The Royal Family Quietly Deleted Prince Harry's 2016 Statement Defending Meghan Markle From Racist Abuse

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In November 2016, after news broke that Prince Harry was dating Meghan Markle, Harry made the unprecedented move of confirming his relationship in a formal statement. That statement, credited to a Kensington Palace spokesperson, no longer exists on the royal family's official website.

It's unclear when specifically the statement was removed, but in March, Harry and Meghan's official bios were changed on the website, and the individual pages for their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, were removed. The website adjustment came on the heels of Harry and Meghan relaunching their website, Sussex.com, and Meghan announcing her new project, American Riviera Orchard. (T&C has reached out to the Sussexes for comment.)

The statement Harry released in 2016 read in part, "Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that 'this is all part of the game.' He strongly disagrees. This is not a game — it is her life and his."

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In his memoir Spare, Prince Harry reflects on the decision to release the statement. "Even after I’d convinced [Kensington Palace's communications person, Jason] that we needed to do something, say something, anything, the Palace said no. Courtiers blocked us hard. Nothing can be done, they said. And therefore nothing will be done," Harry writes. "I accepted this as final. Until I read an essay in the Huffington Post. The essayist said the mild reaction of Britons to this explosion of racism was to be expected, since they were the heirs of racist colonialists. But what was truly 'unforgivable,' she added, was my silence." Soon after that essay (titled "Meghan Markle Should Dump Prince Harry") came out, Harry released the aformentioned statement.

Harry writes that his brother, Prince William, and his father, King Charles, were "furious" that he released the statement. "My statement generated a whole new onslaught—from my family," he recalls. "Pa and Willy were furious. They gave me an earful. My statement made them look bad, they both said. Why in hell? Because they'd never put out a statement for their girlfriends or wives when they were being harassed."

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