As the Royal Family began the week with an emergency meeting to determine Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s future, Monday, British royal historian Penny Junor appeared on “CBS This Morning” to explain to Gayle King why she believes race was not a factor in the horrible treatment Markle received across the pond.
In an op-ed published in the Daily Mail last week, Junor wrote that Harry’s decision with his wife to step back from his role as a senior member of the royal family, is “so out of character” and that she believes “something is seriously amiss,” claiming to know him “better than many.”
When she asked Junor, who was Skyping in from London, to elaborate on her statements the writer sheepishly admitted that she hadn’t talked to Harry in three years, well before he even met Markle. Despite the seismic shift that has clearly occurred in his life since their last meeting, Junor still felt confident sharing her speculations that his recent behavior was alarming and “very uncharacteristic.”
“Harry was a very cheerful, happy, happy man. Always laughing, always joking, always taking the mickey out of someone. That cheerful, charming man seems to have disappeared. And in his place we have an angry, disgruntled, really seriously disgruntled man,” explained Junor.
To which King countered, “He admits though, Penny, that he’s angry and frustrated by the treatment of his wife, who he loves and adores, and his son. He’s very concerned about her safety and her wellbeing. Why wouldn’t he be angry and frustrated about that?”
The author agreed, “Of course, it’s always hurtful,” before then characterizing the Duchess of Sussex as, “a sensitive girl.”
“She’s a lovely girl,” she continued. “The British love her. This is what is so frustrating. Harry and she seem to be believing that we don’t love them. We do love them. They are fantastic. They arrived like they were a golden couple. They were sprinkling fairy dust everywhere.”
But when she insisted that racism was not a factor in Markle’s treatment, maintaining that, “the British were thrilled about her marrying into the Royal family, and they were thrilled because she was mixed race. That was one real plus,” that’s when King called her out on how the facts paint quite a different picture.
“Did you check in with any Black Britains before you made that determination?” co-host Tony Dokoupil asked pointedly. To which King soon added: “to have your baby portrayed as a chimp and it says, “Royal couple leaving the hospital.” That was very hurtful and that is, in fact, very racist.”
“Of course, it is. I’m not denying that. Sorry, I’m not trying to defend things like that. I’m absolutely not,” Junor stuttered struggling to find her words. “What I’m saying is, that I think that the overweening sentiment of the British public was to be enthusiastic about Meghan. To welcome her. She came into the Royal family and because she was of color, it made a whole lot of coloured people in our country suddenly find that the monarchy was relevant for them.”
King did not respond to that last reference, but in Britain, the term “coloured” is seen as offensive as “colored” is in the states. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch used the term in an interview while talking about Black actors in the UK, according to the BBC. He later apologized after his error was pointed out.