British students during a visit to China that "If you stay here much longer you'll all be slitty-eyed."
And Prince Harry was subject to a race inquiry in 2009 when he was heard on video calling one fellow military cadet a "Paki" and another a "raghead".
He was also criticised in 2005 when he attended a fancy dress party dressed in a Nazi uniform with a swastika armband.
Meghan's father Thomas Markle, 76, referenced the Hitler incident when interviewed on British television this week.
Prince Charles was out in north London at a vaccination centre, which was set up in a church popular with the area's black community, on Tuesday local time.
A reporter asked: "Sir, what did you think of the interview?"
Clearly taken aback, Prince Charles turned to look at the reporter as he left the building and said "oh" and gave a nervous chuckle and carried on walking.
Prince Charles gave a speech praising the role black majority churches played in their local communities.
"As I've seen today, you've opened your church to the vaccine program to the whole community and you've been collecting and distributing food to those who need it most, as I've also seen," he said.
"If ever we needed an example of how to be a good Samaritan, we need look no further.
"We are all immensely proud of the role black majority churches have been playing and it is a source of profound sorrow to know that black communities have been hit particularly hard by this pernicious virus."
As he chatted to healthcare worker Caroline Olodimeji, 67, he asked where she came from - originally Nigeria but she had lived in the UK a long time.
The prince said "oh fantastic", adding that he had been to Nigeria, and spoke about how many "different ethnic groups" there were in the country.
The royal family had been sweating on what to say in the statement for fear of further antagonising Prince Harry and Meghan.
"A denial could lead the Sussexes breaking their vow and naming the member of the royal family who discussed their son's skin colour. There is a lack of trust," an insider told The London Evening Standard.
"The feeling is it will be better to try to build bridges with the couple and to embrace them.
"However, this incendiary interview has caused pain and division. Trust is an issue.
"For Harry to say he feels 'let down' seems a little rich when you consider what he has done. The Duke of Sussex continues to say he respects his grandmother, but he has ridden roughshod over the institution she represents. Time is said to be a great healer, let's hope so."
A Black Lives Matter co-founder Opel Tometi demanded a boycott of the royal family.
Ms Tometi told American website TMZ that the comments referred to by Prince Harry showed that the royals may not value black lives.
Originally published as Meghan and Harry may release 'racism proof' says friend