Meghan Markle media coverage not racist, says home secretary Priti Patel

A senior UK politician has dismissed suggestions Meghan Markle has been subjected to racist press coverage.

Home Secretary Priti Patel was asked about the media reaction to Meghan and Prince Harry’s decision to step back as senior members of the Royal Family.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set for crunch talks about their future roles with the Queen and the Duke of Cambridge at Sandringham on Monday.

At the weekend, it was reported that Prince William said he can no longer “put his arm around” his brother.

Ms Patel said she had not seen any debates or commentary about Ms Markle that she thought were racist – despite claims that racism has driven negative media reports.

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In November 2016, Harry lashed out at the “wave of abuse and harassment” the US actress had faced from the media – citing the “racial undertones of comment pieces” among his concerns.

Ms Patel, speaking to the BBC, rejected suggestions the Duchess of Sussex had been subjected to racist press coverage.

She said: “I’m not in that category at all where I believe there’s racism at all.

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Canada House in London, Britain  January 7, 2020. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via REUTERS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will have talks with other royals about their roles on Monday. (Reuters)

“I think we live in a great country, a great society, full of opportunity, where people of any background can get on in life.”

Asked if the media had been in any way racist, she replied: “I don’t think so, no.

“I certainly haven’t seen that through any debates or commentary or things of that nature.”

Monday’s meeting is expected to be attended by the Queen, Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles, while Ms Markle is expected to join the talks by phone from Canada.

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The Duchess of Sussex plans to work with a number of brands, including Disney and Givenchy, following the decision to step back from royal duties.

It has been reported that Charles could cut back his funding for the Sussexes following their controversial move.

Ms Patel refused to comment on future security arrangements for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex if they step back from royal life.

Secretary of State for the Home Department Priti Patel leaves 10 Downing Street in central London after attending the weekly Cabinet meeting on 22 October, 2019 in London, England. MPs in the House of Commons debate and vote today on the European Union Withdrawal Agreement bill, known as the second reading and on the programme motion of Boris Johnson's plan to complete the Brexit legislation within three days. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Home secretary Priti Patel has spoken out about the Duchess of Sussex. (PA)

“I’m not going to provide any detailed information on the security arrangements for either them or any members of the Royal Family or for any protected individuals – that’s thoroughly inappropriate for me to do so.

“At this moment in time, right now, the Royal Family themselves need some time and space for them to work through the current issues that they’re dealing with.”

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