Prince Charles is defending himself against new claims that he was the senior member of the royal family who called into question the skin color of his grandson, Archie. In the new book Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan, author Christopher Andersen claims that it was Charles who asked about the complexion of his son, Prince Harry, and daughter-in-law, Meghan Markle‘s, future children.
According to Andersen, on the day Meghan and Harry announced their engagement in 2017, Charles wondered aloud to his wife, Camilla, about “what the child will look like.” Anderson claims Camilla was caught off guard and replied, “Well, absolutely gorgeous, I’m certain.”
The book further claims that Charles pressed the issue, allegedly asking, “I mean, what do you think their children’s complexion might be?”
ET’s Nischelle Turner spoke with Andersen about the accusation made in the book, and he explained that he felt Charles’ alleged comments were taken entirely out of context.
“The comment was made by Charles to Camilla over breakfast the day [Meghan and Harry’s] engagement was announced. …Look, I’m a grandfather and I can tell you grandparents, of course, speculate on what their kids are gonna look like and their eye color, hair color, skin color, whatever,” Andersen told ET.
When Turner noted that Meghan’s biracial background made the alleged question different, Andersen added, “She’s biracial and he’s the world’s most famous redhead. But it was innocent, benign… there was nothing. You gotta remember at this point, Charles is really fond of Meghan and he’s becoming very friendly with Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland… It was taken and was kind of perverted, and warped and weaponized by the Men in Grey to be used to kind of stir up trouble.”
A Palace representative has since released a statement about the book’s claims, telling multiple outlets, “This is fiction and not worth further comment.”
ET has reached out to the Palace.
Back in March, Harry and Meghan first claimed during their interview with Oprah Winfrey that a “senior member” of the royal family expressed “concerns” over how dark their future child’s skin might be. At the time, the couple refused to name the royal, saying it would be “damaging” to that person, but they also told Winfrey that the royal in question was not Queen Elizabeth II or her late husband, Prince Philip.
Up until now, no member of the royal family has publicly denied being the person to express these alleged concerns, though Harry’s brother, Prince William, did tell one reporter after the Winfrey interview aired that “we are very much not a racist family.”
Though the royals released a statement following Harry and Meghan’s interview, royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET at the time, “My understanding is that Prince Charles did want to issue a more detailed statement [in response] to the Oprah interview and possibly address some of those issues point by point. But there was an evening to think about things and in the end, and it was decided that a shorter statement would be better, [and] that going at things point by point could be potentially more damaging and give more ammunition for the row to continue. I think Prince Charles and Prince William were keen to correct some of the things that the couple had said.”