Prince Charles “took the lead” with the royal family’s response to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, an expert has claimed.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a number of allegations about the family, including that there were “conversations” about the colour of Archie’s skin and claims that Meghan was told she couldn’t get help after having suicidal thoughts.
The Palace waited 56 hours before releasing a short statement saying they were saddened but would deal with the matter privately.
In an apparent hit back, one line read: “Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
While the message came directly from the Queen, royal expert Robert Jobson believed it may have been Charles who led the discussions on how to respond.
“The Queen is 94 and the Duke of Edinburgh is incapacitated, so he will be trying to placate and learn lessons from this so something can be worked out to everyone’s satisfaction.”
He added: “The royal family like to do things as a team, and if the team is being trashed they like to react as a unit and a family.”
Jobson praised the Queen’s message, describing it as “dignified”.
After the statement was issued, a senior source explained why the Queen and the senior members of the family waited to hit back.
There were reports the Queen had refused to sign off a statement aimed at ‘de-escalating tensions’ earlier in the day.
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.
“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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The Queen was said to have chosen not to watch the chat, but received a detailed report from aides who did at breakfast on Monday morning.
A Palace source said: “The overriding feeling throughout this whole sorry saga is one where many people, especially the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge, have been left immensely saddened.
“There is a distinct feeling inside the camp there must have been a better way to solve the issues by coming together, rather than the nuclear decision that has resulted in everything being discussed so publicly and without reason.
“When all is said and done, no one is likely to come off smelling of roses.”